According to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Nigerian Real Estate Services sector recorded a negative growth rate of -4.75% in Q1:2020. The sector began to slow down in 2015 and fell into recession during Q1:2016. Since then, 17 quarters have passed and all but Q1:2019 were negative. This performance speaks more to the health of companies offering real estate services, as the NBS tracks the tax returns of these firms to measure growth. Essentially, since the start of 2016, all these companies are paying much less tax.
In contrast, the construction sector grew by 1.69% compared to 1.31% recorded in Q4:2019 and 3.18% recorded in the same quarter of the previous year. For this sector, the NBS measures the quantum, volume, and sales of construction materials to track the performance of this sector.
Nigeria’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.87% in Q1:2020 (year-on-year) in real terms. This growth rate, although lower than the 2.55% recorded in Q4:2019, beat the expectations of analysts for the quarter as the global health pandemic; COVID-19 caused significant disruptions through lower oil prices, government-imposed lockdowns and lower economic output.