Blog

Property insights

8th August, 2022

2 minutes, 13 seconds read

Finding Your Happy Place, Episode 6: Epe

Epe is a town in Lagos Nigeria, located on the Northside of the Lekki Lagoon and about 90 km from Oyo State – Ibadan. Epe is about 70 km from Lekki axis (Ibeju Lekki to Ajah to VGC to Chevron to Ikate to Lekki Peninsula). These definitely put Epe at a growing advantage over some other areas in Lagos with its proximity and the developments in its axis, Epe is perceived a strong location for real estate. While areas like Lekki phase1, VGC, Ikoyi and Banana Island may be topping the list of many home buyers, the Epe area of Lagos continues to be attractive to not only home buyers but real estate investors both for now and a store of future value.

Epe is a major collection point for fish export. According to the last census carried out in 2006 by the National Population Commission, the population of Epe was approximately 181,409.

The Epe Township is home to a number of institutions and industries like; Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCOPED), Pan Atlantic University (PAU) and the Dangote Refinery. The establishment of these institutions have attracted futher development, growing urbanization with elites making Epe their new found happy place. It is worthy to no note that until recently, Epe township had not been widely known for habitation, but the recent development of the area by both the Lagos Sate Government and private institutions have opened up the area particularly to everyone interested in buying a home there or buying a property for commercial purposes.

On good road networks and basic amenities, some people argue that Epe’s road network and accessibility is the best in the state. The roads are well built with quality drainages and street lights for security at night. Epe is also connected by water to other parts of the state like Ikorodu, making for an alternative source of transportation. The town is scarcely rocked with the usual traffic that can be found in other parts of Lagos partly because of the good road network and detailed planning of the town which proposes a world class cargo and passenger airport and a seaport.

The town is not shy of basic amenities as well which include; schools, hotels, malls, markets, banks, hospitals, gym centers, playgrounds, restaurants, parks, etc., the area houses every modern amenity that you may require to live a modern life or enjoy a successful business. Epe also connect easily to neighboring states, therefore making inter-state trade and commuting much easier.

With emphasis on proper urban planning and the mega city project championed by the Lagos State Government, houses in Epe are well built with adequate vegetation to support the eco system. The town is very well secured as there are hardly any reports of violence in the area.

Lands in Epe currently go for at least 1 million naira for half a plot, while houses in upcoming estates could go for 50 -100 million naira. Real estate capital appreciation in Epe is strong with 100% over the last 5years. This is why you should invest in Epe. Find suitable options here buyletlive.com/Epe


4th August, 2022

3 minutes, 28 seconds read

How do we solve the problem of surging property prices in Lagos?

As Nigeria’s macroeconomic conditions keep changing, consumer preferences and purchasing decisions are affected. This includes investors who are looking to acquire assets for investment purposes. With real estate being the biggest asset class globally, and the largest investment owned by most individuals, changes in property price especially at the rate we see here in Nigeria; where there is little or no mortgage access raises concerns.

As property prices continue to surge alongside the current inflationary pressures within the Nigerian economy, buyers have begun asking questions about the sustainability of the Nigerian real estate market and likening it to a Ponzi. We analyzed 5,000 properties over the past 12 months across different locations in Lagos and saw a 24% YoY inflation in the price of properties that are available for purchase in Lagos as of June 2022. While these are asking prices, and subject to negotiation, the demand-supply mismatch within Lagos means leaves the bargaining power in the hands of the supplier and hence sale price ends up being the asking prices or at least very close. What is even more interesting is that in some locations, the average surge in the price of properties listed on our platform almost doubled.

If the market forces were the only determinant of the price index, you would expect that price increase would correspond with inflation at 18.6%. In advanced climes, annual property sales price changes typically do not go beyond 10%. For instance, asking prices for properties advertised for sale in the UK within the past year were 9.3% higher than a year earlier according to Rightmove, UK’s largest property portal. In rare scenarios where there is hyperinflation, or where the economy has consistently seen healthy growth, annual property price changes can go as high as 15% in mature markets. Due to the peculiarity of emerging markets such as Nigeria, prices can be expected to go as high as 15% but this does not justify the hike we have seen in the past year.  Of course, the construction material costs drove prices up, but market sentiments, lack of price regulation, and the opaqueness of Nigeria’s market specifically are putting buyers at a disadvantage when making offers. 

