What are the challenges young people face when trying to get an apartment in Lagos?
Lagos is a thriving hub for young people who are just starting their lives.
I spoke to five young people who have their apartments in Lagos about the issues they faced in getting their current apartments.
This is Emmanuel’s first apartment. His rent is N1,350,000 and he lives in Sangotedo on Lagos Island.
He doesn’t find his apartment comfortable because the power supply is unstable.
However, his apartment is spacious and has three bedrooms he shares with his brother.
Before he found his current apartment, he was shown several other houses, but the one he hated the most was a house without proper ventilation.
Emmanuel feels like the difficulties in getting an apartment is “location, agents and inflexible costing models.”
Emmanuel’s predicament poses a choice of location. If you want the perfect apartment in terms of space, you might have to move further from the metropolis.
Additionally, Emmanuel faces the challenge of inadequate power supply which is still an issue in most parts of Lagos.
Tolu’s first apartment is a mini-flat in Oniru Victoria Island and costs about N800,000.
Although there is no running water, he has to fetch from the well or buy water, he is comfortable with the apartment. It is close to his office at Ikoyi.
Tolu feels like the issue with getting an apartment in Lagos is the high cost.
Lagos has an unusually high cost of housing, with the really good apartment edging towards one million naira or over.
He also thinks apartment size poses a challenge to housing in Lagos.
Nnamdi also lives in a self-contained apartment on the Island and he is quite uncomfortable because the space is really small with his apartment that costs N900,000 with a monthly service charge of N35,000.
Before he got this house, he was shown a Boy’s Quarters that couldn’t fit in his bed and it costs N500,000.
Nnamdi feels “The outrageous cost and the fact that buildings lack basic amenities and are poorly maintained” are the issues he has with Lagos houses.
Nnamdi’s house is small and can only fit a medium-sized bed but it is in a highbrow area of Lagos Island and that means the environment is nice and he is assured of security.
Bisi lives in the Ojodu Berger area of Lagos.
To an extent, she is comfortable with her apartment but not quite because she has noisy neighbours and it is an old apartment. Her rent costs N230,000. Finding an apartment was not so easy, “finding an actually livable apartment with a good location and cost feels impossible.”
To Bisi, “The search for an apartment has some middlemen called agents who make the process harder and more expensive.”
“One thing I hate about staying in Ojodu Berger is how far it is from the Lagos Island if you factor in traffic.”
Although Blessing’s apartment always has a lot of issues because things are always getting spoiled and it needs regular maintenance, the proximity to work makes it all better. It is a mini flat in Oniru she shares with a friend. They split the rent equally.
When she was looking for a house the worst one was, “a house without windows.”
What annoys her about housing in Lagos, “decent houses in central Lagos are ridiculously overpriced, affordable houses are quite the distance.”
When finding an apartment, the expectation is a spacious place that has adequate amenities, security and is located close to work and play at the same time, but in Lagos that seems almost impossible.
Many reasons stand out, but the chief reason for this problem is overpopulation and the high cost of the rent.
Without a uniform model and control, it will not be easy to regulate and tackle this housing challenge.