August 06, 2016
ECONOMIC CHALLENGES | Sales of luxury apartments drop
The National General Secretary of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Akintoye Adeoye, told Punch that the stock of unoccupied luxury apartments in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt had risen significantly in the last few months.
He said, “The sale of property within N5m to N25m bracket where people can still get mortgages or where developers have to come up with plans that include paying gradually are not doing badly, they still sell but the sale of high-end properties has been very slow since the onset of the economic downturn.
“People are more careful about how they spend money now and even those who have the money are not willing to spend it. Unlike before when one person can buy about 10 luxury houses and keep the keys.
“Most of the people who buy houses now are first-time buyers who have no means to buy luxury apartments. Of course, there are some who still buy up to N45m worth of homes with mortgage but they are mostly those who work with blue-chip companies.”
He added that the situation had forced developers to reduce prices of such apartments to woo buyers.
“But even with the drop in prices, people are not interested. There are some developers that can’t even sell one in a whole year because there is no mortgage for this group of properties. Those who buy them get money from other sources but those sources are no longer available,” he said.
The Principal Partner, Bode Adediji Partnership, Mr. Bode Adediji, who is also a former President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, said, “There is no doubt that the recession is particularly evident in the housing sector especially the luxury apartment end.
“The reasons for it are understandable; there is oversupply and the employment regime where employers bring in people from abroad and put them in luxury apartments has been phased out. They rather put them in a hotel and when they are through with their job, they leave. They also don’t bring their family because of security issues.”
An estate surveyor and valuer, Mr. Emeka Eleh, said: “The real estate market is a representation of the overall economy; if the economy is not doing well, the sector won’t do well.”