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Experts see hope in accurate data for bridging housing demand-supply gap

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Availability of accurate data in the housing market has been identified as one sure way of bridging the supply-demand gap that has become the main feature Nigeria’s housing market. A critical look at the housing market shows a picture of buyer’s preference to rent or buy affordable mid-income apartments as against developer’s penchant to produce high-end, luxury apartments for outright sale, a trend believed to be fuelled by lack of accurate data and other issues.

Erejuwa Gbadebo, an architect and real estate consultant, affirms, stressing that lack of accurate data, visibility and transparency in the market have deny developers insights into what market demands are.

Gbadebo, former CEO of Broll Property Services, noted in an interview with BusinessDay that despite the country’s huge housing deficit estimated to be around 17 million units, it is worrisome that the available supply has failed to address the type of demand prevalent in the market.

Obi Ejimofo, an online property market operator agrees, saying, “we have observed that about 70 percent of properties on our platform are for sale while only 30 percent are for rent and this is an unfortunate  shift from what the market demands.  About 70 percent of our site visitors are seeking  apartments to rent rather than to buy”.

Industry watchers have always raised concerns over the imbalance in the property market where estate developers channel their efforts to supplying to the high end market, while the huge demand for affordable mini-apartments and low cost housing continue to soar.

It is however, expected that growth in the new online market for property buyers and sellers will help to provide the industry with vital data on how best to bridge the supply-demand divide in the near future.

Analysts canvass affordable mortgage system as a possible mid-point for the widening supply and demand  gap in the market and, in their opinion, if mortgage becomes affordable, some of those seeking to rent would leverage mortgages to buy and become homeowners.

Expectation is that the launching of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Corporation (NMRC) by the Federal Government will  reduce lending rates for housing from its current range of 20 to 23 percent to the low double digits or at least to a high single digit.

The government explains that the company has been set up to help lower the funding cost of mortgages and promote affordability and availability of good housing to working Nigerians by providing mortgage lending institutions increased access to liquidity and longer term funds.

Article Credit: Businessdayonline

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     Erejuwa Gbadebo     Obi Ejimofo     NMRC