‘Only three per cent of land in Nigeria can create wealth’ | Land Portal
Author(s): 
Bertram Nwannekanma
Language of the news reported: 
inglês

EMEKA ELEH is a past president, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and a principal partner at Ubosi Eleh and Company. In this interview with BERTRAM NWANNEKANMA, he spoke on the imperative of land titling, challenges of inaccurate data and other issues in the real estate sector.

 

The real estate sector has been identified as one of the worst-hit by COVID -19 pandemic. Why is it so?
The real estate sector is not the worst hit but was badly affected by the pandemic. You cannot compare the sector with the impact on entertainment, hospitality and aviation sectors, which are in bigger trouble. Of course, the sector is part of the micro economy, which is experiencing an economy glut and difficult times. You see that more often than not, the side effect of the micro economy affects the commercial sector more. A man who lives in a house will make all efforts to pay the rent than somebody who occupies an office. Even though the sector is badly affected, we are seeing higher vacancy rate, rent defaults and those rates are higher in the commercial area.

Of course, it is expected. I mean the rental payment has to do with people’s income. A man who has not been paid salary cannot pay rents. At a time like this, we kept counseling landlords to take it easy with tenants as pertains rent payments. I must also say that the effect here is not as it is abroad because a lot of people still pay yearly rents or two years in advance and a lot of them are not yet due.

Unlike abroad where they pay monthly rents, if they did not pay, they will be affected immediately. Here the bulk of the challenges we have are those whose rents are due by January, February and March. Things got worse in April and everybody is now latching on COVID-19 to default in paying rents. It is an expected scenario. It is also less here again because we are not a mortgage driven economy, unlike abroad where people rely on mortgages for everything and those payments have to be made monthly. It is very difficult there because if you don’t pay, it goes into foreclosure. But here, mortgage penetration is still very low. It becomes more sensitive, if it is mortgage driven. Our system can accept the shock better than abroad.

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