Despite an estimated 477,966 housing units deficit in Abuja, Roland Igbinoba, an economist and property expert says that property developers in the federal capital territory are pouring money into housing projects that yield far less returns. According to him, this accounts for the many unoccupied houses in the upscale areas of Maitama, Asokoro, Garki and Wuse areas of the city.
Igbinoba, executive vice chair, Roland Igbinoba Real Foundation for Housing and Urban Development (RIRFHUD), however, attributed this trend to a lack of workable data and statistics in housing and urban development in the FCT.
The housing deficit figures, though represent vast investment potentials in ancillary industries like cement, artisanship and so on, all these could go to waste if the right buyers are not targeted.
“83 percent of Abuja residents want simple ready-to-buy flats; 80 percent also of Abuja residents would prefer a rent-to-own policy,” says Igbinoba, adding that the figures show that there is more market in servicing low income earners in the economy.
Igbinoba made this disclosure at the presentation of the first ever Abuja Housing Market Report published by RIRFHUD.
The last time housing data was updated in Abuja was in 1991. But in arriving at the housing deficit figure, the foundation had to rely on data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics on population projection and housing needs of the FCT per annum.