Experts in real estate have stated that declining liquidity and prioritisation of consumption are factors that might inform new ways around doing things in the real estate industry going forward.
The experts who spoke during a panel session at the Mixta Africa’s Webinar session held in Lagos, with the theme, “Making Informed Investment Decisions in the COVID-19 Era: A real Estate Perspective,” said governments’ early response with policies and palliatives would enable the economy recover quickly.
This period, they agreed, presents a huge challenge to both consumers and investors in real estate, “and therefore offer another opportunity for providers of housing, estate properties to think outside the box and come up with strategies to not on sustain available consumers but provide value to make investors look towards the industry.”
Panelists at the session included the Managing Director, Mixta Africa Plc, Mr. Kola Ashiru-Balgun; Managing/CEO, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Ahmed Musa Dangiwa; Chief Executive Officer/VC Fine and Country West Africa, Mrs Ude Okonjo; Managing Principal, Nextnomics Advisory, Dr. Temitayo Oshikoya; Managing Director, CBRE Excellerate, Mr Chinua Azubuike and Chief Executive Officer, Asset-2-Sell Properties Limited, Mrs Chukwunonso Onny-Ezeh.
Ashiru-Balgun, who was the moderator of the session, provided background on how the COVID-19 was impacting the economy including growing risk of sentiments globally, weak economic outlook, lower crude oil prices, which Nigeria is currently experiencing, and concerns of further currency devaluation.
He noted that these have resulted to a slowdown in investment (both government and private) hinging it on anticipated strain on federal government receipts and consumer income.
On his part, Oshikoya stated that the situation provides opportunities in the residential property area, particularly for investors who want to take advantage of long term opportunities.
According to him, pension funds and equity investors would find a great future in residential real estate as affordable housing will continue to be in high demand post COVID-19.
Looking at the opportunities in both residential and commercial properties, Oshikoya said while demand for real estate at the moment might reduce as households and individual are concerned on meeting basic needs, healthcare, job security companies will be concerned with savings cost, contract space, and conventional ways of doing the job, may be from home.
Also speaking, Dangiwa, who spoke on efforts of government to increase access to affordable housing post COVID-19, said efforts are on to ensure the inclusion of the informal sector affordable housing schemes in the country using their banks BVN.
Also, Azubuike spoke about how critical it was for the government to restart the economy with policy response as key in going through the COVID-19 cycle and launching to recovery.
“We will see supply outstrip demand, and in the short and medium term, this will impact consumers, he said.
On his part, Okonjo, who was upbeat on opportunities during and after the pandemic, said players should think outside the box, expand the market, and bring in diaspora opportunistic investors increase liquidity in the sector.