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17th May, 2022

2 minutes, 16 seconds read

Is the Nigerian Mortgage System really aiding home ownership?

All over the world, mortgage is known to be a viable method to owning a home, but several factors have made it difficult for most Nigerians to access mortgages. In developed countries, effective mortgage systems have aided many people to become homeowners but in Nigeria, there have not been many success stories recorded. We looked closely at mortgage models in Europe and America and found that a major enabler of their effective mortgage system is lower interest rates and longer repayment period.  

Two months ago, the U.S. Census Bureau announced a homeownership rate of 65.5% for the year 2021; and in England, the House of Commons stated that 65% of its population were homeowners as at the end of 2020. This is contained in its “Extending home ownership: Government initiatives” report. These countries have single digit Mortgage interest rates – 6% in the United States and about 4% in England. Kosovo, Romania, Hungary, Singapore and Croatia all have home ownership rates above 90% with mortgage interest rates falling below 5%.

These mortgage systems have proven to be very effective, giving opportunities to more  young people; millennials below age 30 to own homes. This is very important to note when you consider that generally, millennials all over the world are finding avenues to increase their incomes, encouraging the “gig economy”, innovations in tech and the benefits of remote work. In 2020, especially during the worldwide lockdowns, we read stories on Twitter about the increase in home ownership rates amongst millennials in countries like the US.

 When we looked at homeownership rates in Nigeria, we saw a sharp difference. According to the “Housing Snap Poll” data by NOIPolls (a Nigerian consultancy company) only 31% of Nigerians as at 2014 lived in their 'personal house' which they may have built, purchased or inherited. This has negatively impacted the purchasing power of the average Nigerian. While this is many years ago, it is arguably true that due to inflation and recession, more Nigerians are poorer today than they were in 2014, and this means that less people can afford to own houses.

But let's come back to the conversation. If mortgage systems have significantly aided homeownership in other climes, why is it different in Nigeria?

 

Reports say that “85% of people in Nigeria would consider a mortgage as an option for home ownership” but availability, affordability and access are a major problem. Interest rates typically from commercial mortgage providers range between 15% to 25% per annum and up to 30% in some situations. In a bid to provide some respite, FMBN Act 3 of 1992, established the National Housing Fund (NHF) with the sole aim of mobilizing funds for the provision of “affordable” residential houses for Nigerians. In its 5 years of operation, the NHF was only able to disburse to 5,938 beneficiaries. It is understandable that the NHF can only disburse as much as is available in the treasury, there is still a big gap to fill especially with the lingering housing deficit.

What are your thoughts on the issues of the Mortgage system in Nigeria? DO you have any stories or experiences with it? We would love to hear from you. Please send your comments/feedback to [email protected]

9th May, 2022

1 minute, 30 seconds read

Lagos Building Collapse - Another tragedy at Ago Palace Way Despite Structural Integrity Measures

Barely a week after a three-story build collapse that killed over ten people in the Ebute Meta area of Lagos state, another building collapsed in the Ago Palace way area of the state sadly leaving behind nothing for the occupants.

The unfortunate incident happened on the 7th of May, 2022 at Chris Agadi Street off Ago Palace way opposite AP Fueling Station.

 

Despite the Lagos State Structural Integrity Test, this menace continues to rock Lagos State and this is worrisome.

 

At the time of this report, the head of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency(LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu confirmed in a statement that no casualty was recorded.

He said; “On arrival, information gathered from the residents revealed that the building gave signs several hours before the building collapsed. Fortunately, nobody was trapped as all the occupants evacuated the area when the signs began 2 hours before the collapse. A headcount of occupants was carried out to ensure no occupants were missing and the remains of the building were cordoned off. The operation was concluded at about 5:23 a.m.” The statement read.

 

Taking learnings from this incident, we believe some questions need to be answered especially in educating the public in managing similar situations. 

What should be done when a building gives signs of collapsing?

Who should be notified and what safety measures should be taken to avoid casualties?

 

The agency added that the site will be handed over to the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Ministry of Physical Planning for further investigation.


While the government and its agencies are making moves on this issue, the big question still looms, “Which building is next to collapse?” “Is this becoming a new normal that we should get used to?”


In addition to the intervention from the Aside the government, real estate practitioners must take lessons rapidly on ensuring and maintaining the structural integrity of buildings. Should there be a nationwide structural integrity certification drive? Do practitioners need to involve an extra layer of testing structural integrity? We must begin to answer these lingering questions.

