The provision of mass housing in Nigeria has been thwarted by several challenges over the years. The underlying issue is the failure to keep pace with the teeming population living in urban areas.
The country’s housing deficit has been estimated at 17 million units and has grown rapidly, given the annual population growth rate of 3.2% according to the UN Population Fund, as well as rapid urbanization. The deficit in Nigeria is very high in an international context. In Egypt the shortage is estimated at 3.5 million units for a population of 82 million, and in South Africa at 2.5 million housing units for 53 million inhabitants.
This huge population boom is the strongest underlying reason for the huge demand for accommodation and real estate properties across Africa. African markets will need to improve the fundamentals of their housing sectors. While the specific features of local real estate markets and regulatory regimes vary significantly across the continent, from Nigeria to Egypt to South Africa, chronic housing deficits, a lack of funding and an affordability gap are common throughout the region.
Globally there is a strong consensus that the development of the housing sector is essential for stimulating economic growth. Housing construction is one of the frequently used indices for gauging economic conditions in the US and elsewhere. For instance, in Malaysia the housing and construction sectors are core contributors to the country’s annual growth rate, which was estimated at 5.5% in 2014 by Bank Negara (the central bank).
The current real estate space takes advantage of the increasing population to increase the price of properties. If the cost of real estate properties kept rising, some Nigerian population would live in the mud. HouseAfrica mission is one that will accommodate all Africans. It shouldn’t be a real estate space that strictly obeys the laws of demand and supply, thus while the population kept rising, the cost of properties kept rising. It should be one that considers the average income earner, sustainable and one where its investors and buyers transactions are transparent.
It is not an understatement, what we need now is a lasting solution to our real estate ecosystem where all African has a home, not only for a luxury for a selected class, hence the status quo need to be challenged if not, no sustainability is sure while our continent gets exploded in few years.