To a cursory observer, Yaba, also fondly called Lagos Silicon Valley, is like many other parts of Nigeria’s sprawling commercial capital with a disharmony of car horns and shouting street vendors, all mingling with exhaust fumes and occasional stench of sewage. For its central location and good investment yield, especially in rental income, Yaba, Nigeria’s technology hub, has become a good and an attractive real estate investment destination with opportunities.
However, in-between the buildings down the streets in this otherwise unattractive part of Lagos, tech start-ups are taking root and creating a buzz that is drawing international venture capitalists and more established digital firms seeking real estate assets to rent, lease or buy.
Beyond this, its proximity to Victoria Island and other key business hubs in Lagos including Ikeja and Lagos Island has made Yaba to be known as a residential hub for the younger demographic, majority of who work in these parts of Lagos. An analysis of the Yaba residential market shows that its living democracy is largely middle income just as its popular property grade. Rental growth in this neighbourhood in the last five years remains 1.7 percent per annum.
Estate Intel, a data platform that helps organisations interacting with the real estate and construction industry, says Yaba with a population size estimated at 437,077 has total housing stock put at 515 units with higher rental than sales yield.
“Yaba has over eight tertiary institutions and houses three of Lagos’ major educational institutions namely, the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Yaba College of Technology and Federal College of Education, Akoka,” Dolapo Omidire, founder, Estate Intel, noted as part of reasons for the area’s real estate opportunity.
Because Yaba has become a major hub for young professionals, and also based on its proximity to the Island, there is growing interest and investment in young professional housing within the area, he noted. “The increasing awareness of the younger population has led to an increase in 1-bedroom and studio developments in the pipeline, designed to serve that market demographic,” he said, citing projects such as Lagoon View Estate and Jacob Mews Estate.
Though there are multiple projects for large scale (50+units) targeting young professionals and families, there are also larger-scale projects, such as Casino Heights and Opal Luxury Apartments, which are currently under construction in the area. “Yaba is becoming an interesting investment opportunity for large and small scale residential developers, due to the direction of the market and its large population of young professionals,” Omidire said, adding, “our residential market analysis gives a more in depth study on the sale and rental rates, yields and data points necessary for making the right investment decisions.”