28th April, 2022

3 minutes, 26 seconds read

Five Steps that can help forestall the trend of collapsing of buildings in Nigeria

Since the 12th of September 2014 when a six-story building located in Ikotun Lagos collapsed and 115 people were demised, there has been a record of many more collapses across Nigeria. According to reports, the approved plan for the Ikotun property was a two-story building, but the owners decided to expand it and make the building four stories higher.

In December of 2021, we also witnessed the Ikoyi building collapse which killed 42 people. These occurrences have brought up a lot of questions as to the causative factors. There have been different reports on the reasons for these collapses, some confirmed and others not. However this is viewed, this trend is taking lives, burning money and resources, and quite frankly needs to be curbed.

In this article, we will be sharing Five Steps than can help forestall the collapse of buildings in Nigeria adding to the knowledge out there already.

1.    The Right Human Resources

Experts have blamed incompetent artisans and the feeble oversight of builders as one of the significant reasons for collapsed buildings in Nigeria. Some contractors reduce the expenses of the project and sometimes hire the skills of non–experts who are not authorized to take part in any building projects.

One of the guarantees of quality assurance in the process of building constructions is ensuring the appropriate skill and manpower to deliver through industry best practices and well-tested policies and procedures. Contractors are encouraged to spare no expense in sourcing best-in-class skills and competencies for construction projects.

 

2.    Subscribe to the appropriate Structural Design Process

As we all agree, project planning is one of the most important steps in project management. For construction, the design phase is the part of planning that determines all other aspects of the project. In designing a building, more Important than the aesthetics and fancy spot are the integrity of structural design and the corresponding Bill of material (BoM) and Bill of Quantity (BoQ).

In building construction, project leadership should subscribe to building design standards that help to verify and certify the integrity of the plans. Structural/project workers also ought to guarantee that their plans are investigated and supported by suitable specialists before the building kicks off. This is essential to make sure that every building plan is made with unique design considerations like weather conditions, topography e.t.c.

 

3.    Stick to Quality Building Materials

Specialists have uncovered that one of the significant reasons why some buildings collapse is the failure of adherence to quality building materials, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) also substantiates this. The research pointed at how concrete is mixed and used, most concrete used in the building does have all properties and particles properly bound together.

According to structural experts, there are three concrete types now being used around the world, which are; 32.5mpa, 42.5mpa, and 52.5mpa. The 32.5mpa can only be used for plastering and block making, the 42.5mpa is for multipurpose usage such as block molding, concreting, slabs, and high-rise buildings but it can’t be used for plastering, the 52.5mpa can be used for high density works such as bridges, embankments, dams and retainer walls.

 

4.    Imbibe Sustainable Maintenance Culture

Bad maintenance culture can impact the structural integrity of a building and cause structures to collapse. The best-developed structures need consistent attention and if the attention is postponed, what can begin as being something exceptionally minor is at risk of transforming rapidly into a costly man-made disaster. No structure can exist all through its life expectancy without proper maintenance. Even if a building is structurally impacted, the right remedial actions by expert structural engineers can help to restore the building. Experts recommend that building maintenance begins on the day the builders leave the site. Hence, the need for the maintenance of structures is very important.

 

5.    Obtaining and adhering to the National Building Code of Nigeria

The National Building Code of Nigeria is the body that is relied upon to manage and regulate all operations in the construction industry in the country. Experts have said that the failure of builders to obtain a pass from the National Building Code has been to a great extent the reason why the country has experienced several collapsed buildings over time. They believe that the National Building Code if enforced and strictly followed, will; control and stop non-experts and quacks from participating in any building projects in the country, guarantee consistent compliance by builders to stop the use of substandard materials for any building project and guarantee that builders and property owners maintain a good maintenance culture consistently.

In conclusion, the trend of collapsing buildings can be reversed in Nigeria if we follow the requirements of building construction.


27th April, 2022

3 minutes, 54 seconds read

5 things you need to know before buying a land in Nigeria

According to McKinsey & Company’s ‘Post-pandemic economy: 12 Insights’, ‘…the biggest driver of rising net worth is real estate’. Investments in real estate is becoming more accessible across income levels as new services are springing up to ease the large capital requirement through milestone payments, co-investment and crowd funding. New platforms are also making it easier to invest globally with just a few clicks of the button but due to many factors, uptake of these services is still in its infancy and people still do inspections and due diligence physically before deciding on investing in a property. As your trusted real estate partner, we have listed the first 5 due diligence steps to take if you want to buy a land in Nigeria.

