The changes are quite visible. In place of single-family housing, high-rise towers have become the development option of choice rather than the exception. Office blocks formerly on the fringes of the residential area have of late been feeling more at home tucked in between the sprouting apartment blocks. Also, more buildings than ever before are today being converted into offices and shopping complexes.
Today developers are reshaping, redesigning and redeveloping the community, bringing more value for properties in the location. Individuals are reforming the real estate sector, which has become fundamental to propelling economic development and alleviating poverty in Nigeria.
A lot of new developments including residential estates and commercial properties are springing up in major streets. City-based estate surveyors and valuers say the Ikoyi real estate market is having increased activity. A partner in the firm of Ubosi Eleh & Company, Mr. Chudi Ubosi told The Guardian, “the state of the Ikoyi real estate market is fair. “It’s not strong but at the same time it cannot be said to be weak. There is still demand for Ikoyi properties whether for lease or sale.
“Ikoyi represents the cream of real estate investments in Nigeria and as such, there is a constant demand for it. All the top chief executive officers, industrialists, diplomatic Corp, all find refuge in Ikoyi either as offices or residences. Rents are high and sometimes denominated in foreign currency. “I would not say there is a rebound per say, but surely the market is seeing signs of increased activity. It will be a while before we see activities in transactions like pre 2014.
According to him, the increase in development being witnessed is such that real estate takes a long incubation period. “Site acquisition, design, approvals and raising finance all take a lot of time. Many developers in Ikoyi will not ordinarily delay their developments because of economy.
“For a lot of them an Ikoyi development is the crown on their rise through the business world. Many such developments as we see now may not be purely economic but including social and a hedge for inflation etc. The developers may not necessarily be looking purely towards rental returns only,” he said.
The Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Faculty of Estate Agency and Auctioneering,, Sam Eboigbe said, “we see some purposeful activities in Ikoyi area , especially in high-rise commercial and residential portfolios.
“Though sector has in the last three years witnessed low activities as a result of the economic meltdown but there are some positive indicators that will give stakeholders ray of hope.CBN is encouraging banks to resume and increase loan advances to customers.This is a healthy development and would ultimately influence activities in that sector.