Why many completed houses remain unoccupied

…Estate surveyors, valuers board launches ‘Green Book’ to address issue

The Registrar of Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON), Ifeanyi Uzowanne, has attributed the large number of vacant houses across the country to the fact that most developers of the properties failed to consider market demands.

Uzowanne disclosed this while speaking on the sidelines of the 2018 Estate Surveyors and Valuers Assembly held recently in Abuja, which also culminated in the launching  of the Nigerian Valuation Standards (known as Green Book) to standardize, align and boost the quality of valuations for financial reporting purposes.

Uzowanne said there were many completed but unoccupied houses in virtually all states in Nigeria because the cost of most of the vacant buildings was far beyond the purchasing power of many Nigerians.

He said, “Why are these houses unoccupied? Is it because they are built without reference to what the market wants or that the rents are exorbitant?

“As the regulatory body of a profession that has to do with housing, we are concerned and that is why we say people should go to practitioners when they are making investments in housing so that they can put up houses that will meet the needs of consumers.”

The registrar added, “Most products are made based on what the market wants. When the people want two bedroom apartments and you give them duplexes, you are not building to what they need; if you build duplexes you are not meeting the needs of the people.”

He explained that the valuation standard unveiled by ESVARBON would help both dealers and consumers of properties in that regard.

“The standards that we’ve unveiled will help address this issue in a way, because most times it is not only estate valuers who produce houses. So the public is also expected to make sure that they don’t overprice properties and keep it out of the reach of some others who want it,” Uzowanne said.

Also speaking on the Green Book, the immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Abuja chapter, Adamu Kasimu, said the objective was in keeping up with global best practices in the real estate valuation industry.

He said the Green Book incorporates Professional Standards (PS) and Valuation Practice Statements (VPS) that all members providing a written valuation would be required to comply with and also sets out procedural rules and guidance for valuers, covering matters not only relating to ethics and conduct, but also establish a framework for uniformity and best practice in the execution and delivery of valuations.

“The Green Book dictates the manner in which every estate surveyor and valuer should behave – meaning the valuation of all professionals should tally in terms of form, context and reliability.

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