Emmanuel Okogun, a business development executive at Grenadines Homes LTD in an interview with Elsie Godwin, Nigeria real estate hub correspondent, pointed out Delivery as one of the major problems in the practice of real estate in Nigeria.
Okogun said that lack of integrity, overpriced houses, inaccessible finances and unprofessionalism are the vital challenges facing the real estate practise in Nigeria.
“You have a lot of people who are not sincere in the business, you have a lot of players who are not professional. They hear there is money in real estate, they just assemble a team and begin to do real estate and they can’t deliver. Delivery is a major problem in the practice of real estate in Nigeria.”
“The area of affordability: sometimes these houses are overpriced. Yes we have mortgage and National housing scheme but the process and bureaucracy of getting to access those funds is another issue that regulators should also look at”
Okogun said that mortgage is very critical and must be looked into. “In developed world you would access mortgage facilities for as long as 15/20years and that’s why you find young people owning housing there but here you must have worked all your years before you can afford to own a house or you could have stolen money from government before you can afford a structure because you don’t have mortgages that can assist moderate income earners to acquire properties in this country”, he said.
He commended the private sector, Government and all real estate stakeholders on their intensified effort towards offsetting the housing unit deficit estimated to be 17million. However, he expressed concern for the average and low income earners in the society. “My little reservation is that nobody really talks about those at the lower cadre. Everybody is just all about the high end and middle class. Sometimes these properties are overpriced. And at the end of the day, it appears the focus and the target is for high end individuals in the society. And if you want to bridge this housing deficit, the concentration should be on the lower cadre”, he said.
He advised the key players in the real estate industry to concentrate more on low-cost houses that an average income earner can afford.
Speaking on alternative building method acceptability, he made reference to his secondary school days back in Edo state. “I remember back in the day, in my school way back, the structure that we had then were not brick walls. They were improvised, they were assembled. As far back as in the late 80s, if they don’t tell you, you don’t get to know these houses are assembled and they still stand as we speak now. In my state Edo state, Ekpoma, we have structures that were assembled, they were not brick walls. They were assembled with wood like material and well coated.”
“I am also aware that Nigerite is coming up with those type of structures too. As a matter of fact, I have an in-law who says if he’s going to build a house in the village, he would contract it to Nigerite.”
“It should be encouraged, it’s also a way of bridging cost of all of these things”, he said. “It makes housing affordable and you don’t do all of these issues of Omo-onile decking and all. In no time, your building is standing.”
He also warned against patronising quacks. “If you are doing this you must engage the services of experts, they definitely would stand it in such a way that it will stand the test of time.”
Speaking on Grenadine homes Atlantic resort estate project, he said the project will be launched any moment from now. “With this kind of foreign investor coming into the real estate, it will boost the real estate sector. The beauty of it is moving from the regular real estate business to introducing luxury hotel apartments where you could own a suite in a hotel and what that generates comes to you as revenue similar to what happens in Dubai”