Real estate investment should go beyond homeownership – Howells

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

There is more to investing in the real estate industry than just owning houses, the Managing Director, Beyond Building Investment Limited, Lanre Howells, has said.

According to him, to create wealth out of a real estate investment, it should be seen as more than just putting a roof over one’s head, but a business venture such as investing in the capital market.

Howells stated that investing in a real estate portfolio remained one of the best investment options for those looking to create wealth.

He said, “Real estate has become a viable platform for growing wealth; about 90 per cent of millionaires in the last two decades made money through the industry. The problem we have in our society is what I call the landlord syndrome, our people are positioned towards becoming landlords, but not from the profit point of view; this is a major issue.

“Though our environment has not created a platform for people to trade their money in real estate and make profit, but you don’t have to own a house before you invest in real estate.”

Howells stated that Beyond Building had built a platform to encourage people to put their funds in real estate so as to challenge the status quo and ride on the wing of technology to deliver what the industry needs.

He noted that since 2000, the real estate industry had grown rapidly and recorded an average rate of 11.4 per cent between 2010 and 2015, and contributing 3.9 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Howells said, “Nigeria’s population is currently at over 180 million and growing at an average annual rate of three per cent, which remains a major driver of growth for the real estate industry. Urbanisation, growing middle class and increasing investment from local participants, including pension funds and mutual funds, are also major growth drivers.

“One of the secrets of the most successful real estate investment is to buy land on the fringe of development at an incredibly low price and exercise a little patience for capital appreciation as a reason of the development.”

He said the company had designed investment products broken down to as low as a monthly contribution into a real estate account for different classes.

He added that the investment portfolios were good for starters in real estate, looking to grow financial strength with low risk, and tenor of one to two years or short-term; two to five years or medium-term; and five years upwards for long-term investment.

Howells listed the firm’s investment initiatives to include the King’s Point Estate, which is a luxury development; Marvella Court for low-income earners; Varden Farms and Resort, for those interested in investing in farm house estates; and Rent Masters Realtors, adding that each of the initiatives had at least 20 per cent return on investment.

He said, “Beyond Building is a diverse commercial real estate investment firm, which provides a range of services to the capital market, which include acquisition, asset and property management, leasing, construction management, investment, advisory services, as well as development and disposition.

“Our trading portfolio offers absolute returns and at the same time ensuring that your capital is insured against losses and never tied down. It also has an easy cash out plan at any time you may want to pull out and your profit is annual but payable quarterly, with an option of convertibility of investment into land or unit ownership at the end of an investment period when offered.”

Howells said there was a need to change the homeownership mind-set, adding “People need to move away from just real estate growth to exponential growth, owning houses is good but growing wealth is better.”

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