Lagos is a popular destination to migrate to for Nigerians looking to “make it.” Little wonder its population is over 25 million, even as it is said to be one of the most expensive African cities to live in.
Sure, in other Nigerian cities, your budget could land you a larger, more habitable space than what Lagos has to offer, but many appear to prefer the boisterous city. Perhaps this is because in Lagos, there is something for everyone. Whether it is Makoko, Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu, Eko Atlantic, or Banana Island, there’s a chance you’ll find a place for your budget.
So how much are Lagosians paying for rent?
In Lagos, like everywhere else, rent is dependent mainly on the larger environment, along with the size and type of apartment. The consensus is that Lagos is divided into two parts: Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island. The latter is the pricier location.
There are many squatter settlements on the mainland. These abodes are typically built from wood or metal sheets and go for as low as ₦300/month (₦3,600 yearly). Single rooms go for anything from ₦3k to ₦7k. Self-contained apartments in other parts of Lagos are usually higher.
In Ajao estate, for instance, one-bedroom apartments cost between ₦600k to ₦900k depending on the specific location. But it is possible to find an apartment for as low as ₦90k annually in Igando, according to Dami*, a content writer. Charles*, a graphic designer renting a self-contained apartment in Maryland, believes he got a fair deal for an apartment close to his work at ₦300k each year.
That figure is not much removed from the ₦270k a year that Matthew*, a private school teacher, pays for his one-bedroom apartment in Odonla, Ikorodu. Mariam*, a banker, pays ₦500k for her bedsitter in Bariga, but would rather live on the island at that cost. Maybe someday.
For Amaka*, a school teacher living in Ejigbo, the rent comes in at ₦350k for her two-bedroom apartment.
Although, there are higher figures for particular areas on the Mainland, like Ikeja GRA, Omole Phase 1, Ogudu, and Gbagada, generally, rents tend to jump as you head into the island.
Hart*, a full-stack developer living in Lekki Phase 1, pays ₦2.2million for his two-bedroom yearly. Sometimes, rents differ within the same building. Sangotedo landlord Olamide* leases out two of his two-bedroom homes for ₦1.1 million and ₦1.3 million for the ground and top floors respectively. And for social media influencer Chiamaka*, her ₦1.5m rent in Oniru is money well spent. “It’s worth it for the access I get,” she says.
Sommie*, a stay-at-home wife and mother says her two-bedroom apartment in Chevron costs ₦3.1 million but is not enough space for her growing family, which currently includes two children.
Of course, the bigger the home, the bigger the rent. For instance, Nk*, an influencer, rents a three-bedroom semi-detached home in Elegushi for ₦3.3 million with two of her friends. On the mainland, a similarly sized home as Nk’s in Ketu or Amuwo is usually within the ₦600k to ₦1.5m range.
And yet, there are more expensive places than any of the above. To take one example, word on the digital streets has it that the average cost of renting a three-bedroom home in Eko Atlantic is around ₦23 million annually. Not too far off, in Ikoyi, renting the same type of home could set you back as high as ₦15 million. Naturally, many residents in these locations are expatriates and moguls.
So far, only rents have been presented. But there are often other costs to consider. These include “agency fees”, service charges, legal fees and caution fees. There are also hidden costs attached to a new apartment, like the cost of commuting to work and to school to pick up one’s children.
At PiggyVest, we urge you to spend within your income bracket. It will do you a world of good to keep the 30% rule in mind when house-hunting in Lagos or elsewhere. This means spending no more than 30% of your gross income on rent. Or less, if possible. After all, you did not come to Lagos only to pay rent.