 Plan your cash flow realistically 

When choosing your investment financing options, you need to plan and critically assess your cash flow. Usually, credit facilities for real estate investments are packaged with relatively long tenures to be repaid monthly, quarterly or annually terms. While making investment in real estate is a good store of value, what most people fail to consider carefully is ‘‘how much they can afford to pay per time’’ that will not impact their buying power adversely. It is important for you to scrutinise your financial standing to know how much you can afford to pay for a piece of property even before making a commitment. This may be tricky with staggered payment options especially as fluctuations in inflation and interest rates have an impact on time value of money causing a devaluation to the value of your future cash flows. Essentially, they key is to plan your cash flow realistically and determine what you can afford after living expenses and emergency funds have been allocated.  

 Understand the Size and dimension of the Land 

As a prospective buyer, this is most likely the first thing you want to know. The size or dimension of a parcel of land is a major determinant of the cost/price of that land. There are different measuring units but the most common UoM for land are plots, acres, and hectares. To appreciate the size of a land, you should understand the scale of these units of measurement and make comparisons. For some context, plots of land can come in either 500 square metre or 600 square metres. 6 Plots of land make 1 Acre and 6 Acres make 1 Hectare. It will also add more value to your understanding to consult further with a Land Surveyor for further clarification and or documents that give deeper information and context.

Access the location of the Land 

The geographical coordinates i.e. location of a property determines the integrity of the structure that can be erected on the land. To determine suitability, you need to consider purpose for acquiring a land. This will help you identify the right shape, geographical topology, proximity, infrastructure, road network, availability of anchor occupiers like banks, and other well established private and public institutions. These features play a huge role in driving property value. For example, if your reason for purchase is long term store of value, then you will most likely be purpose fit to buy a land outskirts of the city or urban areas. That gives you an opportunity to buy at a lower price per plot and then the land appreciates over time and as the locality develops. But if your purpose is to build a home or commercial structure then you need to consider thing a land with good access road, good drainage system, and proximity to commercial hub e.t.c. A plot of land in Lekki Phase 1 that now averages over ₦300million in sales value, once sold for ₦3m and less in 2001, refer to our previous article where-is-lagoss-next-lekki-phase-1. The increase in value was largely due to the location, and the presence of growth drivers within Lekki Phase 1. Before you buy into a project, it is important to assess the location and its growth potential to determine its fit for purpose.  

Create a checklist of documentation and regulatory approval requirement  

All over the world, land title is the most important component of any real estate transaction. This is because a Land title and other contractual documents are the evidence of ownership of the physical land. Outside ensuring that the land has a good title, you need understand the regulatory implications in terms of town planning to ensure the land is zoned for the use that you intend to put it to. You can check out our other articles to read more on this.

Discuss payment options extensively 

In the event you are employing credit to finance your purchase, it is critical that you do proper due diligence on the charges and all the terms and conditions. This will help you mitigate things like hidden charges and to also plan your payment calendar to avoid default. A good payment option should be considered because they help reduce the financial burden that comes with upfront payment when buying real estate. It allows you to spread the payment in a way that would not affect your other financial obligations. Where the development company or seller is willing to offer a payment plan, it is advisable to take the opportunity.

We would love to hear from you. Please send your comments and feedback to [email protected].com and we will be in touch.

22nd April, 2022

4 minutes, 18 seconds read

Everything you need to know about land titling in Nigeria

In real estate sales transactions, documentation has been proven to be one of the discombobulating aspects for buyers in Nigeria. Land titles have remained a significant contributing factor to this bottle neck for years without end. The Nigerian legal system has seen an enormous number of cases on land disputes and fraud committed through manipulation of Land title documentation.  We have identified that one of major contributing factors is ignorance and not enough awareness on what constitutes proper and valid documentation in Nigeria. Our goal at BuyLetLive is to make your property acquisition journey easier and in this article we have provided some information on land ownership documentations within the Nigerian context. We will kickstart the conversation from the types of titles and their importance in terms of what the holder can do. For information purposes, the Land Use Act of 1978 provides the latest framework for land ownership in Nigeria and will be the most referenced document throughout this article.

Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)

One of the most criticized provisions of the Land Use Act is that it vests all land within the territory of each state in the State Governor, who is expected to hold it in trust and make it available to the citizens through the grant of a 99 years rights of occupancy. Technically, this means that every land holder in Nigeria is considered a leaseholder and a Certificate of Occupancy is a legal document issued by the government to convey occupancy rights to the person.

On any piece of land in Nigeria, only one Certificate of Occupancy can be granted. The implication of this is that when a property owner decides to sell, the Governor is not expected to issue another C of O on the same property. What is usually required is that the original title holder would secure the Governor's consent to sell. This consent document will then serve the purpose of transferring ownership to the new buyer and need to be documented with the state government authority.

Governor’s Consent

Because land is a property of the government, a transfer of such interest according to the Land Use Act is only permitted when the consent of the State Governor is sought and duly obtained. “Governor’s consent” is usually signed by the Governor as a proof that he has consented to the transfer of a right of occupancy on a landed property from one person to another. This document is very crucial and any title transfer that is not consented to by the Governor is considered invalid.

Deed of Assignment

A Deed of Assignment is a proof of transfer of title or the ownership in a property from one person to another. In this case, the original holder is known as the assignor, while the other party is known as the assignee. In Nigeria, where a party is buying from a holder of a certificate of occupancy, it is expected that the transaction should be followed with a deed of assignment. Deed of assignment is usually prepared by the buyer’s lawyer and then executed by both parties once properly vetted. Typically, a deed should contain information about the parties, and description of the subject property being sold. Additionally, a deed of assignment is only tenable in law if it has been duly registered with the consent of the Governor. Prior to the Land Use Act this was known as the Deed of Conveyance and some properties still have this title till date.

Registered Survey Plan

Every land is expected to have undergone a survey that will show the boundaries and geocode and its measurement, alongside other geoinformation. For a green parcel of land, especially if at the outskirts of town, this is usually the first document that developers offer to new subscribers before proper documentation is done and registered with the state. It is usually done by an estate surveyor and registered with the office of the Surveyor General in the state.

Deed of Mortgage

Real estate is one of the most tenable securities for loans all over the world. According to Allied Market Research, the global real estate loan market size was valued at $7,968 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $23,121 billion by 2030. Typically, for every real estate secured credit, it is expected that the mortgagee (lender of a loan) should have an interest in the property. This additional interest would typically be conveyed through a Deed of Mortgagee and if the borrower of the loan defaults on loan payment, the holder of the document can take possession of the property. This document is usually prepared by a reputable lawyer and registered with the state. This is similar to the deed of Lease and/or Sublease that follows lease and sub-lease arrangements.

 Contract of Sale, Letter of Allocation, and Receipts of Payment

Contract of sale indicates that a property has been sold. It is a typical contract between the buyer and seller that documents the sales contract between the parties. The transaction can happen between an individual or company and the state or a private developer. Oftentimes, a contract of sale is followed by a letter of allocation that documents every detail of the subject property or plot. Payment receipt on the other hand shows the amount paid to the seller by the buyer, and authenticates that there was a monetary consideration for the sales transaction. It is noteworthy that these documents on their own are not legally tenable, and buyers are encouraged to properly document titles with the state after a land transaction.

For more information on the documentation process, requirements, fees and additional information please visit the state land registry. For properties in Lagos, you can check up more information here.

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 [email protected] and we would like to keep in touch.

14th April, 2022

2 minutes, 37 seconds read

Finding Your Happy Place, Episode 5: Victoria Garden City, VGC

Developed in the 90s, Victoria Garden City is a highbrow residential area that has remained an attractive place for Lagosians who aim to live in a serene environment. Located along the Lekki-Epe expressway, opposite Eleganza Gardens Estate, VGC seats beside the Lagos lagoon, a good location for nature, and easy accessibility to every part of the Island. VGC is a well-planned estate, and with approximately 213 hectares of land, it combines commercial and residential buildings for the comfort of everyone. Houses in VGC are mostly prototypes, this means that they were developed by the same developer at the inception of the estate.

With a good number of estates in Lagos today, one might want to ask why VGC? Well, the answer is not farfetched. As an estate that has been around for some time now, VGC is known to be highly secure due especially with the HNIs that live there. Asides from the security at the gates, there are patrol vans within the estate that ensure quick response to security threats or breaches. Visitors are well-coordinated and given a tag for easy identification with a clearly marked and differentiated entrance gate from the residents that help to manage traffic jams at the gate while visitors are being accredited.

