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A Research Proposal on Real Estate Development Risk and Its Implication for Project Viability in the Port Harcourt Metropolis

Background to the Study

Any region’s economic environment is significantly influenced by real estate development, which acts as a major engine of expansion and advancement (Brill & Robin, 2020). The real estate industry in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, is thriving because of the city’s advantageous location and promising economy (Guironnet et al., 2022). The city has seen a rise in residential and commercial real estate development, which is indicative of its appeal to investors. Notwithstanding the encouraging outlook, the industry faces numerous hazards that present substantial obstacles to the feasibility of projects (Henneberry & Parris, 2021).

Decisions about investments and sustainable development are greatly impacted by the complex hazards present in Port Harcourt’s real estate market (Ferm & Raco, 2020). Among the main risk issues facing real estate developers in the area are regulatory uncertainties, market volatility, and infrastructure challenges (Beswick et al., 2022). These hazards have the potential to cause project cancellations, cost overruns, and delays, which would erode investor confidence and impede socioeconomic development. For anyone attempting to negotiate the intricacies of the Port Harcourt real estate market, a thorough grasp of these risks and their ramifications is therefore essential (Gallent et al., 2021).

To make well-informed decisions and implement effective risk management techniques, it is critical to recognise and evaluate the main hazards connected to Port Harcourt real estate development (Gyourko & Linneman, 2021). By acknowledging the distinct obstacles encountered by developers, governments and investors can devise focused measures aimed at efficiently mitigating these risks (Campbell et al., 2022). Furthermore, to guarantee the long-term sustainability of real estate endeavours in the area, it is vital to comprehend the ramifications of these risks on project viability (Brill, 2020).

The risk profile of the real estate industry in Port Harcourt is significantly shaped by the regulatory environment (Colenutt, 2020). Project budgets and schedules can be greatly impacted by uncertainties about zoning laws, land tenure, and permitting procedures (Leffers, 2018). Furthermore, modifications to governmental laws and regulations may bring up new uncertainties, making the investment environment for developers even more challenging (Gallent et al., 2018). Thus, improving project viability in Port Harcourt’s real estate sector requires addressing regulatory concerns and fostering openness in the regulatory framework (Heslop & Ormerod, 2020).

Another major obstacle for Port Harcourt real estate developers is market instability (Ballard & Harrison, 2020). The financial performance of real estate projects can be impacted by changes in the economy, demand-supply dynamics, and property prices (Lizieri et al., 2020). Furthermore, market volatility can be made worse by outside variables like geopolitical developments and worldwide economic trends, which increases the uncertainty that developers must deal with (McKenzie & Atkinson, 2020). Developers can lessen the effect of market volatility on project profitability by putting risk mitigation techniques into practice, such as diversifying project portfolios and using flexible financing arrangements (Nethercote, 2020).

Significant barriers to Port Harcourt’s real estate development are related to infrastructure issues (Mosselson, 2020). According to Mouton and Shatkin (2020), insufficient infrastructure, such as roads, utilities, and public services, can hinder project implementation and make investment possibilities less appealing. Furthermore, a lack of infrastructure resilience can make developments more vulnerable to environmental dangers and flooding, which would increase project vulnerabilities (Omstedt, 2020). Improving the resilience of real estate developments in Port Harcourt requires addressing infrastructure shortcomings and funding sustainable infrastructure initiatives (Özogul & Tasan-Kok, 2020).

As a result, real estate development in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, offers a substantial chance for the advancement of the local economy. Nonetheless, several hazards in the industry could jeopardise a project’s viability and long-term sustainability. Among the main risk issues facing developers in the area are uncertain regulations, volatile markets, and infrastructure difficulties. Comprehending these hazards and their consequences is crucial for well-informed decision-making and efficient risk mitigation tactics. Stakeholders can improve the resilience and profitability of real estate projects in Port Harcourt and promote sustainable development and economic prosperity in the area by addressing these issues and putting focused solutions into place.

Statement of Problem

In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, the real estate industry offers a promising but complicated development landscape with significant economic potential and several obstacles. Even while the amount of knowledge about real estate development is expanding worldwide, little is known about the unique dynamics and difficulties experienced by developers in Port Harcourt. Although several concerns such as market volatility, infrastructure challenges, and regulatory uncertainties are acknowledged, there is a dearth of empirical research that thoroughly evaluates these risks and their consequences for project feasibility within the Port Harcourt setting.

