After looking at the problems of the real estate sector in Nigeria, the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) in 2015 decided to embark upon the National Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme (NRE-DCMP). What this meant was that REDAN would produce a property databank for Nigeria. Lack of data has created a chain of problems. Therefore, collating real estate data across the spectrum would help Nigeria tackle problems associated with the real estate sub-sector.
REDAN, being the umbrella body for real estate developers in Nigeria, truly knew better what real estate bank could do. If this was accomplished, REDAN would definitely revolusionise Nigeria’s real estate sector. It would have gone on record that REDAN, under the former President of REDAN, Reverend Ugochukwu Chime achieved what had never been in the history of the country’s economy. Good move by REDAN!
Considering the toll this lack of property databank has taken on Nigeria’s economy, stakeholders expected that REDAN would speedily complete its mission so they could lay hands on the very important data in their real estate business. All eyes were on REDAN.
However, numerous challenges bogged down this work. REDAN needed the support of government to execute this mission. Of course, REDAN was getting support. Checks show that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had rendered huge support to REDAN.
Apart from CBN, REDAN was getting support from the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, National Bureau of Statistics (NBC), National Population Commission (NPC) and other stakeholders. Therefore, to what extent has REDAN accomplished this task is what many have been itching to know.
Speaking at the Second REDAN Building Expo held on March 20, 2018 in Abuja, the then REDAN president said, “The level of commitment and selflessness we saw in NRE-DCMP is unparalleled and inspirational.” We believe that inspiration is still driving REDAN to accomplish its task. REDAN should therefore, give the time when the property survey exercise will be concluded and results presented to government and the general public. Many real estate stakeholders earnestly look forward to this.
The focus of the exercise, REDAN said is to comprehensively collate and manage data for planning and decision making relating to preconstruction, construction and post construction activities in the nation`s real estate sector.
Areas of great interest include: land administration practices, formal and informal housing activities, housing affordability mapping and other key indicators that will aid effective policy and investment decisions.
The objective of the programme according the real estate body is to provide accurate and realistic data on the housing stock, housing types, mortgage facilities/institutions, occupied/unoccupied houses, tenement rates, selling/renting prices, skilled manpower availability, construction cost, prices for varying categories of houses in various locations and operational challenges.
Other vital data to be collected include cost of obtaining title documents, access to land and building materials, market prices for building materials, housing needs of various levels of income earners and families, affordability profiling, housing deficit and housing development prospects.
REDAN has indeed chosen to do an onerous task because this work covers the entire 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Non availability of critical data has really hampered progress in Nigeria’s real estate sector. It has badly affected the real estate activities. In a place where a greater part of the population is either homeless or living in substandard housing, yet there are many high-end unoccupied property is a clear indication that developers are working without necessary data. Projects that would have greatly turned around the country’s economy are abandoned halfway because they were initiated on faulty or unrealistic footing. Nigeria cannot bridge its huge housing gap if it lacks a data repository on real estate and housing development across the value chains.
As investors who seek to put down stakes hardly access data they might work with, government’s housing policies at different times have not been properly executed or not executed at all owing chiefly to absence of necessary data.
The absence of real-time, tested and verifiable property databank system has made Nigeria quite different from the developed economies where data is available and usable by practitioners and investors for valuation and other real estate purposes.
It is therefore, the expectation of stakeholders that REDAN will engineer a change for the better. One area REDAN should properly work on to give credence to its work is production of reliable data on off-taker affordability vis-a-vis the market products. As earlier mentioned, a situation where many products are for sale with not many buyers, yet demand is huge is a clear violation of the theories of the 18th-century Scottish economist and philosopher, Adam Smith.
Viewpoint Housing News however, believes that there are data. Data actually exist from every transaction and on every project. The challenge is having a collection of these data and analyzing them for useful market-based information.
More so, it is not just getting the data and putting them on the shelf. Efforts should be made now for stakeholders to develop and acquire necessary training, have global focus and embrace relevant technology for the deployment of the data that will be produced.
Completing this exercise in time will boost REDAN’s image. Many expect that the premier housing development organisation will step up its relevance in the construction sector. Many estate developers are suffering down time because the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has suspended issuance of Estate Development Loans (EDLs) to REDAN members. For this reason, REDAN has not been part of the bank’s National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme that was launched on Wednesday 10 October, 2018. If REDAN had positioned itself properly, it should have been the major driver of that national programme.
REDAN should do well by getting this exercise concluded. The Nigerian economy is very ripe for the development of a property databank system that will bring about a revolution to real estate development in the country.