Real Estate Surplus in Eastern Nigeria; Surviving Hardship

Nigeria’s economy and ability to provide adequate housing remains unpredictable, but there’s a glimpse of hope given the Real Estate Surplus in Eastern Nigeria. Ever since the end of the Nigerian civil war, the Igbos of South East Nigeria left their region in droves in search of greener pastures in other parts of the country and the world, but one of the principles the Igbos evolved through their toughest time is to take their wealth home.

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This led to the erection of majestic structures in South East villages. And today the strategy has created a real estate surplus in Eastern Nigeria. This real estate treasure may be the next hunt as the emerging housing challenges could make building a house a tough challenge for several Nigerians as the economy of the county plummets.

The major contributing factor to the Real Estate Surplus in Eastern Nigeria was the hash policies of some sectors of the Nigerian government immediately after the Nigerian/Biafran war. The case of abandoned properties in Portharcourt, where houses that the Igbos formerly owned were occupied by other nationalities as the Igbos left their properties behind when Biafra seceded from Nigeria.

Biafra was a move by the old Eastern region dominated by the Igbos to secede from Nigeria. Given the secession, the Igbos had to leave other parts of the country and head home. Upon the end of the civil war that resulted from the declaration of Biafra by the Eastern region, the Igbos were denied several of their properties.

The war lasted three years, between 1967 and 1970; it changed the position of the Igbos from the most powerful economic block to a poverty-stricken people. Coupled with the abandoned property saga, the Igbos would learn the hard way that a house at home is worth over two away from home. This mindset evolved and has today resulted in a Real Estate Surplus in Eastern Nigeria.

After the civil war that cost millions of lives, the Igbos would return to their former houses in Portharcourt to a heartbreaking surprise; their buildings were then classified as abandoned properties, which they had no right to reclaim.

The event struck a note in the psychology of Igbos, who ever since have maintained a principle to build in their homeland. After decades of this approach to wealth, the Igbos have built some of the most magnificent villages in Africa, which may become useful as the fortunes of Nigeria face a tough time.

Southeast Nigeria has the most amazing villages in Nigeria, and as the economy of Nigeria keeps nosediving, this real estate surplus in Eastern Nigeria can be a saving grace. The spiral impact of the petrol subsidy removal by the Nigerian government has impacted all aspects of Nigerian life. The cost of living has reached a historic high, and the future of the real estate sector in Africa’s most populous country has become unpredictable.

The South East Nigeria is the homeland of the Igbos, a business-oriented tribe. The Igbos have been on a building spree for decades now. This has seen the erecting of affluent mansions in the countryside. Often these mansions are rarely occupied; at other times, it is under-occupied, usually coming under use just a few days of the year.

For most houses in rural areas, they are usually used during the festive period when there used to be a mass exodus of the Igbos from different parts of the country and the world. This happens during the Christmas and New Year periods.

Since the Igbos are avid travelers and traders, most of these houses built in the villages are not adequately put to use most times; however, the change in the Nigerian fortune may bring a rethink among the population. The cost of building new houses is skyrocketing. Most likely, house rent will keep soaring if the government does nothing tangible to reduce hardship. This rise in the cost of building materials may not move the Igbos as there’s already a Real Estate Surplus in Eastern Nigeria, which is the Igbo’s home region.

Several people are struggling to feed as hunger has become very severe among the population. Building a house doesn’t seem to be the priority of a majority of Nigerians currently; however, the price increase in building materials is painting a dark picture for the real estate sector. For the past few weeks, the price of cement has more than doubled. Cement is the primary material for building and other forms of construction in Nigeria.

With the continued rise in cement and other building material prices in Nigeria, it is most likely that there will be a reduction in the number of new building projects. Despite this potential building stalemate in the country, the real estate surplus in eastern Nigeria may pay off. If the cost of building, rent and leasing houses continue to rise, the Igbos may have no other option than to head home and put their mansions to use in the countryside.

These unoccupied and under-occupied buildings may be the answer to the potential housing crises that could be unavoidable if the price of building materials doesn’t come down. Thousands of houses are currently out of use in the East; they are mostly elegant structures and furnished. It could be appropriate to look at these structures as we struggle to find solutions to the current economic challenges.

The reality is that people are struggling to feed, and housing is not even considered the biggest problem currently but sooner or later, it will be a concern. Perhaps the real estate surplus in eastern Nigeria is going to be a role player; the relocating Igbos would also create a vacancy where they used to occupy in other places like Lagos, thereby relaxing housing pressures there.

Given a strong financial disposition, it is very unlikely that the Igbos are going to be the first to start relocating to their home regions given the economic hardship. The Easterners may have extra to spend on house rent in places like Lagos as they continue their business. The case is such that if push comes to shove, the real estate surplus in Eastern Nigeria could come into use.

The impact of the economic hardship in Nigeria is yet to be seen; however, Easterners seem to be calmer in the face of the situation. It is also likely that the Easterners may not head home in droves as the hardship bites; however, if there ever comes a time when this becomes the option of last resort, I guess the Igbos have created a real estate surplus in Eastern Nigeria that could offer temporary relief in the face of an unpredictable real estate future in the country.

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