The estate also provides basic amenities such as playgrounds and recreational centers for kids, schools, health care centers, religious houses, banks, supermarkets, and so on.

When it comes to architectural structures, the estate might not be the most appealing when compared with newer structures that have more modern and trendy designs, however, we cannot but recognize the well-organized structures and optimal layouts of the estate. Every road has a walkway, there is a well-established distance between houses, and the roads are an advantage that many settlements in Lagos state still struggle with due to poor planning and design.

The cost of properties in Victoria Garden City Estate runs well into hundreds of millions of naira as this is a highly sought-after location. If you are looking to buy or rent a property in VGC, you must have the willingness to pay the worth as prices are going up daily. With the market feedback and speculations from analysts, there is an expected surge in the prices of properties and this is expected in this considering that the Lekki-Epe area is in constant development. Some of the factors that make this more desirable are the Lekki Free trade zone, the upcoming Dangote Refinery, the proposed airport at the Epe axis as well as many other new businesses around the area.

Electricity and water supply in VGC are amenities you need not worry about. While EKEDC supplies the estate with electricity, there are also private power generators that supply power to make up for the less than 24hours public power supply. As for water, the estate authorities supply residents with treated water, and the water supply here is metered. VGC is a beauty to behold, the simplicity and well laid out vegetation stand out and give the estate a warm feel of nature.

There are a few downsides to VGC, despite having good layouts one problem that has lingered on for so long in the estate is the issue of the flood, especially at the entrance of the estate. Experts have said that this is due to the topography of the road which has some elevated parts thereby causing water to accumulate whenever there is a downpour. Asides from this, VGC is a great place to live or own a property.

So, if you are looking for a serene environment, secured with basic amenities, VGC is your happy place.



13th April, 2022

4 minutes, 21 seconds read

Security, Power and Internet emerges top 3 most preferred residential amenities by young professionals in Lagos

The demand dynamics for residential real estate in Lagos has changed phenomenally over the past few years. In the early 2000’s, landlords demanded rent in advance of 2 years or more. With increased exposure into the global market, the topic around “what the ideal housing system in Nigeria should be'' is gaining traction. What we are seeing today, is a growing interest around the monthly rental system with a slow but steady adoption especially as private businesses are finding creative ways through financing services to achieve this.  With consistently rising inflation rates, the average Nigerian’s disposable income is heavily impacted and their cash flow is becoming incapable of sustaining these bulk payments. 

Outside the challenge of effective annual rent demand, another topic of concern which has gotten very little attention is the changing dynamics regarding how “the demand for houses in Lagos is changing by demographics and how developers should be responding. Data from the Lagos State Government estimates that more than 40% of Lagos population fall within the ages of 15 years to 45 years with forecasts that this number will grow to more than 50% over the decade[L1] . Our interaction with agents in Lagos shows a growing demand from this demographic (students, young professionals and mid-level executives) with a preference for smaller sized apartments. This opportunity in the market initially has not been captured but we are beginning to see property developments responding to capture this potential.

We conducted a survey in Q1 2022 sampling young people between the age of 20 to 45 years to understand their location and amenity preferences when renting an apartment in Lagos. Based on our findings, Lagos’ young population want to experience the hub of social activities, but the currently high rental rates at these locations have been a major barrier. The recurring question then is ‘how can developers with projects in the core business districts optimise for this market profitably?’ In this article, we will be discussing some of the survey findings with interesting insights for developers who may want to tap into this segment of the market.

Yaba, Ikoyi and Gbagada emerged as top 3 preferred residential locations by young professionals

45% of the survey respondents selected Yaba, Ikoyi and Gbagada as their preferred residential locations. We dug deeper to understand the rationale behind these choices and found that proximity to the workplace and other business districts alongside availability of amenities were top considerations.  Although the commercial footprint in Ikoyi is growing rapidly, the region remains one of the most serene residential neighbourhoods in Lagos. Ikoyi also provides easy access to Lagos Island, Victoria Island and Lekki Phase 1. Yaba and Gbagada, with their proximity to the 3rd Mainland and Eko-bridge, also provide easy access to the commercial and social hubs, with a number of amenities including restaurants, banks and recreational facilities.  While this presents an interesting insight on where Lagos’ young population would like to live, there is a mismatch with paying potential. 83% of the respondents earn less than N6m in gross revenue annually. Even though they would like to live in Ikoyi, their seemingly low-income level makes it difficult to live in this neighbourhood where 1 bedroom apartments rent around N6m or more per annum.

