1004 Estate: A housing solution?
1004 Estate has a total of 1004 flats, maisonettes and studio apartments. It is the largest single, luxury high-rise estate in sub-Saharan Africa. 1004 Estate is located at the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria. These high-rise buildings were opened in 1979 to serve as an upscale accommodation for senators and members of the House of Representatives. However, 1004 Estate has since been remodelled and resold to corporate buyers.
My colleague found an apartment after four months of searching. She had the funds. She has a stable source of income yet; it took forever to find a comfortable space. Most of the apartments she inspected had one of the following problems: inconsistent supply water, epileptic power supply, security risks, location disadvantage, and the list goes on.
The recent turn of events in the economic, social and political scene has generated greater uncertainty in the housing options available to young people. High youth unemployment coupled with a receding economy highlights the challenges young people face in Nigeria. This article explores the depleting state of housing obtainable for young people aged between 21 and 35 in Lagos state.
Three Major Housing Challenges the Average Nigerian Millennial Faces
- The average Nigerian millennial pushes towards living in rentals, which reﬂectsthe growing problem of owning a home. The low supply of newly built, affordable houses against the rising housing demand inflates rental rates and housing costs. This bridges the gap between young people and home ownership.
- In addition, landlords own full autonomy to regulate and determine rental rates with little or no regulation. Also, they offer limited options for tenancy like shared tenancy or variance in payment periods. As a result, tenants are open to marginalization and discrimination against single women seeking to rent a house.
- The mortgage system remains woefully underdeveloped and brimming with setbacks like the uncertainty surrounding long mortgage periods extending up to 20 years, concerns over property rights and a limited data coalition base.
The following are notable key points unveiling the average Nigerian millennial:
- The average monthly income is in the range of NGN 75,000-150,000.
- About 92% are graduates or have undergone vocational training.
- Nearly half have no immediate plans to move out of their parents’ or relative’s house but would love to.
- High saving culture with interest in investing in properties or buying a car.
Read more: Steps to buying a house
What the average Lagosian desires from a house are proximity to work, provision of water and power supply, security and affordability. Typically, an apartment that comes close to offering these features cost a fortune. In most cases, people settle for a house far away from their place of work. The result is long hours in traffic commuting to and from work, and also long tedious hours in traffic that could have otherwise been directed at other valuable activities like personal advancements and proper rest. Not to mention the ludicrous amount of their meagre monthly income spent on transportation.
The way forward
As the populations’ increases and Lagos, more crowded, the need for community housing schemes has become inevitable. Although community housing schemes are generally stereotyped as backdrops for poverty and ghettos – in the long run – there are several successful community housing schemes around the world to take a cue from.
A fair trade-off would be a joint investment between the public and private sector with the public sector providing the land and subsiding the cost of development while the private sector develops and oversees management and sell-off of the properties. Lagosians are willingly to pay for low-cost, efficiently designed houses.
1004 Estates Limited is an exemplary real estate project that properly incorporates living, working and recreation on a limited surface area. It has a 95% occupancy rate, highlighting the high demand for such housing developments. Imagine having ten of such high-rise buildings at the various vibrant areas like Surulere, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lekki, Ibeju-Lekki, Gbagada, and Maryland.
Other successful community housing schemes include the following:
The Mirador Housing Project – Madrid, Spain
The Mirador housing project in Madrid’s Sanchinarro quarter dubbed as the “sky plaza” is a block of flats comprising of 165 apartments. The project won the Madrid Municipality Best Design in 2005. It was designed by the Dutch architectural firm MVRDV.
The Pearcedale Parade – Melbourne, Australia
The Pearcedale Parade in the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows is a vibrant, eye-catching development by the Victoria-based branch of CH Architects. The Pearcedale Parade was completed in 2010 and contains 88 cross-ventilated units, and the development boasts of having solar-powered hot water and heating. The development was funded by a non-profit body dedicated to providing affordable accommodation and bent on improving the way people think about community housing.
Community housing schemes do not require the bravado luxury apartments offer. The Nigerian real estate market is a bit skewed as most real-estate developers diverted resources towards constructing luxurious villas and large family-sized apartments. Unfortunately, the market for luxurious apartments is rather tiny compared to the massive, untapped market literally begging for affordable homes.
A community housing scheme should focus on providing the following core amenities:
1. Tarred roads and functioning drainage systems
No one wants a pond at the entrance of their house five hours after a drizzle. An appropriate housing scheme will incorporate well-dug drainage systems and tarred roads linking the development to the highway for direct access.
2. 24/7 Water Supply and power supply
A central pumping station designed to ration water distribution with meters placed in every apartment will accurately determine how much water is used, how residents should be billed and to avoid wastage. No one would want to live in a house with water challenges, regardless of how pretty the house is.
An uninterrupted power supply is highly essential for convenient living. The epileptic nature of the Nigerian power system makes frequent blackouts inevitable. In this case, provision should be made for a central power generator to serve as backup during power cuts.
Also read: Ibeju Lekki – The new Lagos
3. Parking Space and Security
An underground parking lot will efficiently maximize space and provide ample parking space. Finally, maximum security in a housing scheme is paramount. An effective community housing must take into consideration the security risks of housing a bunch of strangers. Otherwise, the whole purpose of community living becomes defeated.
To conclude, the Nigerian real-estate market is at its teething stage and provides limitless opportunities to real-estate investors looking to solve real problems. The task of providing mass affordable housing falls on potential investors as much as the government. There’s definitely room for developing community housing schemes.
Here is a good place to start. Lekkivale Estate located at Ibeju-Lekki offers a unique opportunity to invest in real estate from as low as NGN 420, 000.