Notwithstanding the harsh economic challenges bewildering the nation’s economy, an investment and real estate development company, Messrs. Propertygate Development and Investment Plc, has said it would undertake and deliver more rewarding real estate projects.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of company, Mr. Adetokunbo Ajayi, gave the assurance last week while rendering account of his company during the firm’s 7th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos.
Ajayi, who also hailed the government new policy on forex, said the direction would stimulate the economy and the real estate subsector in particular, as there was hope for more foreign investments to come into the country.
“The new policy on forex is a positive step, as we all saw how we fared under the command and control approach the nation adopted before”, Ajayi had said, adding that: “It is better late than never.”
According to him, under the old policy, investors were not sure of their investments.“It was unfortunate that so much damage had been caused. We believe with the new policy, confidence will start returning into the economy.
“When the naira is stable, it will stimulate more of foreign investment into the country, and by implication, developers will have more money at the disposal to engage in worthwhile real estate developments.
“I don’t think the government has an option to change this policy, because if they do, we would see more devastating consequences.“We are likely to begin to see the positive aspect of this decision, as it is just necessary for naira to be market driven.”
Reviewing 2015, Ajayi said factors like global economy, sluggish GDP, shrinking of government revenue due to decline in oil price, high rate of inflation, volatility of the naira, dwindling foreign reserve and low performance of the Nigerian Stock Exchange undermined the performance of the real estate sector.
“While development activities continued in traditional commercial real estate cities such as Lagos and Abuja, operators exercised restraints with respect to new development starts.
“Developments for sale faced tough battle for patronage from shrinking markets. The real estate investment markets across the spectrum were not spared; growth slowed down, rental rates suffered a drop and void increase. Availability of development finance for projects took a deep, as traditional lenders struggled with their own challenges; and for those willing to fund, sluggish demand undermined projects’ viability. In the same vein, access to mortgage finance became more difficult, with interest rate mostly above 20 percent where available.”
But not all was gloomy in 2015, as notable development projects were delivered within the year across different property class, Ajayi said.Mindful of the forecasts for the national and global economies, Ajayi said Propertygate believes business opportunities will continue to be available to operators, who are resolved to forge ahead despite the odds.
“To succeed however, the requirements will go beyond mere doggedness, extending to innovation, appropriate strategic and tactical approaches, including reaching the deep realm of hope and faith”, assuring Propertygate’s shareholders and subscribers of his commitment to make the year a success.
According to him, judging from Propertygate’s expertise, philosophy and strong corporate governance, Ajayi said his firm may be delivering a cluster of 10 residential estates in Lagos and other states, where it sees opportunities to actualize its dream for the new year.