By Philip Yatai
Mr David Idiayi of Destiny Property and Estate Agency, Kaduna, on Thursday advised Nigerians to take advantage of the current economic recession and invest in real estate.
Idiayi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that the prices of landed properties had crashed, thus opening a window of opportunity for people to invest and make huge profits later.
According to him, there are currently lots of cheap land and houses for sale in different locations in Kaduna metropolis, but without much interest from investors.
“The economic crunch has forced a lot of property owners to put up one or two properties for sale; people need to take advantage of that.
“For people interested in real estate, this is the right time to invest; prices of properties have crashed, following low demand as economic hardship had changed people’s priorities,” he said.
The agent noted that the economic crunch had adversely affected real estate business in the country, saying that he barely sold a plot per month since the recession started.
“Two years ago, I sold an average of five to six plots in a month. In fact, I sold about 104 plots in a particular year, but now, I hardly sell up to 10 plots a year.
“Similarly, many houses in Kaduna metropolis remained unoccupied, as many people can no longer pay rent, due to the harsh economic situation.
“This development has forced some house owners to reduce their house rents so that people can afford the houses.
“Even so, tenants in occupied houses find it difficult to renew their lease,’’ Idiayi said.
Mr Henry Ya’u, Director of Maijaki Properties, Kaduna, said the rent for two-bedroom apartment in most locations had crashed from an average of N250,000 to between N180,000 and N200,000 a year.
Ya’u said that tenants were moving from two-bedroom to one-bedroom apartments, where they could pay less while some were relocating from high income areas to low income areas.
“In fact, some tenants even prefer one-bedroom apartment that they can pay at most N100,000 irrespective of the location, as long as the rent is cheap,’’ Ya’u said.
Some of the tenants who spoke to NAN blamed the development on economic hardship, saying the situation had made life difficult for people, particularly those living in rented houses.
A tenant, Mr Noah Simon, said he recently moved from a two-bedroom apartment to one-bedroom to minimise expenses and to enable him feed and pay his children’s school fees.
“I can no longer afford N250,000 for house rent; though a two-bedroom house is more convenient, it is not realistic, given the current economic situation,’’ Simon said.
“I am already searching for an affordable option in case my landlord refused to reduce his rent from the current N300,000 to N230,000 at most,’’ another tenant, Mr Irimiya John, said.
John, who lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Barnawa Government Reserve Area, commended some of the house owners, who reviewed their rent downward due to the economic recession.