NIESV Lagos Reports 300% Increase in Housing Costs Over Eight Years

Emma Bulletin
3 Min Read
NIESV Lagos Reports 300% Increase in Housing Costs Over Eight Years

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos State Branch, has revealed that the cost of housing has skyrocketed by 300% over the past eight years.

This announcement was made during the 2024 Estate Week’s press briefing held recently in Lagos.

The institute’s chairman, Gbenga Ismail, emphasized the urgent need to declare a state of emergency in the housing sector. He highlighted the violation of Nigerians’ right to homeownership, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, due to the escalating housing costs.

“If you compare the number of people who could afford homes five years ago to those who can today, the difference is stark. Earnings have also decreased significantly. With building costs rising by 300% and purchasing power dropping, homeownership is becoming increasingly unattainable,” Ismail stated.

Skyrocketing Rents

Ismail further pointed out the challenges posed by the rising cost of rent, which has made securing adequate shelter difficult for many Nigerians. “The average Nigerian spends around N600,000 per month on essentials such as food, transportation, and utilities, excluding rent. This amounts to an annual expenditure of N6-7 million. When rent or mortgage payments are added, homeownership becomes nearly impossible for the average person,” he explained.

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He urged the government to address housing affordability, stating that it is becoming out of reach for many Nigerians. “Homeownership is not just an economic issue but a security problem,” Ismail added, calling for localized production of building materials to mitigate costs.

Dependence on Imported Materials

“Seventy percent of building materials are imported, which, coupled with the fluctuating exchange rate, has severe consequences,” Ismail noted. He pointed out that even locally sourced materials like cement are expensive, and labor costs are high. The importation of iron rods further exacerbates the situation, with domestic steel companies like Ajaokuta underutilized.

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Prioritizing First-Time Homebuyers

Ismail called for prioritizing first-time homebuyers and essential workers such as medical professionals, armed forces personnel, and police officers. “Providing housing for these critical workers can create a stable foundation for our society,” he asserted.

Government Initiatives

Emphasizing the need for government policies to ease land acquisition, Ismail stressed that greater availability and affordability of land are crucial. Last year, Vice President Kashim Shettima stated that bridging the country’s 28 million housing gap would require N21 trillion. Recently, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Ahmed Dangiwa, announced the Federal Government’s award of contracts for constructing 3,500 housing units in 13 states.

This alarming increase in housing costs and the subsequent challenges faced by Nigerians underscore the urgent need for comprehensive housing policies and local production of building materials to make homeownership more accessible.

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