The effect is a further drop in ‘property purchasing power’, and buyers are compelled to change location preference or downsize. Estate agents are beginning to see this, a number of prospective buyers who can no longer afford Lekki Phase 1 for instance, default to buying similar-sized project in neighboring locations with Ikate being the first option. Even in the land market, a similar narrative has played out. For example, increasing land prices in Ibeju-Lekki and surrounding has forced prospective land owners to explore other locations, with Epe being the most nascent location typically considered. Where the buyer insists on buying a location but prices have gone up, the next approach is usually to downsize on their preferred property size.

On a larger scale, the industry has begun experiencing capital flight due to speculations of instability in the rate of capital appreciation in Nigeria. For established investors, the spike in property prices raises concerns on volatility. Institutional players would typically prefer relatively ‘‘less-yielding but stable assets’’ to ‘‘high-yielding assets in very volatile markets’’.  This particular factor has pushed a number of Nigerian investors to seek investment opportunities in more stable markets with the United Arab Emirates’ residential and hospitality market making the top of the list of alternatives, alongside Accra and Rwanda.

The clear imbalance in demand and supply across the country shows that there is a need for some guardrails to cushion the volatility, especially in Lagos. The demand is growing exponentially and supply is unable to catch up. Nigeria currently has over 28 million housing deficit, with an annual population increase of 5 million. While the effective demand is much less than this number the combined supply efforts of both the government and private sector to date, are only able to deliver between 250,000 to 300,000 houses annually

In summary, there is a need to protect the industry through a balance on real estate capital appreciation vs shrinking investment portfolios. Should the forces of demand and supply determine the price of properties? We think so, but we also think that deliberate efforts should be put into price setting to manage the volatility.

As we wrap up this note, take some time to read our earlier residential price index article from last week and share your thoughts with us. We would love to hear your views, please send us your comments and feedback to research@buyletlive.com

Do you have any property that you will like to list for sale, rent, or shortlet? You can click here to create a free account and advertise your properties on BuyLetLive for free. You can also send an email to our operations team at info@buyletlive.com.

3rd August, 2022

2 minutes, 11 seconds read

BuyLetLive in Capacity Expansion, Names Industry Expert - Modupe Agbolahan COO

BuyLetLive expands its team with the latest appointment of a new Chief Operations Officer, Modupe Agbolahan to its management team. Astute leader with business acumen in real estate and property marketing, Modupe brings onboard a wealth of experience in building sustainable stakeholder partnerships and brand loyalty.

Until recently, she was the Assistant General Manager at Realhouse Communications Limited where she delivered rapid market adoption of Castles Lifestyle Magazine and grew the portfolio to N100M Annual Recurring Revenue. She led the team to achieve excellent customer service to over 10,000 real estate practitioners earning the title “Nigeria's premier real estate magazine”.

Announcing the onboarding, Olorunsola Awolola, the Chief Strategy Officer, said, Modupe’s appointment will support the accelerated execution of BuyLetLive’s ambition and 3year growth trajectory to dominate the Market through Partnerships and excellent Customer experience. “As a real estate marketplace, BuyLetLive is a safe meeting point for stakeholders in the ecosystem. Our users are at the core of everything we do. It is why we harness resources from the best available to ensure we deliver on our promise”.

“I am very happy to be joining this family. I have seen the active commitment and passion of the teams to addressing user pain points in property search for rentals, finding short lets and outright purchases. The team relies on profound market insight, adopting user research for concrete strategy. All that we do is from a place of commitment to our customers. I am ecstatic to be a part of this and we will do ground breaking things!”

Modupe has a strong background in commercial strategy, consumer marketing, customer service, brand building and customer analytics, a great addition, especially with the massive growth the platform has seen over the last few months.

As the Chief Operating Officer, Modupe will oversee marketing and operations, while Olorunsola will now oversee technology and product developments. This promotes the goal of BuyLetLive as a proptech platform giving the best experience in property search made easy. 

