Before now, global real estate was a hot topic, with investors flocking to markets around the world in search of where opportunities existed. Africa, particularly Nigeria with its large-size market, was regarded as a green field that offered opportunities in diverse sectors.
But with the global economy constantly shifting and changing with galloping inflation, instability and rising costs, it is no longer easy to predict where money will go next in real estate markets.
Nigeria, for instance, which was a preferred destination for investors in retail, residential and commercial office space where demand and return on investment were quite encouraging, has become unattractive due to inflation, rising energy cost and other macroeconomic issues.
However, all hope is not lost. There are pockets of opportunities to tap from. One trend that has been gaining traction in recent years, according to the experts, is the move towards ‘smart cities’ which, they explain, are urban areas that use technology and data analysis to improve the quality of life for residents and enhance the efficiency of city services.
“These cities are designed to be sustainable, livable, and economically competitive, and they are becoming increasingly popular among both residents and investors,” Udo Okonjo, CEO, Fine and Country, West Africa, explained further.
She cited Songdo in South Korea as one smart city that has been drawing a lot of attention from real estate investors, noting that Songdo is a planned city that was built on reclaimed land near Incheon International Airport.
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“The city features state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure, including a high-speed wireless internet network, a waste management system that uses recycled water, and a transportation system that uses driverless cars and electric buses,” she added.
Okonjo noted that another trend that is likely to continue gaining momentum in the global real estate market is the growing interest in co-living spaces which are designed for people who want to live in a shared living environment but still have their own private space. They are becoming, increasingly, popular among millennials who are looking for more affordable housing options and a sense of community.
“Co-living spaces can take many forms, from apartment buildings with shared kitchens and living areas, to dormitory-style housing for students or young professionals. Some examples of co-living spaces include The Collective in London and The Wing in New York City,” she said.
She added that the trend towards sustainable living is also likely to significantly impact the global real estate market in the coming years. With concerns about climate change and the environment increasing, more and more people are looking for homes and buildings that are energy-efficient and have a smaller carbon footprint.
This has led to an increase in the construction of green buildings, which use sustainable materials and technologies to reduce energy consumption and minimize the impact on the environment. Some examples of green buildings include the Bullitt Center in Seattle, which is considered to be one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world, and the One World Trade Center in New York City, which is the tallest LEED-certified building in the world.
Okonjo revealed that investment in global real estate is not only limited to these trends, there are other markets which are also showing potential for growth. For instance, the real estate market in India has been growing rapidly in recent years, driven by a growing population and increasing urbanization. The government’s “Housing for All by 2022” initiative also boosted the demand for housing in the country.
Similarly, the real estate market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also been growing, driven by a growing population and a strong economy. Dubai, in particular, has become a popular destination for tourists and ex-pats, and the government has been investing heavily in infrastructure and real estate development to accommodate this growth.
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