Previous research frequently ignores the particular difficulties and opportunities that exist in Port Harcourt in favour of concentrating on more general concerns about the Nigerian real estate market or other international contexts (Gallent et al., 2021). As a result, there are insufficient strategies and focused interventions to meet the unique requirements of developers working in the area. This knowledge gap prevents stakeholders, such as legislators, investors, and developers, from making well-informed decisions, which results in less-than-ideal outcomes and lost chances for sustainable growth.

Additionally, while some studies have identified important risk factors such as infrastructure limitations and regulatory concerns, little study has been done to look at how these elements interact and how that affects the overall feasibility of the project (Brill & Robin, 2020). To improve the resilience of real estate projects in Port Harcourt and create efficient risk management plans, it is crucial to comprehend the intricate relationships that exist between various risk elements.

Therefore, empirical research that explores the unique difficulties faced by Port Harcourt real estate developers and their consequences for project viability is desperately needed. Researchers can aid in the creation of evidence-based policies and actions targeted at promoting a favourable climate for real estate investment and sustainable development in the area by addressing this knowledge gap.

Aim and Objectives of the Study

The main Aim of this study is to investigate real estate development risk and its implication for project viability in the Port Harcourt Metropolis. The study the specific objectives include:

  1. To identify the key risks associated with real estate development in the Port Harcourt metropolis.
  2. To assess the implications of these risks on the viability of real estate projects in the region.
  3. To recommend strategies for mitigating identified risks and enhancing project viability in Port Harcourt’s real estate sector.

Research Questions

The study will address the following research questions:

  1. What are the primary risks faced by real estate developers in the Port Harcourt metropolis?
  2. How do these risks impact the viability of real estate projects in the region?
  3. What strategies can be employed to mitigate these risks and improve project viability?

Research Hypotheses

Based on the research questions, the following hypotheses are formulated:

Null Hypotheses(H0):

  1. There is no significant relationship between regulatory uncertainties and project viability in Port Harcourt’s real estate sector.
  2. Market volatility does not significantly affect the financial performance of real estate projects in the Port Harcourt metropolis.
  3. Infrastructure challenges have no substantial negative impact on the timely completion and profitability of real estate developments in Port Harcourt.

Alternative Hypotheses(H1):

  1. There is a significant relationship between regulatory uncertainties and project viability in Port Harcourt’s real estate sector.\
  2. Market volatility significantly affects the financial performance of real estate projects in the Port Harcourt metropolis.
  3. Infrastructure challenges have a substantial negative impact on the timely completion and profitability of real estate developments in Port Harcourt.

Significance of the Study

This study carries profound implications for various stakeholders involved in the real estate sector in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Firstly, it offers valuable insights into the intricate dynamics of real estate development in the region. By comprehensively analyzing the multifaceted risks and challenges faced by developers, investors, and policymakers, this study provides a nuanced understanding of the factors influencing project viability. These insights enable stakeholders to make informed decisions regarding investment, project planning, and policy formulation, ultimately contributing to the sustainable growth and development of the real estate sector.

Secondly, the identification of key risks and their implications facilitates the development of targeted interventions and strategies by policymakers. By understanding the specific challenges faced by developers in Port Harcourt, policymakers can formulate robust regulatory frameworks and infrastructure development plans tailored to address these issues. This proactive approach not only enhances the attractiveness of the real estate market but also creates a conducive environment for investment and economic growth. Moreover, by aligning regulatory measures with industry needs, policymakers can foster innovation and competitiveness within the real estate sector.

Thirdly, the study offers practical recommendations for developers and investors to mitigate risks effectively. By highlighting best practices and risk management strategies, the study empowers stakeholders to navigate the complexities of the real estate market in Port Harcourt. From implementing due diligence measures to diversifying project portfolios, these recommendations aim to enhance project viability and ensure long-term sustainability. By adopting these practices, developers and investors can minimize potential setbacks, maximize returns on investment, and contribute to the overall development and prosperity of the region.


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