At the press conference, Olorunsola announced the release of the BuyLetLive Mobile App and state other plans in the blueprint for improved property search. We started operations 8 months ago with only the web application. This was a deliberate approach to understand our users. More importantly, we needed to study their pain points and build what really is value to them. We are happy to announce that the app will improve agent upload sessions by 40%. Of course, for those who request a more personal touch, we have a dedicated customer service team and an active web chat to directly receive feedback, enquiries, and special requests from customers.

About BuyLetLive: BuyLetLive’s mission is to simplify, digitize and streamline the buying, selling and rental experience for the real estate ecosystem in a user-friendly interface, using top-quality photos to view. They give prospects peace of mind by verifying agents on the platform and offer VAS services that ensure that their customers find the process of searching and settling into their new homes, seamless.


28th July, 2022

2 minutes, 30 seconds read

Top locations to rent 1 Bed Apartment of less than 1 million naira in Lagos

If you are a young professional living in Lagos or planning to relocate to Africa’s megacity, one crucial financial responsibility to consider is accommodation. Our rental price index note highlighted that the average asking rent for apartments in Lagos has increased by 20%+ over the past year. This was based on an analysis of a pool of listed apartments, comprising 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and 4 bedroom apartments in multiple locations in Lagos. While rental prices have increased across board, there are still a few locations where young people can find decent apartments with rental values below one million naira per annum.

In this article, we have profiled and ranked locations where annual rental values for 1 bedroom apartments are still under one million naira, and what makes them attractive for young renters. We adopted a number of metrics including infrastructure, average rental price, availability of power supply, proximity to the CBDs, and overall security/neighborhood serenity in ranking these locations.

Ikeja GRA

Ikeja emerged as the top location to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in Lagos. Based on our property inventory within Lagos’ capital area, the average asking rent for 1 bedroom apartments in Ikeja is N800,000 per annum. So far, Ikeja is one of the areas with decent road infrastructure in Lagos with a modest electricity supply compared to the other locations under consideration.

Gbagada

Ranking second on the list was Gbagada. The average asking rent for 1 bedroom apartment in Gbagada is N650,000 per annum. Outside the fact that the neighborhood has a very decent power supply, Gbagada also has quick access to the Island through the Third Mainland Bridge and the rest of the Mainland through Oworonshoki-Oshodi Expressway. The quality of power supply, affordability, centrality, and accessibility of the neighborhood all come together to make it a choice location to rent an apartment.



Magodo

The average asking rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in Magodo today, is N800,000 per annum. Among other things, Magodo is most notable for its serenity and the decency of the apartments within the estate. Magodo is one of the affluent neighborhoods on the Lagos Mainland, a well-organized estate which has since been modernized and now hosts some of Lagos’ most affluent and middle class.

Yaba

Yaba has over 8 tertiary institutions and a number of technology hubs within it attracting a large population of young people. Due to its proximity to Victoria Island and other business areas in Lagos where the bulk of young people in Lagos work, Yaba is dubbed a residential hub for the younger demographic. As of today, the average asking price for 1 bedroom apartments in Yaba is N700,000 per annum and based on our ranking, Yaba is the 4th best location to rent 1 bedroom apartments for less than 1 million naira in Lagos.

Surulere

Surulere is perceived as a middle-class neighborhood in Lagos supported by pockets of industrial and residential activities. Young people and the middle class in Lagos now like to live there because of its relatively centrality and close proximity to Lagos Island and Victoria Island.  Based on our database, the average rent for 1 bedroom apartment in Surulere is N650,000 per annum, and Surulere ranks 5th in our list of top locations to rent 1-bedroom apartments for less than 1 million naira in Lagos.

You can follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram to get more insights into what is happening in the Nigerian real estate market. Send us your comments and feedback to research@buyletlive.com and we will like to keep in touch.



15th July, 2022

2 minutes, 44 seconds read

How Investing in Real Estate Can Help You Build a Diversified Portfolio

According to Fundrise and Investopedia, since April 2020, the stock market around the world has not been at its best. Investors are voraciously searching for ways to reduce fluctuation in their portfolios to make them more resilient. The option of diversification aids this process. Below, we explore some of the ways you can glean from diversifying into real estate.

