- Target building a post-pandemic future
Eight hundred African real estate investors and developers from 32 African and international countries are converging online for two days from today, 30th September, at the 11th annual African Property (API) summit virtual to network, gain new insights and build for the post-Covid-19 future. They are looking at the theme,’Resilience, Opportunity and Innovation (ROI), said Niyi Adeleye, head of real estate finance, Africa regions at Standard Bank.
Adeleye noted that while the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the real estate sector, those with the necessary capital have continued to seize opportunities and pursue their investments, albeit at a slower pace while investors that depended on external sources of capital appear to have mostly pushed their investment plans out, which is not surprising, he added.
He expressed caution on what will be the most effective plan to provide ROI for investors post-Covid-19 as it has been observed that the rate of recovery has been faster than anticipated, especially in non-resource dependent economies as well as established centres.
He maintained that customers appear to prefer the use of formal retail environments to less formal ones due to perceptions of better health and safety and this reinforces the growing adoption of many of these assets in key jurisdictions and nodes.
Adeleye also explained that currently, segments and emerging segments that are driven by corporate demand, such as offices, logistics and data centres, appear to have demonstrated some resilience. He remarked that emerging sectors like healthcare and affordable housing are driven by very wide demand and supply imbalances and will likely remain resilient going forward.
He, however, stressed that for African real estate to remain resilient and provide long-term ROI, all segments must ensure that the rate of supply growth is matched by addressable demand so as to avoid weaknesses in the property cycles.
Kfir Rusin, the host of the 2020 API Summit, which is set to present more than 100 speakers at this year’s online conference, commented that Adeleye’s views on the investment implications for the sector post Covid-19, will be of key interest to this year’s delegates.
According to Rusin, 2020 has been a challenging year for all, and the real estate sector has been hit particularly hard. He stated that one of the aims of the summit is to discuss how investors and developers explore how they can identify opportunities, as well as building resilience and innovation into their current and future projects.
He stressed that the pandemic has particularly exposed the weaknesses in the retail, hospitality and office sectors, while conversely it has highlighted the defensiveness of logistics and warehousing, corporate residential, as well as the need for data centres, healthcare and affordable housing investments across the continent.
Rusin noted that the challenges and proposed developments is one of the key themes that has emerged from the more than 35 API Events produced webinars and virtual conferences, which have been watched by tens of thousands of attendees in 2020.
The 2020 API Summit Virtual representing one of Africa’s most proactive and largest lenders to the commercial property sector is a platform set to enable real estate leaders actively developing projects and pursuing investments to be able to engage with decision makers from the safety and comfort of their homes and offices.