Experts have called for the creation of easily accessible financial structures tailored toward the female gender to enable them invest in real estate and own property.
They spoke at a conference tagged “women, wealth and real estate,” where Toyin Sanni, the group CEO/executive vice-chairman, Emerging Africa Group, stressed the need to close the gender disparity in wealth creation in the real estate sector in Nigeria.
Industry watchers believe there is a gender gap in Nigeria’s real estate sector as the number of men who own property far outstrips women. They attribute this to low income and the lack of access to mortgages by women.
“Women make up a small fraction of more than 10 million billionaires according to Forbes; there is a bigger gap in wealth inequality with determining factors including income, savings, investment, retirement savings and it’s sad to note that women lag in all these categories,” Sanni said at the event.
She noted that women were more likely to be denied mortgage loans, adding that “the system is still rigged in favour of the men.”
“Women are losing jobs more than men; there is a need to improve the range of real estate jobs available for women. In Nigeria, we need more women in places where mortgages or loans are being approved,” Sanni added.
Tosin Ajose, founding partner, DealHQ partners said women own less than 10 percent of all real estate assets currently existing in Nigeria.
“This is why we’re organising this symposium to build a community of women, creating wealth with real estate,” Ajose said.
For Mercy Aminah, CEO of First Fiduciary, a Lagos-based wealth management company, there is a huge disparity in gender pay which is causing unequal distribution of income.
“A huge gap is the gender pay looking at disposable income, it is not the supply issue but an issue of effective demand,” she said.
Uzo Oshogwe, the CEO Afriland Properties, said there was a need to break the growing gender bias in the real estate sector.
“Women need to collaborate more, come together with like minds and do things for themselves,” she explained.
She narrated how women can key into investment programmes that will allow them to invest in hotels, hospitals and encourage themselves to do well in the real estate business.
Omorinsola Ipaye, founder and CEO, K.Parkwood Property Services noted that technology has democratised access to real estate investment opportunities which a lot of women can leverage.
“Women can collaborate, set up clubs for their sisters and friends like an investment club the way you invest in shares in a country, you can invest in real estate to own a hotel or a retail home,” Ipaye said.
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