What Is Diversification?

Maximizing returns is the goal behind diversification. The saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is essentially an appeal for diversification. From the finance perspective, it is the process of mixing various asset classes within an investment portfolio. 

An asset class is a group of investments that have similar characteristics and are subject to the same laws & regulations. The risk profile attached to assets in the same class fall in similar ranges. Typically, you should only invest based on your risk appetite. That means before you invest, ask yourself- “how much risk can I afford to take on this asset”? This is why you should research the risk profile for assets you invest in. Some asset classes are Shares, Bonds, Commodities, Properties, and Cash.

 

How Will Investing in Real Estate Diversify Your Portfolio and Yielding ROI?[1]

Real estate historically has strong returns, making it a valuable choice for diversification. Unlike stocks, real estate has longevity which means that it matures over time. You can always expect its value to appreciate. Real estate also falls in the low-risk asset class which encourages consistent and sustainable returns over a longer period. Basically, your real estate investment can provide for others after you. The advantage is that depending on your risk appetite, you can mix aggressive and low-risk assets in your portfolio. It creates a baseline that will buffer impact and enable more returns. Real estate is also popular for its ability to generate passive income. It will get you cash flow for your retirement years.

Another benefit of investing in real estate is being able to build equity. Equity is an asset that is part of your net worth. Real estate can also be a good hedge against inflation and gives you leverage to acquire more property.

 

How to Use a Mix of Real Estate Assets to Diversify Your Portfolio


Experts recommend a 60/40 split when diversifying portfolios, allocating 60% of capital to stocks and 40% to fixed-income investments such as bonds. Real estate bonds are fixed-income investments or loans, backed by real property. Some other options to invest in real estate are private equity funds, publicly-traded REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), and DIY by purchasing directly from other real estate platforms.

As an independent investor doing it yourself, selecting the right piece of real estate to invest in is a vital part of the process. When choosing, you need to do thorough due diligence. If you use a real estate platform, consider the structure of service, the actual value of properties on offer, and process management expertise. We recommend using one that has both local and international appeal. That way, those in the diaspora can invest in properties. A proven track record is a good standard to rely on.

BuyletLive.com is an excellent reference for a real estate marketplace that fulfills these conditions. Using a seamless process, users can purchase properties. Agents’ posts are advertised through Buyletlive’s paid effort, addressing potential local & international customers. This helps agents gather more leads and users connect faster to properties for sale. The properties posted are thoroughly verified to ensure that their current state keeps up with maximum standards. There is also dedicated customer service available to handhold a user through the entire process and manage every inquiry.

 

Want to see for yourself? Check today’s properties here.



[1] ROI- Return on Investments. It means profits.

15th July, 2022

2 minutes, 1 second read

Owning a home is easier than you think. Here’s why

Many of us have at one point or the other dreamt of owning a home. Experts agree that there is no age or status barrier toward home ownership. Anything is possible with the right information and tools at your fingertips.

While we acknowledge that renting has some great benefits, long-term options in a place like Nigeria reflect that owning a home offers more unique advantages.

Your Home is a store of value. Because Real estate typically appreciates, all things being equal, your home assumes higher value with time. You'll also have living security and can earn passive income. Real Estate is generally a low-risk asset class that accounts for steady and sustainable profits over time. You can use it to hedge against inflation. It gives you more control over costs and as a big addition, your mortgage repayments can be a way of saving money by relying on extended payment duration.

Financial capacity is usually the first thing people contemplate in home ownership. One might wonder where to access lump sums to buy a home, considering the high value placed on real estate in Nigeria and abroad. Some options to address this worry can be found in mortgage systems, installment payment plans, housing loans, etc. Microfinance banks and larger financial institutions offer credit loans for home ownership.

While you sort the finance aspect, the other part of home ownership is to have a plan that suits your unique context. Your plan should typically include the choice of location, the size of the house, maximum budget, payment plan, and renovation requirements, and so on. When these are aligned to suit your objectives, you can then scout the market to see what’s available and how your plan measures against market realities.

