The Best Opportunities For Real Estate Investment In Lagos
Real Estate investment in Lagos broadly falls under three categories – short term development and sale (also known as property flipping), speculative purchases and generational investments. Lagos offers substantial opportunities for all three, some more so than others, but the geographical location of broad-based real estate investment opportunities in Lagos seems to be known by everybody and nobody at the same time.
Where exactly can you find property that offers you the chance to flip, speculate or work as a generational passive-income asset? This article breaks down four of these locations within the borders of Lagos State.
1. Lagos – Badagry Expressway Corridor
Elsewhere, I have written about how rapidly the expanse between Satellite Town and Badagry is witnessing change. Driven by a gigantic light rail and 10-lane super highway construction project, this area is probably the hottest area in Lagos right now for first time buyers and investors. A proposed new deep sea port in Badagry is also likely to pull more jobs, infrastructure and investment into the area. It is the only location on this list that offers you a substantial chance for all three types of property investment.
The light rail Blue Line and the reconstructed Lagos – Badagry Expressway promise to create a new commuter belt which will attract hundreds of thousands of the growing middle class population of Lagos. So whether you want to purchase land and wait for its value to appreciate before selling it on, or you want to add value to the land and sell it as newly usable land or a housing development, you have the chance to do that here.
This is one of the few places in Lagos with a large expanse of completely untouched land that is dry, stable and suitable for construction. As time goes on and more middle class property developments spring up (as they already are in fact), you can also choose to make a large purchase to be developed for rental purposes, and then hold this for your descendants as a store of generational wealth – this of course, if you have the necessary budget.
Whatever it is you desire to get out of your real estate investment strategy, the Badagry Expressway corridor probably has something for you. My advice? Move quickly. All that land won’t be untouched for long.
2. Somolu Gentrification Belt
This is a name I have coined for an area in Mainland Lagos that was built out between the late 60s and early 90s. Comprising areas of Bariga, Palmgrove and Gbagada, Somolu has some of the most recognizable architecture of the mainland, with chaotic multiple storey dwellings and high-density bungalows, popularly known as “Face-Me-I-Face-You”.
This might seem like an odd choice for an investment pick, but as those familiar with the area will know, changes are afoot. Entire streets and neighbourhoods in Bariga and Palmgrove are being reshaped and redeveloped. The major artery of Bariga for example, snaking from Ifako at one end to Akoka at the other, is now a buzzing construction scene.
Gone are many of the iconic tin-roofed “Face-Me-I-Face-Yous” and in their place, restaurants, banks, office buildings and new-build tenancy dwellings are reshaping the skyline. Driving through Jagunmolu Street used to yield a homogenous scene of tin-roofed houses, wooden corner shops and the occasional 5-storey monstrosity housing 100 people. These days, you will see a Wema Bank, a First Bank, 3 spanking new office buildings, a huge Just Rite supermarket, several retail stores and boutiques, a natural gas refill plant, 2 petrol stations and several new residential buildings under construction.
What this means to your investment portfolio is that this textbook gentrification scene is perfect for property flipping, provided you have the minimum N25m required to buy one of the existing 60s-era anachronisms still dotting the Somolu landscape.
One of the biggest real estate market movers is consumer sentiment, and once the sentiment is that a previously dead area is now undergoing urban regeneration, everyone instantly wants a piece of that pie. Your rusty N30m purchase in Bariga, with some remodeling and modernization will easily be worth N45m in 2 years, and there will be no shortage of buyers eager to exploit the close proximity to 3rd Mainland as well as its central location.
My advice? Go for it.
3. Lekki Free Trade Zone Area
This is the area around Lekki Town, from which the wider 70km radius area derives its name. It is the site of some of the biggest construction currently going on in West Africa, with a new international airport, a deep sea port, several new housing developments and Dangote Refinery – the largest petrochemical refinery in Africa – all at varying stages of completion.
The main reason this area is on the list is because the sheer amount of investment and infrastructure going into it makes its real estate potential inevitably heightened. It is relatively close to the established circle of middle class prosperity along the Lekki-Epe corridor, and there is a near certainty that once the jobs start to come in, residents and businesses will too.
A note of caution should be exercised when deciding to invest in this area – most of the land available here is basically undocumented. Lagos State has only very recently got round to taking stock of its entire land mass in order to officially account for it, and this is one of the areas that has only really come into existence officially within the last 15 years. What that means is that there is an abundance of hucksters and snake oil salesmen offering to sell you land that is not theirs to sell, or that simply doesn’t exist.
There are also dozens of colourful residential development flyers making the rounds with beautiful renders depicted on them, promising that with just an initial payment of N600,000 plus N100,000 monthly for 12 months, you can become a homeowner in a rapidly appreciating environment. Be very careful about any offers that seem too good to be true.
My verdict? Think carefully before you jump in.
4. Eko Atlantic
This is the Michael Jackson to Victoria Island’s Prince. The ultimate expression of what carefully planned, well-funded, world class town planning and city construction can look like in Nigeria. Already, with land reclamation still not at 100% completion, property is literally flying off the shelf here, despite the hefty $5000 per square metre price tag.
Eko Atlantic is already the most expensive district in West Africa, and it’s not even 20% complete yet. When it is complete, it will tower over downtown Lagos, a self-sustaining exclusive patch of wealth with its own utilities, public services and even law enforcement.
The relevance of Eko Atlantic to your investment portfolio? Well just one thing really – generational wealth transfer. If you have the budget to pay for a flat in one of the five Eko Pearl towers (currently starting at N160,000,000), then what you have on your books is both a foolproof store of value and a dependable source of substantial rental income. If you somehow make it to the front of the queue to purchase property on this rarefied patch of earth, you should definitely have no intention of selling it. This one is for your children and their children to benefit from. Your descendants to the 7th generation will know that you were here.
My verdict? Get. On.It. If you can afford it.