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Why terrace houses are gradually displacing high-rise condominiums in Lekki—Kalu

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Emerging new driver in residential housing supply in Lagos and founding chairman of Africa Property Investment Group (AFPING), Chudi Kalu, has give fresh insight why Lagos and other emerging mega cities in Nigeria are now witnessing terrace housing schemes instead of high-rise condominiums that were in vogue some years back.

In an interview, he said developers have come to understand that whereas companies have offices in high-rise buildings, their staff tend to love living in terrace apartments where they can easily touch the ground and socialize without having to run down elevations and steps.

He said Lekki axis will continue to be a massive residential area considering the influx of mega businesses that encourage close living.

According to him, “We are beginning to experience some trends in Lekki. Are you not noticing it that people are no longer building mansions in Lekki. Those mansions built are not occupied”. “What that means is that you are beginning to see a particular kind of building structure, you are beginning to see apartment houses, you are beginning to see influx of terrace houses that are joined together. Now, one plot can take about four houses, three houses, six houses. We are beginning to see trends. It means that people at the bottom of the pyramid are being considered and are now migrating towards Lekki.

“But what do they want to do if not to enjoy life? They want to live within a place that is lucrative and has good potential for growth. Now, what is also happening to Lekki is that it is going to generate 70 per cent of Lagos’ wealth whether we like it or not. I say it with much emphasis and I am going to give reasons for that.

Continuing, Kalu recalled that “There is a project called Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) powered by Lagos State Government, the Chinese Government and some other persons”.

“That project on its own will generate more than N7 trillion on a yearly basis starting from when I don’t know.

“Dangote is also constructing the Dangote Refinery and billions have been pumped into that project. Now, what it means is that, that area will employ so many people. There is the largest seaport currently going on along that axis and when I mean the largest, currently now, the whole of this country produces 2 million tonnes of containers in terms of what we produce. But this one port coming into that area will produce about 2.8 million tonnes.

“There is also another project, the international airport. What made real estate in Lagos is that it is motivated by trade. All the real estate market in Nigeria is in Lagos. Currently, if you look at the trend, for example, the greater value of Lagos Island is much more expensive than Ikeja.

“But which one looks more lucrative? It is Ikeja. Now, rental value in Mushin is much more than Ikeja. But what is happening in Mushin? Mushin is just one local area but it is motivated by commerce. Even when we have the insecurity threats, people are not bothered. It is not about infrastructure, it is majorly about trade.

“What made areas like Sango-Ota and all the environs thrive is trade. What is making Oshodi thrive? It is trade. What makes anywhere in Lagos thrive is trade and so wherever trade is moving to in Lagos, that is where people move to.

He called on new home seekers to cash in and think housing development in Lekki, saying “because of the advantage that area presents, it is better for people to position themselves for wealth”.

“There is an estimation that eight out of every 10 persons working in Nigeria will not have anything to fund their lives. Just imagine if we have one million people currently working now, that means that out of one million people, 800,000 people will be broke, depending on debt support from outsiders to help themselves.

“Now, what real estate does to people is that it gives them cover during that period. So people invest in real estate to be protected in the future and I will rather say that real estate is about generating cash flow on a regular basis over time. Now, you can easily monitor your wealth.

“So what this area gives to people is that it is already a migrating area. People are making money on a daily basis on that axis and at the same time it protects you for the future. It is just majorly about people building cash flow for themselves because real estate is a major leverage that anybody can take advantage of,” AFPING boss noted.


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