Property search as a key item in this process can be overwhelming sometimes. The options available may not meet your requirements or offer you decent comparisons. The photos to peruse could be unclear and not cover the areas you want to see. Getting feedback on additional inquiries may take longer than anticipated and going for physical inspections might prove challenging. This is why you need BuyLetLive. We are all about creating an easier, happier, and faster property search experience.

On the BuyLetLive platform, you have an array of great properties to choose from and seamless steps to complete the process. Our dedicated customer care team will handhold you as you go along and soon, our mobile app will launch. That means better, faster, and easier property search at your fingertips!

Remember that after you find a suitable home, another level of due diligence is required to ensure that you are dealing with a property of correct value. All you need to do is work with verified agents and developers, get started on https://buyletlive.com/


15th July, 2022

4 minutes, 32 seconds read

Why repurposing assets is now a major need in Nigeria's real estate market

It is interesting how virtual working and virtual shopping have fused into our daily living, fundamentally changing the world, especially the global real estate market dynamics. The initial impact was a downward turn in revenue from shopping malls, office space rentals, and purchases. Although macroeconomic statistics show that adversely impacted sectors are beginning to rebound, one critical fact is that the way our world works may not return to what it was pre-COVID-19.

Will the real estate market in Nigeria make a full recovery? Can companies operate without a physical office or return to the status quo? How can the real estate market in Nigeria make a full recovery to pre-COVID19 revenue levels and grow above it? Perhaps repurposing some of the purpose-built real estate assets to the property types in current demand can give respite? Let’s dive in!

Since the 2016 Recession, retail and office sectors in Nigeria have recorded a decline in performance. In Nigeria, COVID-19 only accelerated the impending decline as factors like xenophobic attacks on malls, reduced office occupancy, remote work, and booming e-commerce were already reducing the demand for office spaces, shopping malls, and retail chain stores. Before the pandemic, the asking rent in Lagos for prime office projects in Ikoyi and Victoria Island (VI) was already down to $700 and $600 respectively from about $1,000 and $800 per square meter while prime shopping centers in Lagos like Ikeja City Mall (ICM) had a weighted average rent of more than $42/m²/month. In contrast with today, these rents have dropped by over 15% between 2016 and 2021. Further deepening this, a number of major anchor retailers including Shoprite, Mr. Price, Woolworths, and Truworths International have recently made an exit from the Nigerian market further declining the real estate demand in their supply chain.

 How is this impacting the bottom line of asset owners?

Reports show that Investors have lost over 40% of rental revenue since 2016. Since 2018, the rent and occupancy levels for Grade A office spaces in Lagos have fallen by more than 20% according to data from Knight Frank Africa and Estate Intel. According to a report by W Hospitality Group, the Lagos and Abuja hotel markets since 2016 and through the pandemic have seen a double-digit decline in occupancy rates. According to hotel experts, room occupancy in April 2019 was 63.7% but had dropped by over 30% in April 2020, leaving the market struggling to date. Abuja experienced a 51% drop in occupancy over the same period. There is a widening gap to fill following the exit of these major anchor retailers.

According to Broll Property Services, the ideal average rent in core markets including Lagos was between US$50 to US$80/m² per month in 2016 but is now at a 16% decline over a 6-year period. Even worse, outside Lagos, rentals in less prime locations, previously reported to be within $35-$50/sqm/month before 2016 currently average at $20/sqm/month. It represents a steep 43% decline. Following the facts, we estimate that investors have lost over 40% of revenue on office, hotel, and retail assets since 2016.

 How can investors make a recovery? Repurpose, relaunch and sweat their existing assets.

With the world’s revolution post-COVID, investors are constantly exploring ways to adapt assets for alternative uses. Real estate investors across the world are doing this too to make the best of the situation. In a highly sought-after city like Lagos, possibilities exist for investors to benefit from this approach. At the beginning of the year, Growthpoint, South Africa’s largest office developer partnered with Setso and BlackBrick to convert its Riverwoods, Bedfordview office project into a residential villa. This was a clever response to oversupply in the market and the growing demand in the city’s residential sector after the pandemic.

