Diya, Fatimilehin, and Co. celebrate its 40th anniversary with a conference on scaling up real estate in Nigeria, attended by government officials and industry pioneers.
The keynote speaker emphasizes the importance of mortgage refinancing and shares successful strategies implemented in Malaysia.
Panel discussions focus on enhancing the housing supply, the role of technology in the real estate sector, and the need for financial housing to achieve scale in Nigeria.
On Friday, the 12th of May, 2023, the esteemed real estate surveying and valuation firm, Diya, Fatimilehin, and Co. marked its 40th anniversary with a conference titled “Scaling Up Real Estate in Nigeria”.
As a pioneer of the real estate industry and thought leader in the valuation practice, it was a milestone achievement marked by the presence of high-ranking government officials such as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and pioneers of the real estate and proptech industries. The event was themed “Scaling Up Real Estate in Nigeria” and involved conversations with the keynote speaker and three panels that addressed the topic and offered possible solutions.
Keynote Speaker, Kokularupan Narayanasamy (RUPAN), a consultant at the International Housing Finance, with over 30 years of experience in institutionalizing mortgage financing in multiple countries across Asia were present. He spoke on the importance of mortgage refinancing, highlighting key problems that institutions similar to the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) have solved for both the developers and banks in developing countries. Problems such as:
The lack of trust between banks and developers
The lack of a track record of developers for banks to use in vetting developers before lending.
To tackle this problem in Malaysia, he explained how the government implemented the Housing Regulation Act which required practicing developers in the country to be licensed and follow rules such as:
Invest capital into their projects
Set a standard completion time which they will be fined for if missed
Defaulting on property development without extenuating circumstances is considered a criminal offense
Utilizing the standard purchase agreements and construction costs implemented by the government
All these and more were implemented to foster trust between developers and banks to encourage lending and the growth of the real estate sector in Malaysia, which was successful.
Panel Sessions Discussed Enhancing the Housing Supply in Nigeria and How Technology Can Solve the Housing Problem
First Panel: Enhancing Housing Supply
Members of the panel included:
Hakeem Ogunniran, CEO of Eximia
Olaide Agboola, CEO of Purple Capital
Gboyega Fatimilehin, Founding Partner of Diya, Fatimilehin and Co
Moderator: Ayo Ibaru, Director of Real Estate Research at Northcourt
The federal government’s efforts in building housing units in the past six years have been insufficient to reach the target of 2 million units.
Steps should be taken to subsidize and provide liquidity in the housing market, making built properties eligible for sale.
Local workers should be encouraged and trained in technical skills to reduce reliance on foreign workers, as money is leaving the country when foreign workers are hired.
The importance of technical schools should be emphasized to address the lack of trained artisans.
Housing policies should address both demand and supply, with a focus on mortgages and properties for refinancing.
The land is a crucial factor in housing, and policies should consider its availability and allocation.
The use of sukuks, REITs, bonds, and commercial paper programs should be encouraged to raise capital for housing projects.
Housing should be treated as an asset class and commoditized.
Government intervention through lawmaking is essential for the success of housing funds and to meet the housing supply.
The government can provide concessions and incentives to facilitate the success of housing funds.
The effectiveness of institutions established for housing should be evaluated to ensure they deliver value and are not just present for the sake of it.
Second Panel: Technology and Housing
Dolapo Omidire, CEO of Estate Intel
John Oamen, CEO of Cutstruct Technology
Fola Ogunsiakan, CEO of Wondo Technologies
Moderator: Roland Igbinoba, President of Proptech Nigeria
To scale real estate, it is important to address fundamental problems such as construction, financing, and legislation, including the land use act.
Fixing these fundamentals including low interest rates and helping developers build more cost-effectively should precede focusing on technology.
While technology can play a role in matching supply and demand and facilitating better execution of property projects, enhancing delivery timelines and cost efficiency in the real estate sector relies on technology adoption rather than funding alone
Leveraging the experience of established companies and the innovation of young proptech companies can help improve the Nigerian real estate market.
The entire industry should benefit from solutions that combine the experience of established companies and the innovation of proptech startups. As such, collaboration is key, and a focus on addressing current challenges within the sector is necessary.
While 3D printing in housing is seen as an inevitable progression, there are hurdles to adoption, and certain systems and conditions need to be in place before full-scale implementation.
Pragmatism should guide the adoption of new technologies, considering hurdles and economic factors specific to each country.
Speaking to the government and addressing economic factors is essential, in addition to technology, for the real estate sector’s growth.
Third Panel: Financial Housing to Achieve Scale
Tola Akinhanmi, Head of Real Estate Finance at Stanbic IBTC
Femi Adewole, Lead Consultant at Urban Economics International
Maurice Okoli, CIO of Housing Solutions Fund
Oguche Aguda, CEO of PENOP.
Moderator: Ayo Ibaru, Director of Real Estate Research at Northcourt
The current state of affordable housing in Nigeria is worse than it was 20 years ago, not for lack of effort but the application of effort in the wrong direction. The number of Nigerians living in poverty is increasing faster than the capacity to meet their housing needs. There is a need to reflect on what is working well and adjust strategies accordingly.
While addressing the supply issue, it is equally important to create demand for housing. Defining affordability is a challenge, and the focus should be on the middle market with homes priced around 15 million Naira. Steps should be taken to meet the demand, and there is growing interest in tackling the housing problem effectively.
Collaborative Effort is Required to Scale up Housing in Nigeria.
In conclusion, the event was eye opening in terms of the current state of the Nigerian housing market, while highlighting news that conventional and new age real estate organizations can work together to solve the housing problem in Nigeria. Ultimately, a lot of responsibility lies within the government in implementing policies to create an attractive environment for investment into Nigerian real estate, and empowering organizations like the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) to enable the adoption of mortgage financing as a means to home ownership for Nigerians.