At a time when Nigeria’s property market showed signs of rebound, election uncertainties morphed into what the industry experts refer to as a ‘nightmare’. The country’s real estate sector has responded differently to the last two presidential elections, as such industry experts imagine the forth coming general election will follow suit.
Jide Ogunleye, CEO of Denaro properties Ltd, a business and investment strategies expert with emphasis on real estate said the 2019 general election will have a lot of impact in the direction the real estate will take.
“As a developer, I have already started getting feedback as regards the forth coming election. If the election goes on peacefully, and regardless of the political party that wins and there is a peaceful transition, it is going to hold well for the real estate sector, Ogunleye said.
Figures by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, revealed that Nigeria’s real estate sector showed slow signs of growth for the second consecutive quarter in Q3 2018. Although still in contraction mood, the sector did better than the -3.88 percent growth rate recorded for Q2 by 1.21 percentage points.
However, Nigeria’s GDP growth rate of 1.81 percent in the third quarter of this year could not rub off on the country’s property market. This is now coupled with the fact that the road ahead for the sector appears bleak owing to the uncertainty around the 2019 elections.
“If the 2019 presidential election becomes toxic, the real estate sector is one of those that will suffer the most,” an industry expert who preferred not to be quoted said. Nigeria with about 20 million units housing deficit has reported 11 consecutive quarter recession for its property market since the first quarter of 2016. “If the whole process does not go well and there is unrest in the system, the recession will are seeing in the real estate sector will continue,” Ogunleye said.
The real estate performance under different leaders showed that the real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q2 of 2011, the same quarter former president, Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in, stood at 10.48 percent- the sector positively welcomed the leader.
This is compared to the 2.97 percent recorded for the same quarter in 2015 when Muhammadu Buhari, the incumbent president was given the baton. The third and fourth quarter growth for the property market under Jonathan followed in appreciation trajectory while Buhari’s went in opposite direction.
Meanwhile, Jonathan whose primary goal was to achieve stable electricity supply in Nigeria earned the dubious distinction of being the first president in Nigerian history to lose an election.
Olurogba Orimalade, Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Lagos State Branch said the real estate sector is going to drag because of the political uncertainties. Although he mentioned the sector will eventually bounce back regardless of whether the present government remains or not.