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Operators are optimistic on real estate

For a sector hugely dependent on the economic dynamics, experts were cautiously optimistic that real estate will recover in the first quarter.The optimism stems from better understanding of the covid-19 virus coupled with the positive moves by the Central Bank Nigeria in foreign exchange regulation, the recent World Bank report of possible 1.1per cent growth in the nation’s economy and the slight increase in oil price.

They also want policy makers to move decisively to tame the pandemic and implement investment-enhancing reforms.
According to the Frist Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Enyi Ben-Eboh, the construction industry is normally one of the worst hit when there’s a downturn in the economy because priority is often diverted to subsistence sectors such as food, information technology and medicines.

However, with a better understanding of the covid-19 virus and availability various vaccines to tackle its spread,he said, life can begin to gradually return to normal and the economy can also start improving.

Eboh was also optimistic that the prices of basic construction materials like cement and a few others that spiralled out of the reach of most, especially in Q4 of 2020, will return to what they were in Q1 and Q2.

“This may be wishful thinking but all things being equal, 2021 will hopefully herald the gradual return to activities in the construction sector to near pre-pandemic levels. The general outlook is however that of a wait and see position,” he said.

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