Prospects for the growth of the real estate market are on the positive side following improvements in research and data collection in the market by start-up firms who have taken up the challenge to do so.
Close market watchers are hopeful that the emergence of research firms such as Residential Auction Company (RAC) and MCO Real Estate who have done appreciable research work into the Lagos and Abuja markets will ease the difficulties faced by prospective investors.
“We are seeing a very rapid improvement in the quality of real estate data available to Nigerian market and this is exciting for the growth of the market,” Julian Roche, an international real estate risk analyst told BusinessDay at a training session organised by Jeff O’ Brien in Lagos recently.
Roche continued, “we are also beginning to see individual published data sources in the market, especially in regards to the Lagos and Abuja markets and these sources have been regarded as credible by individual market participants,” noting however that this significant improvement is long over-due because accurate data remains key in meeting the market’s needs. He noted further that despite being one of the major booming real estate markets in the world because of its increasing population, the country’s property market growth has been stunted by lack of data.
To him, Nigeria is currently 10 years behind Saudi Arabia where access to real estate data has been on the increase, pointing out that, in the last 10 years, “availability of data has improved dramatically in Saudi Arabia and that is currently being replicated in Nigeria”.
Lack of accurate data and adequate training had, for many years, frustrated efforts by both private real estate developers and the federal government to grow the real estate sector, and these efforts could not drive impact on the sector because of the sector’s inability to address the low income segment of the market where demand abounds.
Roche highlighted the need for adequate training of real estate developers, pointing out that this exposes developers to a greater understanding of how the financial models in real estate work, what the returns are all about, what the risks are and how to analyse and muscle the risks before and during developments.
“Real estate trainings help converge developers, investors and financial institutions in the same room where they can conveniently debate on market trends and strategies,” he said.
Continuing, he said, “it’s not just about the trainer conveying information, it’s about the training session itself providing a platform for good interaction that would foster a stable relationship between banks and developers which are absolutely crucial to a sustainable development.
According to him, real estate training breaks down a whole lot of areas, adding that there was basic professional training which required people to be good accountants, good lawyers and that is for the professionals, but there are skills required to be a good real estate developer and that is an understanding of the market, risks, process, human resources etc
culled from: businessdayonline