“There is an appetite for it but the real definition of luxury real estate is something that is still quite questionable. Certainly there’s a growing middle class and even upper class that requires the comfort and extra details,” Managing director, Fine and Country International realty, Udo Maryanne Okonjo told CNBC Africa.
Lagos is seen as one of the most expensive cities in the world due to the high cost of property which many are calling luxury living. Okonjo believes that when luxury is compared with London, New York, South Africa or Dubai, Lagos is still very much in its early stages.
“People are looking for quality, good quality, and if you were to look at it based on international standards, they are not even looking for those things that we really consider to be luxury.”
According to Okonjo, the growth is with a combination of home owners and the people who are moving away from the middle class.
“Nigerians are quite aspirational with growth in terms of businesses and financial rewards. People want to reward themselves with a bigger home and in a location they consider to be on that level,” she added.
Nigeria is experiencing a shift in culture as a lot of people are moving from the suburbs to Ikoyi and wanting to live in an apartment - a new trend in Nigeria. People who were living in a big house in Victoria Garden City, which is one of the older luxury developments from several years ago, were now moving to apartments so there’s growth in the area.
“In addition, 50 to 60 per cent is still largely investors. People who already own multiple properties which means the real growth is in the middle segment because there are only so many people who own homes and then start talking about luxury properties,” said Okonjo.
There is something about Nigerians in particular, whether they live in the America, Europe or Asia, they still feel like they must own a home in Nigeria and so we are seeing a growth in that segment of returnees or even professionals or business people who live oversees, wanting to own properties in Nigeria.