The reason for the massive number of empty houses across the country despite the huge deficit in the housing sector is because most developers of the properties failed to consider property market demands, the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria has said.
According to ESVARBON, there are so many unoccupied completed houses in virtually all states in Nigeria, adding that the cost of most of these empty buildings was far beyond the purchasing power of many Nigerians.
The Registrar of the board, Ifeanyi Uzowanne, disclosed these while speaking on the sidelines of the 2018 Estate Surveyors and Valuers Assembly/unveiling of the Nigeria Valuation Standards, recently in Abuja.
He said, “People say there is housing deficit of large quantum without having due regard to the fact that there is quite a number of substantial properties that are currently unoccupied. So why are these houses unoccupied? Is it because they are built without reference to what the property market wants or that the rents are exorbitant?
“As the regulatory body of a profession that has to do with housing, we are concerned and that is why we say people should go to practitioners when they are making investments in housing so that they can put up houses that will meet the needs of consumers.”
Uzowanne added, “Most products are made based on what the market wants. When the people want two bedroom apartments and you give them duplexes, you are not building to what they need. And if you build duplexes you are not meeting the needs of the people.
“So there is a great need for investors in housing to seek professional advice in order to bring to the market a product that will sell seamlessly and that is widely accepted by consumers.”
He, however, noted that the valuation standard that was unveiled by ESVARBON would help both dealers and consumers of properties in this regard.
“The standards that we’ve unveiled will help address this issue in a way because most times it is not only estate valuers who produce houses. So the public is also expected to make sure that they don’t overprice properties and keep it out of the reach of some others who want it,” Uzowanne said.
On other significance of the Nigerian Valuation Standards, he said, “Valuation of assets must conform with international standards and this book captures the global standards on valuation and brings it into peculiarity in the Nigerian environment. So when a valuation is done here in Nigeria, the same work and report of that valuation will be recognised globally also.”
Uzowanne stated that the regulatory body noticed some discontent among valuers and decided to put together the book in order to address the concerns of operators in the sector.
He said, “We realise that the users of valuation services were showing discontent in what they were getting and as a regulatory body of the profession, it was imperative that the gap is filled. So with this book, registered surveyors and valuers will show great proficiency in valuation.
“This book is going to impact greatly in all sectors, particularly in the housing sector, because most times there are great volumes of valuation of properties involving houses. It will also go a long way in encouraging investments in houses because people will get value for their investments.”