A non-governmental organisation- Roland Igbinoba Real Foundation for Housing and Urban Development (RIRFHUD) plans to launch its “State of the Abuja Housing Market Report 2017” on Monday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The report is the first of its kind housing market report for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It’s a compendium of a research work that has taken over a period of four years. The event is expected to bring together chief executives from the private, international and local sector, development partners and senior government officials. Also expected at the event are stakeholders of the Nigerian economy and top service providers from real estate industry across the country.

The report has helped in dimensioning the housing market in the FCT, in order to address the demand, supply and affordability gap currently experienced in the market. Furthermore, the report provides information that will help in bridging the gap created by dearth of reliable data and in-depth information in the ever increasingly complex demand for well-structured solutions in today’s global real estate market place.

Currently, Abuja is presently experiencing a remarkable rate of urbanization due to urban pull with an annual population growth rate estimated at 10per cent making it one of the fastest growing markets for residential real estate and construction development. With the associated problems of urbanization and high level of population growth, rapidly growing middle class, housing deficit, high cost of housing rentals, it is therefore imperative to properly dimension the housing market in order to address the demand, supply and affordability gap currently experienced in the market.

The report contains a house price index (Roland Igbinoba House Price Index) for the FCT, Abuja. In a market system, the relative prices of housing should reflect both their relative costs of production and their relative utilities to purchasers, whether the latter intend to use them for residential or commercial purposes. It reflects areas where home values are increasing or decreasing.

This study is the first to quantify the extent of housing demand in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. A major finding of the study is that there is huge demand for affordable housing opportunities in Abuja with an estimated gap of almost 600,000 housing units. The potential opportunities in this market are significant and deserve increasing attention. Investors in the market will miss the opportunities if they do not consider the realities of affordability across the socio-economic spectrum and design their products accordingly. The opportunities lie further down the income pyramid, where the bulk of the population sits.

Interestingly, 78 per cent of Abuja residents are positioned and desirous of owning their homes within the next 4 years. Also, when the Abuja data is disaggregated by Socio-economic (SEC) profile, the trend in willingness to accept rent-to-own housing policy is scattered across the income demographics. But it can be deduced from the findings that the upper segment population (C1, AB) are unwilling to accept rent-to-own housing policy.

Among this upper-class population virtually all (100 per cent) are very unwilling to accept the policy. It is understandable that members of the upper class are much likely to acquire their own house. On the opposite direction, the lower class and upper middle class [E(72%), D(82%), C2(89%)] showed level of willingness to accept the policy. The clamour therefore for Abuja residents is for the FCT government to emulate the rent to own policy already initiated by Lagos State.

RIRFHUD is a corporate social responsibility effort and a non-governmental initiative aimed at providing information and analytics 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. The Foundation has successfully published “The State of the Lagos Housing Market – 2009 and 2016 editions”.