Stakeholders in the real estate sector yesterday urged government and private sector partnership to drive growth in the area.They made the call at the 2017 yearly Real Estate Unite Summit organised by 3invest in Lagos.
Leading the discussion on the topic “Africa’s Real Estate, What’s New?,” the Chairman/Chief Executive officer of Mixta Africa, SA, Deji Alli, called for the social and affordable housing.
Alli urged government to formulate a scheme for the low end of the market by providing social housing.According to him, the scheme has some advantages, which include the taxable income that government has not been getting from such a large market.
To him, home ownership is aspirational and should start from the base, as it plays an important role in the real sector’s asset economic stability, which is put at about $26 trillion.
The lead speaker commended the Federal Government for earmarking N100 billion for the family home fund under its Social Investment Programme.“There is the need to introduce a special incentive to make 1. 5 million new homes a reality for the low-income people within 2 years. The focus should be in the lower end of the market and not on the highest end,” he said.
Also, Dr. Doyin Salami of the Lagos business school, said real estate professionals must unite to engage policy makers towards progress.
According to him, despite the fact that real estate constitutes seven per cent of the country’s economy, it has continued to shrink with negative growth.
Salami also attributed access to funding as a major hindrance, as the sector lacks the capacity to fund itself even though it offers great opportunity for job creation and sustainable hedge against recession.
In his presentation on “Introducing mortgage warehousing in Nigeria and achieving single digit mortgage rates,” the Chief Executive officer of Dunn Loren, Sonnie Ayere called for a reform in the Pension Fund Act, to allow contributors to invest 20 percent of their savings in housing mortgages.
The Chief Executive Officer of 3invest, Ruth Obih-Obuah, said the recent economic downturn had caused the real estate in Africa to fall below the projected 2.6 per cent regional growth.
According to her, although, the economic indicator shows that Nigeria is gradually coming out of recession, balancing short-term indicators with long –term structural change would reinstate investors’ confidence which is paramount to the success and continued growth of the sector.