Property developers in Nigeria have been rushing to build homes over the past decade, as a fast-growing population and a surge in migration from rural areas to the cities puts a squeeze on the country's housing supply.
But the mix of massive demand, high construction costs and poor market research by developers has resulted in a wave of new two- and three-bedroom houses that few people in Nigeria need or can afford, housing experts, say.
40% of Nigeria's estimated 206 million people live below the country's poverty line of 137,430 naira per year. But even professionals looking to work and live in the cities are forced to sleep in slums and other unsafe places like bus stops, petrol stations or unregistered accommodation while they wait to find somewhere they can afford to live.
John Olugbemi, spokesperson for MFF Housing, which builds affordable housing for mid-to-low income earners, said the high interest on the commercial loans that many developers tap into makes it impossible for them to sell at a loss. "Instead, they prefer to leave their houses empty until they can get people to buy them at the price that would help them repay their loans and make a profit," he said.
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