Property expert foresees opportunities in real estate, backs govt’s housing plan
ON the heel of the Federal Government’s plan to increase the nation’s housing stocks, and thereby reducing homelessness in the country, a real estate solution company, Propertygate Development and Investment Plc has thrown its weight behind a plan by the current administration to invest massively in both infrastructure and housing.
The support, however, is with a call on the government to give clearer strategy and direction on how the initiative would be implemented, else the laudable vision might be fraught with several hitches, which may eventually mar the drive.
And notwithstanding the inclement weather, which signals stiffer challenges against the real estate industry, the development and investment company has said there are numerous opportunities within the subsector this year, many of which it promised to unearth through tested means and use for the benefit of all.
Speaking last week during a media chat to review activities within the industry last year and looking into 2016, Propertygate’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Adetokunbo Ajayi said, while it was clear that economic activities dovetailed in the year 2015, Nigeria on many fronts still recorded some successes.
Despite the unfriendly economy, Ajayi, a lawyer and property development and investment expert, said his company continued as a going concern with steady progress, adding that a combination of good management, prudence in resource allocation and use, continuous assessment of the market and focus among others, helped the company to avoid pitfalls, and achieved growth.
Looking into this year, Ajayi, who did not mince his words declared: “Events in the few days of 2016 are already suggesting there are tougher battles to fight, we believe opportunities for success in 2016 in our subsector still exist”, he held.
Reiterating the need for real estate products and services across board, Ajayi said they are however careful not to confuse need with demand, as this was obviously not the time of harvest without work.
Maximizing the several opportunities, Ajayi said: “We are leveraging on our deep knowledge, expertise and experience to navigate the times we are in. We are giving utmost attention and regards to the dynamics and fluidity of the macro-economic environment and our real estate markets. Smart real estate ideas; innovation in designs, local content for production, and construction approach; creative funding; and disciplined focus are part of our intended plans for success in 2016.’
In view of the harder times to come, the firm advised Nigerians and investors to seek experts’ views before committing themselves to any investment. “We strongly believe in effective and efficient use of resources and think the need for prudent investment cannot be greater than at this trying time. We will therefore be making our real estate advisory services available to more customers to enable them optimize their investment. In effect, we are saying that development idea needs to be properly analyzed before you ever put down your money, whether as an investor, financier, user or operator”.
Applauding the Federal government’s plans to spend sizeable sum on infrastructure, lead aggressive intervention in housing supply and come up with helpful policies to stimulate and deepen private sector participation in housing delivery, Ajayi said there is hope to see more activities from NMRC in the year, which would help provide liquidity to the mortgage market. “While the details of government plans are being expected, we hope the government’s zeal for housing will not push it into the private domain of running enterprise, which it is not well equipped for.”
And with the strides by the Lagos State Government to impact positively on the construction subsector, Ajayi urged the state to take steps to boost the subsector was ensuring maximum enforcement of built and environmental regulations, adding that, there are still sizeable development parcel and properties within the urban centres and their fringe, which have no appeal, as a result of blight from gross built and environmental lawlessness in order to make the city liveable.
While 2016 will be a tough year going by current events and forecast, Ajayi said: “We expect government at all levels to embark on concerted efforts to reflate the economy; promote social order; and restore confidence by giving heightened share of voice to effort to uplift the country, as against the almost single narative of gloom that is currently being aired”, among others.