 What strategies should you consider when repurposing?

Target sub-sectors with a strong long-term demand pool

At the end of 2021, it was estimated that Nigeria had a housing deficit of over 20 million units. Lagos alone, reputed to be the commercial nerve center of the country, had a deficit of about 3.2 million units. To date, housing Nigeria’s growing population remains a national challenge.

Estate Intel reports that Lagos has approximately 13,490 hospital beds in the healthcare sector, serving a population of over 21 million. This means that there is less than 1 hospital bed to serve a thousand people. It is 88% short of WHO’s recommended 5 beds per 1,000 population.

In a 2021 report by Knight Frank, the real estate consulting firm alluded that changing occupier requirements and fast-moving consumer goods underpin strong demand for real estate tailored to logistics. According to Knight Frank, warehouse demand in Lagos currently stands at over 1,000,000 square meters, with only about 300,000 square meters available for supply.

All these data reflect a strong undersupply of real estate in the residential, healthcare, and logistics sectors of Nigeria’s economy. It clearly shows what investors thinking about repurposing their assets should consider.

There is also a need for investors to position their assets to help address broader economic and social issues.

 ESG, Sustainability Considerations, and the need to treat each asset uniquely.

The rising prominence of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) in our world today is also shifting real estate needs. Responsible and socially conscious investing is another way to term it. Rising global concerns over climate change are prompting actions from all players in the industry. Investors are beginning to demand more sustainable buildings and it is not only because of pressures from governments and authorities. Sustainable buildings tend to save on maintenance and operational costs in the long term.

 However, not ‘one-size-fits-all’, location, demand, and local infrastructure will inform what is viable. In the context of Lagos State, possible use cases are likely to range from residential (especially for younger people) to healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Co-working/flex spaces and provision for logistics will occur with demonstrated demand. Although it might be a difficult time for investors, we believe this presents an opportunity to meet a new and evolving market demand.

 Your thoughts?

Let us know how else non-performing real estate assets can be better positioned for profitability. You can check out BuyLetLive.com to find affordable homes that meet your taste and budget. We would love to keep in touch! Follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram for more insights on how to navigate the Nigerian real estate market.


5th July, 2022

4 minutes, 42 seconds read

Lagos Rental Price Index – 12 months post lockdown

In basic accounting, rents are classified as an operational expense. However, these days, one begins to wonder whether rent is actually an operating expense as the amounts are now tending towards the cost of some capital projects. While this might sound like an exaggeration, paying rental fees is fast becoming one of the expense lines that take the biggest chunks of Lagos residents’ annual income.

Research we conducted a month ago revealed that in Lagos, residents now spend as much as 70% of their annual income on rent. Our recent analysis of residential rent pricing across the city also found that the average asking rents for properties have increased by over 20% in the last 12 months. As input costs continue to be on the rise, property development budgets are at their all-time highest, as the mismatch between general demand & supply continues to widen; rental prices are driven further up.

For starters, what does this mean for the average Nigerian looking to rent an apartment? How does this increase impact the purchasing power and saving culture? What does it mean for property developers and investors? These questions and more are what we discuss in this article. Before we dive deeper, here are some key takeaways.

●        Average rental price in Lagos has increased by over 20%.

●        Rental prices for properties on the “Island” in Lagos are now 37.5% higher than in the rest of the city.

●        Asking rents in Lagos frequently represents closing prices.

●        Rising construction costs may not fully justify the extent of rental price surge as even the asking price for older properties match closely to newer ones.

●        Lagos residents in general, now have more rent burden to bear in addition to hikes in the prices of other commodities.

●        Average personal savings have likely deflated by at least 25% since last year.

The average rental price has increased by over 20% and there is barely enough room for the renters to negotiate.

After a detailed analysis of our citywide property listings database, we found that the average rental price in Lagos grew over 20% in the last 12 months. This data point is striking for us, and probably you too. While it is good news for developers and Landlords, it means that the average Lagos resident whose income may not have seen a similar increase in the period now has more rental burden to bear in addition to the surge in the price of other commodities.

