A top player in the real estate industry and vice chairman, Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Rivers State chapter, Mr Hamiliton Odom, has said that a robust population was pivotal in delivering the Nigerian economy from recession.
Odom, also the principal partner in Hamilton Odom & Co Estate Surveyors and Valuers, noted “we are lucky that we have a robust and vibrant population which, in no time, would get us out of recession “.
Odom who spoke with The Tide, Monday in his office in Port Harcourt, lamented however, that the real estate sector had been the worst hit in the current economic situation in the country, saying, “with cash problems, people could hardly meet their obligations, especially tenants’ obligations to their landlords’.
He went on to say that one of the challenges facing the sector was the inability to gain access to funds to carry out development, explaining that this was orchestrated by none possession of titles to the properties.
According to him, “the greatest problem in Rivers State has been on Title. People having access to good title for their properties, the banks always insist for you to have it to access facilities, your property must have a certificate of occupancy and, as we speak, more than 50 per cent of the properties in Port Harcourt do not have that”. It is a problem for most indigenous developers to have access to fund.
He however lauded Governor Nyesom Wike led administration, saying that, “this administration has tried in that respect, if you apply now, wihtin three months you will have it, though the charges are high.
On why the lowering rent was not commensurate with the dip in the nation’s fortures, Odom, explained that the issue of rents coming down is market driven.
He explained that rents are lower, “but minimal in Port Harcourt, because as earlier said, the state has a robust population and there is still much money chasing the few available houses, but in reality, market values of properties are dropping”.
“Take for instance, a plot at Odili Road, in Port Harcourt which used to go for N30 million, now, it is 15-18 millions, the people purchasing power is actually not as strong as before”.
Stories by Tonye Nria-Dappa