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Housing crisis hits Nigerians

Jubril Bada, Blessings Babatunde,
Richard Jonah & Grace Oloruntoba

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As the cost of living continues its upward trajectory, the frustration Nigerians encounter over high cost of house rent has worsen.

A recent survey conducted by The Hope shed light on how Nigerians spend huge amount of their hard-earned money and savings to pay rent.

Findings also revealed  that the situation has increased the rate at which many Nigerians move into their uncompleted building projects.

The Hope delved into the intricate web of factors contributing to housing crisis in Nigeria, and findings corroborate a recent survey that showed that Nigerians spend 39 percent of their earnings on house rent.

For instance, a single room apartment that was let out for N1,500 and N2,000 monthly has increased to N3000 and N5,000, depending on the location.

Also, in areas like Alagbaka, Ijapo Estate and Oba Ile Estate in Akure, the Ondo State capital, a two-bedroom apartment annual rent cost as high as N800,000 to N1 million.

While a three bedroom apartment cost N250,000 to N350,000 in areas such as Oke Ijebu, Hospital Road, Oda Road, Ondo Road, among other popular areas in Akure metropolis, the cost may be tripled in Government Reserved Areas (GRAs) and estates.

A Real Estate Consultant and Builder and some landlords who spoke with The Hope attributed the high cost of rent to skyrocketing costs of building materials iand high cost of maintaining property.

The landlords said they were left with little choice than to pass on the increased cost to tenants, triggering a domino effect that has left many struggling to afford their housing needs.

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The Landlords’ Association Chairman of Opeyemi community in Akure, Mr Yemi Olaosebikan said the high cost of building materials is really affecting Nigerians because with the increase in prices of building materials, he can’t renovate his house without increasing the rent.

He added that due to the frustrating economic situation in the country, some of his tenants cannot pay their rents as and when due.

Another landlord, Mr Adegbite Marvelous also corroborated his claim.

According to Mr Sunday Olorunsola, “In 2020, a room and parlor was rented out at the rate of N42,000 yearlybut now it is between N80, 000 and N200,000 depending on the location, because of the high cost of building materials.

The Hope confirmed that there have been a substantial increase in the prices of building materials, a key factor cited by stakeholders, for the surge in rental rates across the country.

The cost of a six-inch block, for instance, has risen from N300 to N400, and a nine-inch brick has increased from N400 to N500. About five years ago, each brick cost N100 and N150 respectively.

Additionally, the price of 20 tons of sand has jumped from N70,000 to N82,000, while 10 tons of granite increased from N45,000 to N60,000.

Cement, asbestos and nails have also seen notable price hikes, with cement going from N2,500 to N5,000, asbestos from N12,500 to N13,500, and nails from N250 per kg to N400.

The surge extends to planks prices based on size, including 2 by 2 rising from N600 to N900 and 2 by 6 increasing from N4,000 to N6,000.

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The activities of caretakers have also being identified as a major factor in the surge in the cost of house rent.

We found that caretakers charge almost half of the rent payable by new tenants.

For instance, on an apartment that costs N200,000, the caretaker might request N50,000 to N80,000 in addition, using factors such as consultation, damages and caution fee as reasons for the additional payments.

Mrs Bose Adeolu said she paid a total sum of N350,000 for a two- bedroom apartment that costs N250,000.

Mr. Josiah Akindele told The Hope he paid N180,000 for an apartment that costs N120,000 per year.

A Real Estate Consultant and Builder, Mr. Oladipo Oladapo, said the economic instability in the country resulted to many negative outcomes including the cost of building materials and maintaining rented property.

He added that the increase in cost of living forces house owners to raise rent to cover their own increased cost, such as property taxes, utilities, and maintenance.

Oladapo explained that the focus on building or renting out high -end property by developers and house owners ,rather than affordable housing options led to a shortage of affordable rental units.

The real estate consultant pointed out that the lack of housing regulations to control rents gave room to house owners to set their own prices which will be too high for many renters to afford.

He, however, suggested the need for government to improve the economic situation of the country through good economic policies.

Oladapo appealed to government to make use of economic instruments such as taxes, subsidies, and regulations to discourage certain activities or factors contributing to increasing cost of house rent in the country in the interest of the commoners.

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