Our Stand (48)
Every new year comes with an expectation of new things, new hope of opportunities in all aspects of life. National expectations also include that of the economy as it is hoped to grow to some certain percent, stimulating demand for improved affordable housing or improved housing conditions and better infrastructural facilities for the populace.
Practically speaking, the real estate sector is expected to contribute its own quota to the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), however, this can only be achieved if supportive measures for the real estate sector are provided than in previous years. If the latter should be the case, the 2022 budget will be quintessential to the sector’s growth trajectory, and make an authoritative impact on the national economy.
Amid the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant(s), last year, at least, the housing market still recorded some percentage of growth as expressed by Mrs. Nnenna Njoku, a Nigerian Real Estate expert while speaking with Viewpoint Housing Media in an interview.
“From the information I gathered, there was 3.85 percent increase in the total growth rate of real estate across the nation and even the globe, she said.
“In as much as Covid-19 in other areas skyrocketed, the real estate sector was stationed and things were working. Even in other countries where it was really on the high and killed many, I can tell you that housing did well because people still needed a house to live in, Njoku who is also a Chartered Accountant, added.
The investment rationale as the year hits the mark, we expect to see growing demand for housing, especially for ready-to-move-in homes across the affordable and even luxury categories.
Regardless of macroeconomic shocks and political apprehensions, owning real estate remains attractive in Nigeria. One would also be confident that if the Nigerian Government and relevant authorities will strongly focus on the provision of basic infrastructure in rural and urban areas, it will act as a lynchpin for the progress of the real estate sector.
Going through the country’s last year’s budget, there were commendable housing policies that were thought would boost affordable housing and infrastructure upgrades. However, that was not the case or maybe, one would say there were minimal impacts. If there were impactful implementation, they would have provided the sector with a strong foundation that would lead to the stimulation of affordable housing and the real estate market in 2022 and beyond.
With the government hoping to build 300,000 housing units, a national housing scheme that was flagged off in 2021, we anticipate more impressive and better policies such as tax deductions and improved home loans annually. In addition, improved regulations to protect and regulate rental housing and improved infrastructures must be enhanced, as these are some of long-standing requests/expectations of the masses, most comprising of low and medium income earners across the country.
Most developers are also hopeful to see more state governments waive off property taxes for affordable housing projects to a certain limit. We should look forward to revising the true meaning of affordable housing, maybe, it would guide the government when formulating policies for the housing industry and for the developers, when constructing buildings and putting price tags on them.
Furthermore, another critical expectation from the government is the promotion of indigenous building materials and enhancing their availability. This will give the sector the much-required lift, equitably balancing prices of properties that would suit both developers and clients, even making housing affordable for low and medium income earners. The latter would ensure a stronger demand from the housing market, especially in the category of affordable housing.
In conclusion, while successive governments and the present one has continued to try improving housing conditions through their conceived best ways, we believe they need to give more recognition to the real estate sector as a prime industry, as this would in lightening speed, accelerate the economic growth of the country. With improved housing policies and supporting housing associations like the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Association of Housing Corporation of Nigeria (AHCN), they will give the sector more room for growth and make housing for all Nigerians a reality.