Lagos real estate projects under construction increased by 19% in 2021 – Estate Intel

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The real estate sector saw a 19% increase in the total number of projects under construction in 2021 relative to the year before.

This is according to the 2022 Lagos Pipeline Report by Estate Intel which described a summary of pipeline projects measured in terms of ongoing construction projects in multiple real estate sectors within Lagos.

The report which broke down sector analysis into office, residential, hospital, retail, healthcare and notable mentions marked an important shift and a return to relative bullish development activity, especially in new sectors of interest despite volatility in 2021.

For the residential sector, the report measures stock as the total number of housing units, while the measure for office, retail and industrial is in square meters. Hospitality and healthcare sectors are measured by the number of hotel keys and hospital beds respectively.

Highlight of the report

The data points to an undersupply in the healthcare and parts of the residential sector, with others; including office and retail, facing oversupply.

The office sector has a total pipeline that is over 25% of existing stock, presenting a worrying outlook for vacancies in the years to come as larger leasing activity is still driven by relocations while the small pipeline in the healthcare and residential sectors, which are both under 2.5% of total stock point to an exciting opportunity for investors.

The pipeline in the retail space is among the largest, however, most projects appear to be on hold indefinitely for a number of reasons including a depreciating currency and poor access to foreign exchange, as such those projects have been removed.

Office Pipeline

In the office sector, the combination of vacancies ranging between 12%-36% in Grade A and B properties, coupled with a 24-month development pipeline that is over 25% of stock necessitating a negative sector outlook.

Despite a large total pipeline of 324,000m2, only 63% is currently under construction. Others remain on hold, conceptual or in implementation phases. The largest deliveries expected during 2022 include Famfa Oil Tower and the Azuri Office Tower who announced technical completion during December 2021.

Residential Pipeline

The residential market in Lagos has been in a state of constant undersupply as the population and demand continue to grow at a faster pace than housing delivery. According to the data, up to 18, 918 units are in the pipeline, which will lead to the growth of the current stock by 1.2% upon completion.

Notably, well-built projects, especially with developers with a track record, continue to perform well, spelling a positive market outlook, especially in non-luxury segments.

Hospitality Pipeline

With less than 1,000 new additions to supply during 2021, last year was a slow year for the hospitality industry in Lagos. Though the city has a pipeline of over 3,000 keys, among the top 5 largest for any African city, most have been on indefinite hold for over 3 years, denoting an oversupplied market.

Retail Pipeline

Currently representing 60% of total stock, Lagos’ retail pipeline is the largest relative pipeline in any property sector we are currently tracking. However, only 19% of this is active and under construction, as most currently remain on hold due to the state of the market.

Except for Ikeja City Mall, where vacancy levels have remained minimal, Lagos’ largest retail centres have experienced fluctuating vacancies levels over the past 5 years. When considered alongside poor access to the crucial foreign exchange required for imports, a depreciating currency and increasingly unaffordable rents, there is little room for new projects to thrive. Hence, the market is classified as oversupplied, with a negative outlook.

Healthcare Pipeline

The Lagos healthcare industry is undersupplied and presents an exciting opportunity for investors. With the clear supply gap in the healthcare sector, private developers are increasingly exploring the space with private equity or investor-operator type models. Quite notably, over 80% of the projects in the pipeline are already under construction, while the others remain conceptual. On this basis, the outlook is positive however, without growth in local healthcare operational competence, take-up may not be as fast as expected.

Points to note

Weak performance from traditional property sectors including office, retail, and hospitality, which have now been aggravated by the pandemic, has pushed real estate investors to explore new territory when deploying capital.

The result is rapid traction for non-conventional or historically overlooked property sectors including data centres, students and young professionals housing, industrial, as well as healthcare real estate, where there are exciting opportunities.

Also, the data also reveals that over 10% of projects to be delivered in Lagos over the next 5 years fall within these emerging sectors.

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