Tuesday, September 09, 2008

From Mayfair to Maitama...

When I lived in Battersea, in the mid-90's, we used to receive the London magazine - a property glossy which had one or two featured articles as padding. Battersea was just about to become an estate agent's nocturnal emission, hence the free monthly delivery. The further towards the back of the magazine you went, the higher the prices. The last few pages went from being x million half page ads (6 bedroom houses in Mill Hill etc.) to full page, 20 bedroom stucco 'price on application' affairs set in the stockbroker belt, or on Bishops Ave up Hampstead way. I used to read the thing on the toilet, and oogle at the prices...

Well, I had an echo of that feeling just now, reading this email sent to the Abuja expats list:

3. NEWLY COMPLETED 5 BEDROOMS DETACHED HOUSE WITH GUEST HOUSE AND BQ
ON A FAIRLY LARGE COMPOUND IN MAITAMA. THE PROPERTY IS WELL FINISHED
AND IS SERVICED WITH BOREHOLE, AIR CONDITIONERS AND A GENERATOR WILL
ALSO BE PROVIDED. RENT IS 12 MILLION NAIRA PER ANNUM PAYABLE 3 YEARS
IN ADVANCE.

In translation, this means for 5 bedrooms in a 'fairly large' compound, you are expected to cough up one hundred and fifty thousand mamacharlies rent in advance (which was three hundred thousand Benjamins until the pound slide a couple of weeks ago). Is there a market for these things in Abuja? Who can afford this?

Out of idle curiousity, I just checked London rental prices in exclusive areas with Foxtons, a leading estate agency. For a tad over fifty thousand quid a year, you can bag yourself this. Here's some description:

"A stunning five bedroomed third floor apartment boasting an exceptionally spacious reception room with open-plan dining room and patio doors opening onto balcony; ideally located in a fantastic purpose-built block (with lift and porter) moments from Regent's Park."

Now, which would you choose if you had the moolah? Bear in mind, the Regent's Park option would involve maybe 10% of the upfront required for the Maitama pad.

12 comments:

Suesue 1:00 a.m.  

London is expensive mate ? I dont get it are u saying London is cheaper than Abuja ? :-s I live in a house like that in Abuja. But yeh u pay a hell of a lot of money for it ! And we are not paying it's the commision.

anyway i just stopped to look and leave a comment

ijebuman 7:20 a.m.  

None of the above, Ijebuman's mansions is enough for me lol. It sounds like a 'piss take', 36 million naira payable in advance, wtf, may be the price includes the cost of putting diesel in the Generator provided....

Kody 7:37 a.m.  

You answered your own question about who can afford it - Abuja Expats. Or rather their oil, gas, or telecoms companies.

If you think Maitama prices are high, check the web for Ikoyi prices!!

We scraped all we can to buy a house in the less fashionable part of Ikoyi (SW) LAST YEAR for 60million (mortgage, savings - no theft o!!). With massive renovations it is now worth 120 million and can command 100k dollars a year. How ridiculous is that?

The house is now too expensive for us to live in so we are looking for Lagos expats who will happily pay 5years upfront.

Foreign companies and thieving government officials have driven house prices to ridiculous heights in sought after areas. No different from anywhere else in the world - only Regents Park looks and sounds a heck of a lot nicer and won't need a generator!

Suesue 8:28 a.m.  

Oh yeh forgot about generators...
that what happens when u grow up in europe !

Wel, you can complain about it ? Or try and do something.

Kush 9:13 a.m.  

The Benjamin na $100 bill so 300,000 benjamins na $30M!

signed Mister 2 know

Waffarian 11:45 a.m.  

Dammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmn.

I am in shock. Whattttttttttttttttttttttttt? all that for a house that isn't yours? You are better off buying a land and building your own damn house. A nice bungalow, with the exact standard you want.

Ehhhh, I am guessing land prices there are even more ridiculous?

I thank God say I no wan live for Lagos or Abuja, na me and my village get am.

Una, ndo oh.

CodLiverOil 12:39 p.m.  

When I first went to Lagos and stayed at my Dad's place (which was nothing great believe me, it was in Yaba), he told us, that he had to pay 3 years rent in advance. I was thinking how outrageous is that, I've stayed in rented accommodation in different towns in different countries and nowhere have I encountered such an unreasonable demand.

I think Nigeria is a case where market forces have got out of hand much like the tornadoes that are striking the Caribbean and the parts of the US. It's ridiculous (how can things be so lobsided that the landlord is allowed go get away with anything? That is just plain undisguised GREED!), but in a place where law and order have slipped into a prolonged coma, what can you expect?

As regards the choice of property to buy, (if I had the money, which I don't), I'd go for the UK (no question).

Anonymous,  5:06 p.m.  

These houses are lived in by expats man... You are the targets for this kind of thing and that is why you will only see it on the expat email list and not general email list. Trust me, your folks rent them!!!!

Red Eyes of Fire 6:28 p.m.  

In Abuja, what you have are shoddy homes with poor workmanship. Shoddy construction due to poor design, poor components and poor workmanship.
If you want quality, its much prudent to build.
Most of the so called Maitama/Asokoro mansions are mediocre - they come with a baggage of issues...the least of the issues are faulty doors, kitchen with bent range hoods, toilets without towel holders or toilet paper holders etc.

Anengiyefa 4:30 p.m.  

With that kind of money, I wont even consider renting. In London, I'll buy outright because it'll work out cheaper in the long run. In Abuja, I'd build a number of investment properties. Then if I have to live in Abuja I'd live in the most comfortable of the investment properties and sell the others, making a tidy profit in the process. Or perhaps I'll put them up for rent to Abuja expats who perhaps have too much money and dont know what to do with it..

ababoypart2 6:58 a.m.  

someone having a laugh! 36 big ones for a place in Abuja, someone better be kidding me. Still....prices are most times fixed on demand.

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