The forthcoming Abuja Housing Show (AHS) promises to be one of a kind with new innovations that the organizers are bringing to bear on its conception and execution. Unlike previous editions, which were quite successful in their own right, this year’s edition will be featuring a new dimension to be introduced by the Roland Igbinoba Foundation for Housing and Urban Development (RIRFHUD).

RIRFHUD will be making a spectacular presentation of the second quarter (Q2) 2017 house price index called  Roland Igbinoba House Price Index (RI Index).  The RI Index is a house price index designed to capture changes in the movement of the price of residential property across major cities in Nigeria. It measures changes in single-family home prices across a designated market. It reflects areas where home values are increasing, decreasing or remain constant.

The presentation which will be made on the second day of AHS, on July 18, will be preceded by elevated speeches to be led by BusinessDay Publisher/CEO, Frank Aigbogun; Managing Director, Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), Charles Inyangete and Lekki Gardens MD/CEO, Richard Nyong. Others are  the  Founder, Roland Igbinoba House Price Index (RI Index), Roland Igbinoba; Bola Onadele; KOKO, MD/CEO, FMDQ Securities,  and the Statistician General/CEO, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

RIRFHUD is a non-profit making organization with corporate social responsibility effort . It is also a non-governmental initiative aimed at providing information and analytics research to the residential real estate market in Nigeria. The Foundation is strictly set up as an institution for social capital, advocacy and policy making towards the development of the Nigerian housing market and ultimately the provision of affordable housing to the citizenry. It has successfully published ‘The State of the Lagos Housing Market, 2009 and 2016 editions’; and also ‘The State of Abuja Housing Market Report, 2017.

“With the level of acceptability and positive feedbacks received with respect to the publication of the first quarter RI Index for Lagos and Abuja, our plan is to repeat this achievement on a quarterly basis for the existing cities; and also launch the RI Index for other major cities”, revealed Roland Igbinoba to BusinessDay at the weekend.

He also disclosed that in the second quarter RI Index, Kaduna and Port Harcourt will come  their consideration, pointing out however that to sustain the continuous publication of the RI Index across the country requires huge financial resources, hence the partnership and support granted by the Abuja Housing Show.

The prospective beneficiaries of the RI Index are the stakeholders with interest in residential real estate market in Nigeria. They include but not limited to institutional investors, financial institutions, foreign investors, private equity firms, real estate developers, home buyers, government agencies and other individuals considering housing market as part of their portfolio to leverage on emerging opportunities in the fast-growing market.

The RI Index will provide necessary handy information to make decision on when to purchase a house, where and even what type of house to buy. Also, Analysts are enhanced with the usage of the RI Index to monitor long-term trends in house prices. The information on the index is not limited to buying a property but also when making renting decision. It aids optimization of choice.

The usefulness of the RI Index cuts across but not limited to the government (in making appropriate housing policy) and investors (by using the information to know the best location to invest or the type of housing that will maximize investment in the medium and long term). Even as an individual, it will provide guidance in making the choice on just purchasing his first home or making an investment in housing.

Following the presentation of the Q1, 2017 RI Index, there have been several requests to expand the index to other cities, apart from Lagos and Abuja. RIRFHUD wishes that those making the request would be part of the success story through generous support and partnership to help them do this. This report will bridge the gap created by the dearth of reliable data and in-depth information in the increasingly complex demand for strategic solutions in today’s residential real estate market in Nigeria.

“The foundation has been able to secure a partnership with NMRC, Lekki Gardens Limited and Business Day Newspapers who will be publishing the RI Index on a quarterly basis. In conjunction with RIRFHUD, there will also be a quarterly roundtable for the presentation of the RI Index”, Igbinoba informed.

The Q2 editioon of this index  will be covering four states including Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and Rivers. It plans to increase the coverage of the house price index on a quarterly basis until it fully covers all major cities that will enable investors adequately track house prices.

In the first quarter report of the RI Index, house prices varied across different sub-locations as some areas experienced an increase while others had a drop in their prices. Several areas in Lagos such as Agege, Ajah, Ibeju-Lekki and Isolo experienced gradual reduction in house prices throughout 2016, which extended to the first quarter of 2017.

In Agege, for instance, prices of 3, 4 and 5 bedroom houses fell by 8.6 percent, 28.6 percent and 9 percent respectively between the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. Prices in Ikoyi and Victoria Island still maintained an upward trend in spite of the recession. These areas are highbrow areas where most buildings are built with imported materials.

Another perspective to the behaviour of those prices in these highbrow areas is that most of the houses here are owned by extremely wealthy individuals who may not be in a rush to sell and thus unwilling to crash their prices even in the face of recession.

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