Rental prices driving Abuja residents to outskirts
Facts have emerged that high rental prices of houses in the nation’s capital, Abuja have driven residents, especially, civil servants and low-income earners to seek accommodation in the outskirts.
The biggest drops in rental affordability over the past five years are in areas like Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse I and II, Wuye, Jabi, and Garki, where two bedroom flat goes between N1.8million and N2 million per annum,
The Guardian findings show that a two-bedroom duplex in Maitama, Wuse II and Asokoro, goes for N2 million and N2.5 million depending on the location. Areas traditionally seen as some of Abuja’s most affordable – also recorded a significant decline compared to the rest of Federal Capital Territory.
In Garki and Wuse Districts, for example, three bedroom duplex is rented between N2.2 million and N2.5 million per annum, while two bedroom duplex in Maitama, Wuse II and Asokoro goes for N2.5million.
It was also gathered that rental prices of three bedroom duplex in Maitama, Wuse II and Asokoro Districts is N3 million and N3.5 million per annum.
Due to this development, prospective tenants now prefer buying plots in the outskirts or rent houses in such places earlier considered as suburbs. The situation has also caused a decline in rents in some of these areas.
According to Roland Igbinoba House Price Index (RI Index) published last year that covered 23 areas within the Federal Capital Territory, a cursory observation of the constructed indices shows that the highest fluctuation in house prices occurred in Jabi area for five bedroom houses in the first quarter of 2017 where house price index nose-dived a whooping 58 per cent from 112 in the previous quarter to 47 in the first two month of 2017.
There was also a steady, albeit marginal increase in the price of houses across all strata in Katampe and Kaura between Q2 2016 and Q1 2017. While in Dakibiyu and Daura areas, there seems to be decrease in house prices across the three stratum throughout Q2 2016 to Q1 2017.
In Garki area, while there seems to be fluctuations in the prices of five bedroom and three bedroom houses, the indices shows a consistent decrease in the price of four bedroom houses throughout Q2 2016 to Q1 2017.
In Asokoro area, there was a consistent rise in the price of three bedroom and four bedroom houses while the prices of 5 bedroom houses experienced a gradual decrease through Q2 2016 to Q1 2017.
The reverse of this seems to be the case in Lugbe area while in Lokogoma, there appears to be a consistent rise in price of housing across all strata. The consistent rise in prices of housing in Lokogoma could be due to the movement of demand from the high brow areas like Asokoro and Garki where prices have been on the rise to more affordable areas.
Consequently, renters are getting inquires on any property for rent under N350, 000 a year and most agency offices have been swamped with applications by prospective tenants for areas such as FHA Estate, Lugbe, Jikwoyi and Nyanya.
Confirming this development, an estate surveyors and valuers, Eric Okafor, told The Guardian that two-bedroom apartment in the outskirts, like FHA Estate, Lugbe, Jikwoyi, Nyanya is rented between N550, 000 and N650, 000 per annum, which is seen as affordable.
Okafor said one bedroom apartment within Garki and Wuse goes for N650, 000 and N700, 000 depending on the location, while the same goes for N1 million a year in Maitama, Asokoro and Wuse II .
He also hinted that people pay as much as N350, 000 and N400,000 for one bedroom in FHA Estate, Lugbe, Nyanya, Kubwa, adding, there are not much two bedroom duplex in the suburb.
“In city centres, there is high demand for low cost houses, like one room self contain, two bedroom, while that of 3bedroom and four bedroom are falling due to economic trend,” he added.
An estate agent, Ferdinard Enyi, said the main factors that make people to move out Asokoro, Maitama, and others districts are the high cost of renting two or three bedroom.
Enyi therefore enumerated, high tenement rate, dustbin by AMAC, water bill, which we pay N10, 000 per month, adding, instead of these people are going to outskirts to buy land at cheap rate to build.
He said many houses in Maitama and Asokoro, have no occupants of and many of the buildings are empty because they have left for village lands and Estate plots.
Another Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Pastor Emmanuel Atamoje, said house owners are now re-selling in these areas because people can no longer rent them again.
Explaining further, he noted that any time there is change administration, politicians want to live in these choice areas, like Maitama, and only few go for Sun city and Sunny Vale Estates.
According to him, this has resulted to distortion of Abuja Master Plan, adding, because most state government offices are in Asokoro, land allocation in these affected areas have be overbuilt.
“People are buying plots in estates mostly, low income earners, and payment is made in installmental. Many civil servants are going it because they can use the service of Mortgage institutions,” he added.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of Shelter Orgins, Ezekie Ojo, who operates Jikwoyi-Karishi axis, has urged renters to consider owning property rather than being tenants.
He explained, “We are now selling affordable housing units, like one bedroom semi detached bungalow for N2.5 to N4 million.”
He disclosed that they have varieties to offer the public such as two bedroom fully detached bungalow for N7 million, N6.5 million and N4.5 million depending on the location.
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