Soar­ing rents keep Abuja high­brow houses va­cant

Daily Trust - - IT WORLD - By Mu­likatu Mukaila

The num­ber of empty prop­erty in Abuja es­pe­cially in the high brow ar­eas is on the in­crease as a re­sult of the present state of the coun­try’s econ­omy.

Daily Trust in­ves­ti­ga­tion shows that high brow ar­eas that house the na­tion’s big wigs such as Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse II and Jabi district have a high num­ber of un­oc­cu­pied houses.

But the big ques­tion is why they re­main un-oc­cu­pied de­spite their prime lo­ca­tion and beauty.

Driv­ing round these ar­eas, one will ob­serve a num­ber of houses in one street car­ry­ing the “TO LET” ban­ner which in­di­cates that the own­ers have put it up for ei­ther rent or lease.

An Abuja based prop­erty agent, Ab­bas Suleiman, ex­plains that most of the houses are va­cant be­cause peo­ple can­not pay the high amount at­tached to them. “A du­plex goes for about N3.5N4 mil­lion per an­num while a 3 bed­room semi-de­tached flat goes for N2.5 mil­lion; 2 bed­room for 1.5 mil­lion while one bed­room goes for N700, N800 thou­sand”

Suleiman also at­trib­uted the low de­mand for such high end prop­erty to the in­sis­tence of some own­ers to col­lect 2 year rent at once.

“Most of the land­lords don’t care if the houses re­main empty or not be­cause they are ex­tremely rich,” he said.

He says the cur­rent eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion has af­fected the abil­i­ties of most ten­ants to pay rent as and when due.

“I know of a fam­ily that re­cently moved out of a three bed­room semi-de­tached apart­ment in Wuse 2 as they couldn’t af­ford to pay their rent, they moved to their own apart­ment which was yet to be com­pleted at Loko­goma district.

Up till now, the house is still va­cant as no ten­ant has shown any in­ter­est in tak­ing up the apart­ment,” he said.

In Asokoro, which con­nects to the new Guzampe ex­ten­sion with beau­ti­ful ar­chi­tec­ture and seren­ity, a lot of houses re­mained un­oc­cu­pied.

Just like the other high brow ar­eas in the city there are sev­eral new houses with fan­tas­tic ar­chi­tec­tural de­signs on dis­play for rent. A guard in one of the houses who did not want his name men­tioned told Daily Trust that the 5 bed­room du­plex mil­lion naira, a 2 bed room goes for 1.3- 1.5 mil­lion while a self-con­tained room here is about 300 thou­sand naira,” he said.

When asked why most of the empty apart­ments are still not oc­cu­pied, he said most own­ers don’t re­ally care whether the houses are empty or not.

“These peo­ple don’t care if the houses re­main oc­cu­pied, be­cause they have sev­eral of them in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the city,” he added.

At the Jabi and Utako dis­tricts of Abuja, Daily Trust also ob­served that even though most of the houses although peo­ple have shown in­ter­est in the house but al­ways leave when­ever they are con­fronted with 2 years up­front pay­ment.

“Nine mil­lion naira is not easy to get these days and the land­lord doesn’t re­ally care if the house re­mains empty. This house has been like this for al­most two years now we have sev­eral of them here,” he said.

He said that it was the owner who used to live in the apart­ment with his fam­ily but later re­lo­cated abroad and since then no­body has been able to af­ford the rent be­ing de­manded.

Pho­tos: Ab­dul Musa

Build­ings car­ry­ing (To Let) signs in Abuja.

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