In most markets, asking prices are usually subject to negotiations between the Landlord and the proposed tenant. Typically, negotiation windows range from 1% to as high as 20%. Conversely, the Lagos rental market does not allow much room for negotiation. An intense demand pressure throws a high volume of requests to Landlords who then rent to the highest bidder. This logic is how asking prices in Lagos end up becoming the actual price that tenants pay.

With rental fees being demanded one year in advance, the expense is even more burdensome. Our research showed that about half of Lagos’ population will need to spend up to 70% of their annual income on rent if they were to get decent apartments in locations close to the Commercial and Business Hubs. Going by the data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, the headline inflation rate as of May 2022 stood at 17.71% on the backdrop of rising energy prices and Food inflation at 19.5%. The overall implication is that the average person in Lagos now has more financial burdens to bear.


Source: BuyLetLive


One of the most obvious reasons for increasing rent is the rising cost of construction. Like in every production market, an increase in input cost mostly results in a corresponding increase in the selling price. Ideally, rental fees of new developments may increase at the rate of the inflation of construction materials, but a lower fee increase is expected for older structures. Yet, when we analyzed our pool of property listings, we discovered that even older projects, barely carrying renovation expenses, are also pricing significantly high.

This increase in rent means that potential renters also have to pay the higher agency and legal fees, which are tied to the rental fees. A number of prospective renters we spoke with pointed out that these fees are major discouraging factors. After we dug deeper, we found that the asking rent in some locations has grown more than in other locations across Lagos.

Rent prices in Lekki 1, Victoria Island, and Ikoyi have grown at 37.5% above the average growth rate in Mainland locations. This is not surprising because property owners now spend more to build houses, and therefore charge higher to compensate for the high cost of land and other location-specific cost factors. Most properties on our database for Lekki 1, Victoria Island, and Ikoyi are either recently built or renovated. Due to this, property owners in these regions have reason to charge higher than similar projects in other parts of the city. The cost of land in these locations is also higher, warranting developers to charge more, to cover associated costs.

Among all property types analyzed, 3-bedroom apartments had the highest price change.

Based on tracked data, we noticed that the asking price for 2-bedroom apartments across Lagos has grown higher than other apartment types. Asking rents for a single bedroom, 3 bedroom and 4 bedroom increased at 26%, 24%, and 22% respectively. On the other hand, the asking price for 2 bedrooms increased by a whopping 27% in 2021. An emerging and more prominent reason is that young professionals working remotely need extra room to accommodate a home office. It accounts for the reduction in the supply of 2-bedroom apartments compared to other property typologies. This creeping scarcity adds to the increase in cost.


Source: BuyLetLive


In a nutshell, there is more financial pressure on the average Nigerian. The cost of transportation, food, and other basic living necessities have increased over the year. While many are struggling to keep up with this, the rise in rental rates would mean that residents either find alternative sources of income or figure out creative ways to manage these costs.

You can follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram to get more insights on the latest in the Nigerian real estate market. We would love to keep in touch. Send your comments and feedback to research@buyletlive.com.


14th June, 2022

4 minutes, 43 seconds read

Does the 10% recommended commission rate for Estate Agents really apply?

 If you have done real estate transactions in Nigeria, you may have noticed the variation in service fees that agents charge on successful deals. These variations are more noticeable in states that have big ticket transaction running into hundreds of millions and billions. One of the biggest contentions in the real estate market is the question of what constitutes appropriate agency commission on real estate transactions. What is the ideal fee? Is there an official document that sets the standard or scale for such service fees or is it at the discretion of the agent?  We spoke to some of the players in the industry and will share their views on these questions and more in this article.

Before we dive in, it is important to mention that the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV), and The Estate Surveyors & Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON) are the professional bodies established to regulate Estate Surveying and Valuation profession in Nigeria; of which “Real Estate Agency” is one of their services. The institution is recognized by the government under the enactment of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers (Registration Act) Decree No. 24 of 1975. You may use this link to read more about the laws establishing the NIESV/ESVARBON. For the purpose of this discussion, we will be reviewing the professional scale of charges set out by these bodies.

