“My area is residential real estate, my passion is housing and in Nigeria particularly, I believe in the democratisation of home ownership.”

Jide Alade

Jide Alade is a man who knows what his mission is as a businessman in Nigeria. His knowledge of real estate extends far beyond his passion for residential real estate. He has a long-term perspective on housing in Nigeria and has been able to see beyond the grandiose nature of Lagos to focusing on tapping into the resources and opportunities that Ibadan has to offer. His grasp on the problem that housing is facing in the country makes him a true visionary.

My first question is, were you born and raised in Ibadan?

I was born and raised in Ibadan. I grew up here; I went to Staff School, University of Ibadan. After Staff School, I left Ibadan for secondary school, University of Lagos, Youth Service Corps in Abuja then I went aboard. It was 5 years ago that I came back to Ibadan and started rediscovering my roots and I love it.
Most people know real estate as the buying and selling of houses.Can you expatiate on what real estate is?

Can you expatiate on what real estate is?

Real estate has anything to do with the built environment, any type of space that people live in, do business in, recreate in, shop in, is real estate. Our focus is on housing.

Tell us more about what you do and the impact it has on the Ibadan economy?

My area is residential real estate, my passion is housing and for Nigeria particularly I believe in the democratisation of home ownership. There are a lot of studies that tell us that the population of Nigeria is increasing rapidly and there is not enough housing, which is one big issue. Real estate is a driver of the economy, as you build you creates jobs, goods are bought and sold, and commerce is generated.

What are some of the problems you’ve found with the real estate sector in Nigeria?

A big issue we’ve been having in Nigeria is the ability to provide a payment methodology for people who are buying residential real estate and pay for it over time, that is, mortgage. That is a market that is still in its infancy. The percentage of mortgage outstanding to GDP in Nigeria is below 1%. A lot of advanced economies go much higher than that. So there’s very little mobility, people don’t move houses or change houses frequently which also affects the economy.

Any plans to branch out of residential real estate into other real estate facets?

At this time, the focus is residential and we might do something here or there in other sectors but not as a primary core of our business. There’s more than enough work to be done in the residential real estate space in Nigeria.

Have you always known that real estate was the path you wanted to take?

Growing up, I wanted to be a pilot but I didn’t have very good eyesight, apparently, guys that wear glasses don’t make very good pilots. I was discouraged from taking that path.  Very soon after, I discovered a love for the built environment, for making things, for designing so I got into architecture. I actually don’t actively practice architecture now; I’m more on the business side of things, business strategy, real estate development. After graduating from Unilag with a degree in architecture, I went to the United States and got my Masters in Real Estate Development and an MBA in Finance.

Am I  guessing right when I say there are no regrets for deciding to start your Real Estate Company in Ibadan?

I don’t think I have regrets about starting in Ibadan.  Obviously, every business has issues; I won’t call them regrets I’ll say they are learning pains that one has experienced in Ibadan and one would probably have experienced anywhere else. Ibadan is giving us the opportunity to build a distinct brand.

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