Well-built 1 bed and 2 beds apartments with good facility management has more allure for young people

From our survey, 65% of the respondents prefer renting 1 bed studio and 2 bed apartments. However, 80% of Lagos' existing property stock consists of more than 3 bedroom typologies. Historically, developers in Lagos have been more focused on larger sized apartments from 3 bedrooms and more. Based on our interaction with agents, demand is tilting more to smaller sized apartments and response to meet this demand is through remodelling of existing large sized apartments into smaller ones. Landlords are increasingly converting their old 4 bedrooms into units of 2 beds and 1 beds, and we have also seen that the adoption of co-living options among young people is also increasing. Although developers have identified this shift in demand, supply is still largely limited. Another interesting finding from our survey is that quality facility management is becoming a key consideration, and the young working population can trade large size apartments for smaller sized alternatives that are well managed and closer to their workplace.

Amidst nationwide power shortages, availability of 24-hours power and security remains the most important amenity for Lagos young working population

With the heightened security challenge across the country, and the recent hikes in power tariff, it is not surprising that 24 hours security and power are the two most important amenities among young people who are renting apartments in Lagos. Almost 75% of the people we surveyed preferred to have 24 hours power and security in their apartment as against other amenities including gym/sport facility, laundromat, internet connection and supermarket. Unfortunately, the cost of electricity has increased phenomenally over the past few months, making it almost impossible for most residential estates to meet their agreed service level. The price of diesel in Lagos for instance, grew by over 150% from ₦303 in January to over ₦800 per litre by the end of March. In response, the average power tariff in serviced estates grew to almost double from ₦83/KwH (kilowatt hours) to over  ₦140KwH.

Meeting the residential demands of Lagos' young population is a tough nut to crack, but also an opportunity for innovative developers.

Considering the high cost of land and other construction input, it is almost impossible to build a decent project in prime neighbourhoods in Lagos. The outcome of our survey presents the most important things in the checklist of Lagos’ young renters. For innovative developers, there is still value that can be created within this market. However, this will require a lot of creativity to find a balance between cost and paying potential of this market segment. 

We love to hear from you, please send us your comments and feedback to [email protected] and we wouldl like to keep in touch. You can follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram to get more insights into what is happening in the Nigerian real estate market.

7th April, 2022

4 minutes, 43 seconds read

Half of households in Lagos are spending around 70% of income on rent. Here are 3 ways to reduce this cost.

Across the world’s top cities, we have found that households are spending as much as over 50% of their annual income just to provide a roof over their head. For instance, BBC analyzed the cost of renting apartments and found that a one-bed flat in London takes up nearly half of the average salary. A report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also shows that 12 million households in the United States pay more than 50% of their annual incomes on rent. Looking at the numbers for the U.S, it means that more than 10% of households in the United State pay over half their annual income to provide a roof over their heads. What is even more interesting is that the numbers run even higher in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.

Globally, households are spending over 50% of annual income against the popular 30% rule of thumb, to live closer to the city centers. 

The global rule of thumb regarding rent to income ratio is that rent should usually be 30% of income.  This means that from an individual’s annual income, the permissible spend on accommodation is about one-third of total income. In a recent research, we were analyzing annual spend on rent across the world and found that the 30% rent guideline is usually not the case. In some places like the UK and US, households spend on rent are closer to 50%, and in Lagos, our research has shown that some households are spending up to 70% of their annual income on rent. This poses some questions of interest, especially when you consider the other costs associated with living and working in Lagos state.

While a family in the UK or US can afford to pay higher ratios on rent and still live a decent life, it is hardly achievable in developing countries. In the case of our country Nigeria, transportation, health care and feeding costs when compared to income is much higher than many advanced countries where these amenities come with heavy subsidies and government aid. Spending 70% of income on accommodation obviously is only sustainable by magic and in this article, we will be sharing some insights on how Lagos residents can better manage this.

 What is the shade for Africa’s key cities?

