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‘Why we’re worried about dearth of low-cost housing’

Palton Morgan Holdings is one player that has endured these circles and which ev

Housing is important to the development of any society, and it has both economic and welfare effects.

A development economist, Prof Akpan Ekpo, said, “Economically, investment in housing contributes to fixed capital formation, employment and substantial backward and forward linkages with the rest of the economy.

“Its welfare effects include shelter for the populace, access to health and educational facilities. Improved access to health and education services, as well as employment opportunities may lead to higher productivity and income for poor families.”

The real estate sector has gone through a boom and bust. The burst, which has been quite frequent, has helped to throw up resilient players with the never-say-die spirit.

Palton Morgan Holdings is one player that has endured these circles and which evolution has given rise to its subsidiaries that comprise PropertyMart, Grenadines Homes and Oceanna.

The firm has remained focused on acquisition, sales, construction and marketing of prime residential properties and superior client advisory services.

Regarded as one of the most successful real estate development and investment brands led by Nigerians and international teams, the management of Palton Morgan are worried about the dearth of low-cost housing in Nigeria.

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of Palton, Adeyinka Adesope, in a recent interview, said, “Affordable housing cuts across all the segments of the market: high, middle and low. What we did to address these different segments was to break our company into three. We have the one we started out with, that is PropertyMart, still playing at the bottom of the pyramid.

“Grenadines Homes caters to middle and a bit of high end; Oceanna is in the high-end segment, but we have democratised it to a point where customers who have been with us could have a place there.”

Speaking on the economic and policy headwinds, Adesope said, “In Nigeria, something must be driving you to remain in business. Then, to grow and continue to expand without being frustrated or discouraged by the contradictions you find in our policies and economy, something more substantial must be driving you.”

He explained, however, that as a company, job creation had been a major driver and hence, “I will, therefore, say that it is creating jobs, redefining the landscape of Nigeria and beautifying the skylines that are really key to some of the things that are driving us as a company.”

Alone, the company knows it cannot create all the jobs or change all the narratives, but it can inspire the movement and sell the right culture which is what they have done with Oceanna – an iconic development located in Victoria Island, Lagos, with breath-taking architecture and arresting façade.

Adesope recalled that before this development, many high-rise buildings in Lagos were like council flats in the UK, but that people would call those buildings luxury developments just because they were on 15th floor and located in Ikoyi. Buyers even paid a lot of money to acquire them.

He said that with the architecture of Oceanna, they had been able to change the narrative such that “now when you come into the market, you see good architecture; people are redefining the skyline with the kind of development we see.”