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Nigeria’s real estate is slowly emerging from the depths of a recession. The boisterous confidence borne out by the massive construction work in the country’s cities preceding the economic downturn is returning. And the most pricey of districts are in on this recovery act. The growth of Nigeria’s population has stoked an increase in demand for living and working spaces, which in turn has pushed prices higher. As this trend persists, attention of property hunters is shifting away from the traditional favourite hot spots to newer areas. Today’s fashionable districts are a mix of opulent suburbs and business districts, and the residential quarters of present and past public office holders. Unsurprisingly, they’re concentrated in two cities – Lagos, the country’s commercial capital; and Abuja, its seat of political power. The choicest of these cities’ neighbourhoods make up Nigeria’s top five most sought after real estate locations, as listed below.

5. Nicon Town

Nicon Town sits off the main route between Lagos’s island business districts and the fast developing interiors. Its home to upper class urbanites, many of whom are executives at some of the city’s bigger business corporations. The rent for a six bedroom detached duplex at this high brow space costs as much as ₦12 million; and if you’re thinking about buying property outright, you’d find five bed room abode valued at up to ₦500 million on sale in the area. These are easily some of the most eye watering sums you’ll ever have to pay for a living space in Lagos- which is, in itself, quite something.

4. Jabi

This district is just under a quarter of an hour’s drive from Abuja’s central business district. It’s one of a number of regions favoured by the country’s governing elite. This fact has played its part in keeping real estate prices here rather on the higher side. A four bedroom terraced duplex goes for as much as ₦800 million.

3. Asokoro

Home to the living and working spaces of the presidents of the Federal Republic. It also has more federal government officials within its supposed boundaries at any given point of the day than anywhere else in the country. Throw in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the World Health Organization (WHO) building, and other important sites in the area (plus a heavy presence of security officers), and you’ll probably appreciate that property prices here won’t be light. They aren’t. If you would like to buy a six bedroom duplex, you might need to pay as much as ₦1.6 billion to get it.

2. Maitama

The third district on this list located in the capital city. Interestingly, property prices here can cost even more than what you’ll find at Asokoro. Located in a northern section of Abuja, Maitama hosts a large number of embassies representing countries from.across the world. A number of government agencies have their officrs in the area as well. If you’re looking to stay within a few feet of some of Abuja’s top businesspeople and public officers, you could consider owning a home in Maitama. But here’s the catch: be ready to part with up to ₦3 billion if you would want to buy a three bedroom house.

1. Banana Island

This man-made island on the Lagos lagoon has become the measuring rule for ostentation in Nigeria. It’s home to some of the richest people in Nigeria – and indeed, in Africa – and is certainly a contender for highest per capita income district in the country. Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga, Nigeria’s two richest men, both own property there, as do millionaire blogger and socialite Linda Ikeji, and Saayu Dantata, whose late father was West Africa’s richest man in his time. How much would it cost you to have a district in common with these people? Perhaps owning a ₦7 billion four bedroom flat, or a ₦13 billion duplex, could do the trick.  

A sober note

Nigeria does have a housing deficit, and what appears to be a market skewed in favour of higher net worth individuals and organizations. While first tier cities are awash with high priced projects targeted at supposedly rich buyers, many of these buildings are likely to stay unoccupied. But people on the lower end of the income spectrum struggle to find decent living spaces at affordable prices. We might think of the expensive price tags on the houses in the neighbourhoods mentioned above as a sign that incomes are rising, and that people are increasingly able to afford better homes. Or we could recognize it as a pointer to a property market that’s racing away from reality and into the dangerous dreamworld of a speculative bubble.

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This article was first published on 4th July 2018 and updated on July 8th, 2018 at 10:22 pm


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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