Two major things rising costs has done in Nigeria in the area of housing is that it has it forced many people, especially families to change address from one level of settlement to another. Two is that many people have been compelled to redefine and re-imagine their accommodation.
What the rental market in most Nigerian cities, particularly Lagos and Abuja, have seen in the last eight years which worsened in the last eight months, is many families moving from highbrow areas to mid-income settlements and some in the mid-income settlements moving to the suburbs.
Along the line, apartment sizes are being downgraded from duplexes to three-bedroom and from three-bedroom to two-bedroom. Many have even down-graded to one-room self-contained or what is popularly among the millennials known as studio apartment.
This is why demand for small family units is quite high and it favours most two-bedroom apartments. MKO Balogun confirmed this to BusinessDay in an interview, saying that 60 percent of people looking for houses to rent are looking for small family units with two-bedroom apartment topping the least.
In Lagos, getting a flat for rent can be quiet a task. This is because the city’s large-size population makes it difficult for renters to find their desired apartment easily and at affordable cost. This explains why fraud risk in the city’s rental market is very high.
There are, however, some locations in the city that are considered attractive destinations for renters looking for two-bedroom flats. This house-type is not only affordable, but also available. These are Lekki on Lagos Island, Surulere, Ilupeju and Gbagada, all on Mainland Lagos.
Apart from Lekki, the rest of these locations are populated by middle-income earners who can afford what landlords demand from home seekers in that part of town which are all at the city centre.
The average price of 2-bedroom flats for rent in Lagos is ₦2million per annum. The most expensive flat in the city goes for about ₦14 million per annum while the cheapest costs ₦350,000 per annum.
Nigeria Property Centre, an online property barometer, estimates the number of 2-bedroom flats in the market for rent in Lagos at 1,788 units. These are the ones listed by estate agents who are everywhere in the market.
Lekki is regarded as part of Lagos Island and has most of the trappings of a highbrow area. For good reasons, it has become an attractive location for investment in real estate in general and apartment properties in particular. Demand for apartments is high in this location.
BusinessDay findings show that 15.7 percent of people looking for houses to rent flock to that area, while as high as 52.7 percent of them are looking for small size apartments, mostly two-bedroom. On the average, rent for two-bedroom apartment here is N3.5million.
Because of its good location which places it close to Ikoyi and Victoria Island, most of the people who work in these places find homes in Lekki and these are mostly young executives that work in banks and oil companies. This set of people look out for studio and two-bedroom apartments.
Many investors are already responding to this demand. A case in point is Blue Water Lagos-a 17 storey residential building comprising 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments sitting in the heart of Lekki. The two-bedroom apartments are more in number than other house-types.
In Ilupeju rent for 2-bedroom flats ranges from ₦1 million to ₦2 million. The average rent for this house-type here is ₦1.5 million per annum. The most expensive flat in the area goes for ₦4.9 million per annum while the cheapest costs ₦1 million per annum.
Often referred to as ‘Indian Village’, Ilupeju is located on the Lagos mainland in Mushin Local Government Area. The majority of Ilupeju’s people are from the working class. Town Planning Way, Tinubu Road, Ilupeju Bypass, Coker Road, and Ilupeju Industrial Avenue are all popular routes in the area.
The area is sought after not only because of its good road infrastructure, but also because of its accessibility and flexibility in terms of transportation and movement to other locations.
Gbagada is another good location where 2-bedroom attracts between N1million and N2 million rent. The average rent for 2-bedroom flats here is ₦1.7 million per annum while the most expensive flat rents for ₦2.9 million per annum. The cheapest flat in this location costs ₦720,000 per annum.
This neighbourhood is a vantage point in Lagos. It is located between the local governments of Kosofe and Shomolu. It is primarily a residential neighbourhood. Because of its location and accessibility, properties are quite pricey there.
In Surulere, rents are relatively higher because the area has location advantage of being close to Lagos Island which is the city’s economic hub. Average rent for 2-bedroom flats in Surulere is ₦1.6 million per annum. The most expensive flat here goes for ₦3.5 million per annum while the cheapest costs about ₦584,000 per annum.
Surulere is a residential and commercial Local Government Area located on the mainland of Lagos. Its total land area is 23 square kilometres with well over half a million inhabitants and a population density of 21,864 inhabitants per square kilometre. The local government area is bordered by Yaba, Mushin and Ebute-Metta.