Bringing this home, a similar narrative plays out across Africa’s top cities. Surging inflation, uneven urbanization and population spread in Africa, among other factors, have fueled a hike in property prices in key cities including Johannesburg, Accra, Nairobi, Kampala, Cairo and Lagos. Our interaction with a number of Lagos residents suggests that the larger chunk of the city’s population are barely working to pay rent and transportation. According to a 2016 report by Euromonitor International, average household spend on housing and transport in Lagos was 71% higher than the rest of the country. Housing alone in Lagos, accounted for over 74% greater household expenditure in 2016 compared to the rest of the country. With the high rate of inflation and surging prices in rents across Lagos, these numbers today are definitely higher than what was reported by Euromonitor in 2016. Cost of construction keeps rising, making it difficult for property prices to fall. With this in mind, how then can the average person reduce the burden associated with renting an apartment? Considering the high cost of rents in Lagos, more than half of Lagos’ population would need to pay as high as 80% of their annual income if they were to get decent accommodation in neighbourhoods close to the city centres. This should not be the case. In the following paragraphs, we will be discussing some tips to help you cut down on your expenses when getting an apartment in Lagos.

3 ways to reduce  your rental spend. 

  1. Pick budget friendly locations and rent only what you need. 

The bigger the space and size, potentially the higher your rent. We understand the fantasy of a walk-in closet, lush marble tiles, grandiose floor to ceiling heights, fitted kitchens and the other good stuff. However, your buying power should be the starting point when choosing a property. Additionally, it is important that you rent what you need. It is not necessary to have a guest room when you do not have visitors who frequently stay over. In fact, it can even be cheaper to lodge visitors in a hotel than having an extra room in your apartment. Another growing trend that we have found very helpful in reducing your costs is shared apartment options. Outside the security and privacy related challenges, sharing an apartment can cut your rental spend to almost half and when properly done, are a good cost saving strategy. 

  1. Relocation and renovations? Major in the major and minor in the minor. 

Yes we get it, some houses are in really terrible forms and it costs a lot to make them habitable but sometimes our renovation costs sky rocket because of our compulsive need for some ‘nice-to-haves. There are expenses on our renovation checklist that if we did a proper cost-benefit analysis, they have no business being there. For example, it may not be necessary and important to paint a newly completed apartment. You may not need to hire a moving company to transport your items to the new house. As much as possible, you can leverage on your network and friends to assist with some relocation needs to cut expenses. A few friends can help you move some items in their cars on a weekend. Someone within can also help you with other minor things that can be very expensive when outsourced. You may consider hiring freelance cleaners as against hiring a janitorial company. 

  1. Why discard your old household items? 

Depending on your taste, new home furnishing spend can take even more than the cost of renting an apartment. This is another significant cost element for people in Lagos. If you have bought furniture in the past few months you will agree that the prices are now through the roof. Except where your furniture has completely worn out, it is advisable to retain your old household items. If the chairs, bed frame etc. are still usable, consider remodeling them to look new rather than buying new ones.

We hope these few tips are helpful. You can check out BuyLetLive.com to find affordable homes that meet your taste and budget. You can also follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram to get more insights on how to navigate the Nigerian real estate market. 


5th April, 2022

1 minute, 33 seconds read

BuyLetLive, The New Wave of Real Estate

For a long time now, the narrative of real estate has been the same in Nigeria, a traditional way of buying and selling. This method has brought us thus far, which means it has worked at least to some extent, but not without some downsides, like the stress of combing Lagos and inspecting houses, agents drama, imposters posing as developers/agents, and the popular ‘what you order versus what you get’ amongst so many other downsides. What if we told you that there could be more to real estate?

At BuyLetLive, we offer a new breath of fresh air to the real estate space in Nigeria, coming with a game-changing plan, poised for excellence, and made up of a professional team ready to make you fall in love with real estate all over again. We do not only offer an easy-to-use real estate platform where all you want is in one place, but we have also ensured that with the BLL platform your property search is made a lot easier.

We have available properties across Lagos, whether for buy, rent, or even shortlets. These properties are easily accessible on the BLL platform, with just an internet-accessible device you can search, book, buy and sell a property within a reasonably short time frame on the BLL platform. Our platform allows you to experience a virtual tour of various properties before choosing your dream home and connecting to the agent for onward negotiation, whether you want to rent or buy. Agents also get to experience their leads surge high as long as they consistently upload their properties for property searchers to find on the platform.

Our customer service is groomed for a friendly and speedy response, we are open to business conversations 24/7.

With BuyLetLive, you should start thinking of real estate in a more convenient, accessible, reliable, and trustworthy way because these and more are what we offer. Look no further, there is something different in town.

A new wave! BuyLetLive.

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https://web.facebook.com/buyletlive

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https://www.linkedin.com/company/buyletlive/