How accessible and reliable data can improve real estate development – Temitope Runsewe

Construction industry experts have said that the lack of reliable data to support decision-making in Nigeria’s real estate and property industry has become a challenge that can no longer be ignored. According to them, the availability and accessibility of accurate, reliable, and timely data is critical to the optimal operation and development of the Real Estate sector.

In July of this year, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola had disputed the much-touted 17-million Housing deficit in Nigeria citing data inconsistency. The Minister said having consulted with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and some international organizations including the African Development Bank (AfDP) he had found nothing suggesting that Nigeria’s housing deficit figures are correct.

Fashola’s statement was met with criticism from the Nigerian real estate industry, but Mr. John Sunday, Head of Business Development at Dutum, a construction company in Nigeria believes that it is ​only through the availability of data that such conversations can be put to bed and stakeholders in the property market can make better decisions.

He added that price data are not the only statistics required for a comprehensive analysis of the housing market; the ratio of rented, owner-occupied houses and flats, the number and value of transactions, statistics on building permits/approvals, housing starts, and completions; all provide important insights into the structure and dynamics of the market and their driving factors from the supply and demand sides.

Chief Executive Officer of Octo5 Holdings, Mr. Jide Odusolu says the value of accessible real estate data benefits not only developers and the public sector but also real estate investors. “We have seen the role technology is playing in making data about the real estate industry more accessible to potential homeowners. This is helping us make informed choices as we continue to provide solutions that position real estate investments as a means to create economic freedom for more Nigerians” he added.

Expanding on the value of data to the real estate industry, Managing Director of Dutum Company Ltd, Mr. Temitope Runsewe added that:

“A detailed, accessible, and transparent property system will do more than just record and organize land and real estate assets; but could enhance a nation’s productivity. Real Estate data access enhances productivity and enables decision makers to be informed rapidly and at low cost, affords access to a wide range of insight and improves efficiency while significantly reducing the cost of goods and services.”

Temitope Runsewe, Managing Director, Dutum Company Limited

Advising on how data for the real estate industry can be sourced, the experts said that data can be sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics, relevant Ministries and agencies, Mortgage firms, financial institutions, land registries, real estate firms, research firms, news platforms, etc.

Other sources of Real Estate data, the experts believe, may include in-house data, building society surveys, market reports, auction results, and information published by the press. They however suggest that combining data from multiple sources would increase the reliability of data instead of relying on single sources and believe real estate industry stakeholders should leverage technology to improve data accessibility.

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