 Agency fee in Nigeria is 10% of Gross Rent Payable, or Gross Proceeds of Sale/Purchase.

In 2014, the NIESV set out to review the Institution's Professional Charges in line with contemporary realities in Nigeria and consistent with global best practice. Based on the revised scale of charges, an agent in Nigeria is expected to charge 10% commission on gross rent payable, or gross proceeds of sales on a property as the case may be. This is meant to be the standard practice, yet, if you are familiar with the industry, you will see that a 10% commission rate is not usually the case. The commission rate is often subject to negotiation between the parties.

When we looked at global practice, we found that the recommended charge for real estate associations in the U.S and U.K falls below the 10% rate. For instance, agency commission in the United State is between 5-6% of the transaction value and usually varies depending on location. Commission on property transactions consummated in the San Francisco area attracts a 5.04% agency commission while those in Atlanta can charge as high as 5.98% . In the U.K, the fees are between 0.75% and 3.0%+VAT on transaction value.

After giving a close look at the agency fees set out by the NIESV and comparing it with the U.S and the U.K, a few things stood out.

10% Agency commission in Nigeria is high, and this is giving too much room for negotiation.

Generally speaking, commissions on real estate transactions are usually negotiable anywhere in the world, what makes the big difference is the negotiation window. In the US, the agency commission range is between 0.75% and 3.0%+VAT which is quite wider than the 5-6% range in the U.S. This allows agents to negotiate within this range, and the final fee depends largely on the value of the transaction. For transactions exceeding £500,000, agents are most times willing to accept commission closer to the lower end of the scale. If an agent for instance agrees to charge a 1% fee on a £500,000 deal, the commission would fall around £5,000.

Bringing this home, we found that irrespective of the recommended 10% agency fee in Nigeria is 10%, the actual commission that agents achieve in practice can range from 0.5% to as much as 20% of the transaction value. Agents can charge as much as 20% commission on rental transactions of less than ₦1 Million value. On the other hand, it is quite difficult for sellers to pay up to 10% fee on sales transactions, especially if the value of the property runs into hundreds of Millions and above.

We spoke to Chibuzor Arukwe who is an Associate member of the NIESV/Deputy Head of Valuation at Diya Fatimilehin & Co, a leading Estate Surveying firm in Lagos. He mentioned that transaction fees are now dependent on the negotiation power of the parties involved in the transaction. Speaking on the impact, Chibuzor mentioned that other Agents are willing to collect lower fees on transactions and this is making the competition even tougher.

This 10% commission cap is not realistic across all transaction types and this is making compliance much more difficult.

While setting a 10% standard rate can sound reasonable considering the unique economic realities in Nigeria, this high rate is opening room for negotiations and concessions beyond reasonable boundaries. A seller who is disposing of a property worth ₦1 Billion naira will most likely never agree to pay a 10% (₦100 Million) commission to the Agent. On the other hand, most Agents will argue that a 10% (₦50,000) fee is sufficient to compensate for the troubles associated with renting out a ₦500,000 rental property. What this does is that it throws open a wide window for negotiation between the parties, and without a negotiation ceiling set by authorities, the process ends up creating a loser vs winner situation. Speaking on this, Chibuzor also noted that the 10% cap is giving leverage to quacks to penetrate the market. He described quacks as unlicensed individuals who are operating as one man businesses. According to him, they have minimal expenses and no administrative costs to bear and therefore can afford to take almost anything as agency commission on transactions. 

Unlike in the U.S and the U.K where the negotiation window is very well defined with relatively high levels of compliance, Nigeria’s high agency commission rate has opened room for foul play among practitioners in the field. The market has become very competitive, which has forced a number of agents to cut on their revenue in a bid to secure briefs. Picking a page from the practice in the advanced world, agency commission should at least be a range, to start with. Where this exists, it is easier to have a guided negotiation. Much more work is needed in regulating Agency practice in Nigeria, and developing a more flexible scale of charges is one.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts. Follow us on LinkedIn to join the conversation and across all social media platforms, to access insights on the Nigerian real estate market. You can also send your comments and feedback to research@buyletlive.com We would love to keep in touch.