The fall in oil prices from Q3 2014 was the more visible commencement of a string of economic difficulties Nigerians would begin to experience. Stressed and depleted from defending the Naira with its savings, the central bank has had to devalue the Naira on two different occasions and then added a myriad of regulations on one hand to curb foreign exchange demand but also ensure the Dollar price doesn’t go out of the roof.

However, the CBNs recent monetary tightening policies as well as other topical issues such as 2015 elections, fuel scarcity, rising inflation and political uncertainties left the nation in gloom for the most part of H1 2015. As institutional and foreign portfolio investors exited, the equities market closed at a loss of -3.5% and a market capitalization at N11.4trn as against N14.03trn same time last year. While fixed income instruments continued to enjoy patronage, the nations’ bonds are being threatened by the consideration of JPMorgan’s intentions of removing Nigerian bonds from its SSA bond index should the illiquidity in the foreign exchange market persist till year end.

Following this, real estate activity was not as intense as previous periods. These economic and political upheavals were too consecutive and far-reaching for business to continue as usual. Land prices either stayed the same or improved only slightly. In some isolated cases they reduced. A lot of planned developments have been halted while on-going constructions continued at a slower pace as either materials and labour costs needed to be re-priced or factors such as feared political uprisings and fuel scarcity kept workers away from the construction site.

Fascinatingly, the news of a new government in Q2 helped stimulate the sector for the first time in 2015; the unexpected peace and calm rekindled new demand.

This is a concise review of the performance of the Nigerian real estate market in the first half of 2015; one of the toughest times the Nation has seen in over a decade.