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By Olusesan Ogunyooye.
Design of Laird Place I Allen, Ikeja. Photo:
Amid uncertainties and myriad of challenges facing real estate development in Nigeria Saunders Development Company, a subsidiary of Sankore Investment, has projected an upward swing for the value of housing development in Ikeja in the next five years. This, according to the development company, is hinged on the urban renewal programme of government as well as other economic indices such as the growing middle class, accessibility to facilities, convenience, and proximity to Central Business District. This was revealed at a Buyers’ Forum organised by Saunders Development Company to unveil its Laird Place, Allen project. Speaking at the forum in Lagos, Managing Director of the Company, Ms. Titi Odunfa, said the project is a product of deep research and detailed management process. She hinted that it is a strategic development and a well thought through investment designed to return a guaranteed 12% to investors per annum for the next first five years. ‘The project is anchored on qualitative research of economic indices in the area, the current pricing of property in Ikeja, the growing middle class and the urban regeneration scheme on-going in that axis,’ she said. Ms. Odunfa explained that an average four bedroom apartment with similar facilities and standard of Laird Place, Allen sells at an average of N48 million. She added that with the increasing rate of the middle class, proximity to Central Business District and the urban regeneration in the area, there is a clear projection of an upward swing in the coming years. Further in her address, Odunfa assured that the developer-investor distrust on the project is not anticipated, as Sankore – a reputable investment management company – is releasing funds to ensure that the project is delivered as scheduled and with the proposed facilities. ‘Finance is a major factor when it comes to project development and delivery. Development processes are similar, but finance is responsible for failure to deliver. As a team, we have anticipated this and the finance aspect has been factored into the project, so we are sure that finance is sorted and investors can get delivery as promised.’ In his presentation, Mr. Damola Akindolire, an associate member of the Saunders Company said that while Sankore Investment takes care of finance on the developer’s side, the trio of First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Mortgages, GTHOMES and other partners have been brought on board to provide mortgage funds for interested investors, at moderate interest rates. He added that when completed, the value anticipated on the project can also return an immediate 8% on sales price and up to 30% annual returns thereby giving investors accessing the project through mortgage rest of mind. ‘This is a project that can pay its mortgage if properly structured,’ he assured. Mr. Damola, a seasoned builder, also stated that his company does not just intend to join a pool of developers, but to add value to investor’s portfolio and explore the potentials of a place like Ikeja as against the rush for the highbrow Lekki, Ikoyi and Victoria Island. He added that the design of the development factored-in the concept of “green building” by reducing the use of artificial lighting. He explained that its facility management design hinges on saving energy and wastages, which will in turn help investors spend less on service charge. The event, which had in attendance players from major sectors of real estate, as well as prospective buyers, also had multi award winning musician, Innocent “Tuface” Idibia, sign on as a buyer in the project. Laird Place is a fully serviced community built on 11, 000 square metres of land with modern flats and unique features such as club house, children’s play area, computerised services and more. It is billed to be delivered by June 2013.
At the Event: Tuface Idibia and Titi Odunfa, MD Saunders Development Company. Photo: Olusesan Ogunyooye

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This article was first published on 2nd July 2012

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