The continuous surge in the cost of living in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial centre and the most populous city is forcing people to move into shared apartments.
BusinessDay’s findings show that lots of youths and first-time parents are now moving into shared apartments owing to the high cost of rental in the Lagos metropolitan and accelerating inflation.
“I earn N170,000 monthly and can’t afford to pay for a mini-flat between N700,000 and N900,000, depending on the location,” said Timothy Adegoke, an accountant in a consultancy firm in Ikeja.
“It is only on the outskirts of the city you will find a mini-flat for between N350,000 to N450,000. I can’t reside there because I will still end up spending my entire money on transportation since it is far from my office,” Adegoke said.
He noted these and the continuous surge in all items in the country, made him move into a three bedroom shared apartment.
“I decided to rent a shared apartment which is cheaper because I have to share the cost and it is close to my office,” he said.
Yewande Olatubosun, a business analyst was forced to rent a shared apartment when she realised all her savings couldn’t get her a decent apartment in the city.
“I was introduced to many shared apartments during my house hunting because my budget of N500,000 could not get me a mini-flat,” she said.
Olatubosun said that during her house hunting, she realised it was fast becoming the norm as there were many shared apartment options.
“When I was house hunting a lot of the shared apartments were sold out fast, most times I was shown the last room available in a flat and told to pay the same day. I missed out on a couple of rooms because someone else paid first,” she said.
“I have a room and bathroom to myself but share the kitchen with three other tenants in my shared apartment,” she noted.
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Favour Mahuyon explained that her new job in a new location required her house hunting and made her realise she could only afford a room in a shared apartment.
“When I got my current job in Lekki, I realised that I could only afford a single room even at that, the affordable ones were far from my office,” she said.
She said she had to settle for the shared apartment at Ajah as it was within her budget of N350,000 per year and N500,000 total.
Shared apartments are apartments with two or more people living in one permanent rental housing unit and sharing housing costs such as rent and utilities.
It is different from the popular ‘face me I face you house’ It is usually a two or three-bedroom apartment where each tenant takes a room and bathroom but all share kitchen space.
The occupants also have to deal with cramped spaces, farther distances, and unpleasant roommates just to afford a place to live.
Over the years, rents normally rise as a result of limited supply and high demand for both residential and commercial properties.
But now, the prices of rentals are surging owing to accelerating inflation which has continued to erode purchasing power. Nigeria’s inflation rate accelerated to 21.82 percent in May, the highest since 2005.
This coupled with higher property taxes, building materials, and utility costs are making it difficult for landlords to offer affordable rents.
Costs of building materials such as cement, reinforcements, finishing, and paints, have risen by over 150 percent in recent years.
Findings show that a lot of real estate and property-tech firms are adopting shared apartment arrangements and called names such as co-living spaces.
Solomon Moses a real estate agent said, “These days, 2 bedroom and 3 bedrooms rent out faster when they are put out as shared apartments.”
“We rent the rooms individually, even the sitting room too and then they share the kitchen, it is more affordable than self-contained apartments, especially in highbrow areas,” he noted.
He said it is efficient for single people or small families, as the total price of the apartment is shared amongst the tenants.