By Josephine Ogundeji
The median rent of a three-bedroom apartment in Nigeria has reached a new high of N750,000, findings by The PUNCH have revealed.
A comprehensive evaluation of the average rent of a three-bedroom apartment across 15 major cities in the country, with prices sourced from propertypro.ng and estate agents, showed that the cost of a three-bedroom flat in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt went as high as N1.5m per annum.
Minna, Lokoja and Ilorin were some of the major cities with the lowest rental rates in this category, with a three-bedroom flat going for as low as N300,000 in Lokoja.
Other major cities covered in the survey were Jalingo, Asaba, Keffi, Enugu, Makurdi, Uyo, and Gusau.
Median market rent represents the equidistant rent, by unit type (types of flats) as determined in the annual survey of rents for a given period. The survey aggregates average rates in different parts of a geographical locale with a view to striking a mid-point between the highest and lowest rental rates.
Experts have attributed the increase in rental rates across the country to a rise in the cost of building materials and maintenance.
According to a Lagos-based realtor, Michael Ajibola, real estate developers have had to weather an aggressive surge in the cost of doing business.
He said this has made property developers hike rents as they need to recoup costs and maintain profit margins.
He said, “In terms of affordability, I work with some of these developers, and the only thing you hear is that there is nothing like affordability in property. That is what you hear these days.
“You cannot blame this. It boils down to the dollar and how it affects some of these construction projects. For median rent, Lagos is a peculiar place. But if you are looking at the six geopolitical zones, rent is not affordable anywhere. So, people have to go the extra mile (to pay their rent) and this is really causing a strain.”
Ajibola further stated that with the current economic conditions, estate developers have prioritised constructing for high-income earners at the expense of the masses.
He urged the government to initiate more housing schemes that would benefit low-income earners.
Similarly, an Enugu-based estate agent, Philemon Nweze, noted that rental rates in the state have increased by over 50 per cent in the past three years.
Also speaking, a source in a firm that manufactures aluminum doors and windows, who pleaded anonymity, said a harsh business environment occasioned by lack of ability to access forex and other challenges had led to the increment of the price of building materials.