Navigating Lagos Living: A Comprehensive Guide to Accommodation Costs and Essentials

December 14, 2023
5 mins read
Navigating Lagos Living- A guide to accommodation costs and essentials

As a Senior Accountant living and working in Lagos, I’ve navigated the intricacies of this bustling metropolis for years. Understanding accommodation costs in Lagos, one of Africa’s largest and most dynamic cities, is a critical aspect of living here. The city’s diverse array of living options caters to various lifestyles and budgets, making it a melting pot of cultures and experiences.

However, this diversity also brings with it a wide range of accommodation costs. Whether you are a student, professional, or have a family, it’s imperative to understand these costs to ensure a comfortable and financially sustainable living situation. My experience in finance and real estate investment in Lagos has shown me the importance of being well-informed in this regard. It’s not just about finding a place to live; it’s about making informed decisions that suit your budget and lifestyle in this vibrant, culturally rich city.

Best Places to Live in Lagos

1. Lekki

Known for its upscale residential areas, modern amenities, and vibrant social scene, Lekki is a popular choice among middle to upper-class residents. It offers a mix of luxury apartments, houses, and gated communities. The area is also home to several shopping malls, restaurants, and entertainment spots, making it ideal for those seeking a contemporary urban lifestyle.

2. Ikeja

As the state capital, Ikeja is a bustling area with a blend of residential and commercial spaces. It’s home to several government offices, shopping malls, and a range of entertainment options. Ikeja also boasts good schools and hospitals, making it a convenient choice for families and professionals.

3. Victoria Island

This is one of Lagos’ most affluent neighborhoods, known for its luxury apartments, high-end shopping, fine dining, and vibrant nightlife. Victoria Island is popular among expatriates, corporate professionals, and high-income earners. It offers excellent amenities and proximity to major business hubs.

4. Ibeju Lekki

Often referred to as the ‘New Lagos’, Ibeju Lekki is rapidly developing and is poised to become a major economic and residential hub. With ongoing projects like the Lekki Free Zone and the proposed international airport, it’s attracting investors and residents looking for future growth potential. It’s ideal for those seeking a quieter lifestyle away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

5. Ikoyi

Situated adjacent to Victoria Island, Ikoyi is one of Lagos’ most prestigious neighborhoods. It’s known for its luxury homes, serene environment, and green spaces. Ikoyi is popular with high-income earners, diplomats, and expatriates. It offers top-notch amenities, including elite schools, clubs, and recreational facilities.

Each of these areas offers a unique living experience, catering to different preferences and budgets. While Lekki and Ibeju Lekki are known for their modern developments and growth potential, Ikeja, Victoria Island, and Ikoyi offer a mix of luxury, convenience, and access to Lagos’ vibrant urban life.

Accommodation Cost Breakdown


Area 1-Bedroom Apartment 2-Bedroom Apartment Bungalow Duplex
Ikeja NGN 2,070,000/year
Victoria Island NGN 3,500,000/year NGN 10,000,000/year
Ikoyi NGN 6,500,000/year
Lekki NGN 2,000,000/year
Ibeju Lekki NGN 1,350,000/year

Additional Costs to Consider

  1. Electricity
  • Cost Structure: Electricity in Nigeria is charged based on a cost-reflective tariff.
  • Average Cost: For households, the rate is approximately ₦23.59 per unit. This translates to about ₦2,359 for every 100 units of electricity consumed.
  1. Transportation
  • Cost Variability: Transportation expenses can vary significantly based on your daily commute and the mode of transport.
  • Example Cost: A one-way journey from Ikotun to Ikeja costs around ₦300. Your total transportation cost will depend on factors such as the distance of your daily commute and the transportation mode you choose.
  1. Internet
  • Service Plans: Internet costs can vary based on the service plan and provider.
  • Average Cost: For a 60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, Cable/ADSL connection, the average cost is around ₦23,456.70 per month.

These additional costs can add up and should be carefully considered when budgeting for living in Lagos. They are essential components of daily life and can impact your overall expenses significantly.

P.S. This table provides a snapshot of the average costs, but actual prices can vary. For a more comprehensive understanding, it’s advisable to consult local real estate agents or property portals for current listings and prices.

Renting Accommodation vs Buying

Renting and buying accommodation are two distinct choices, each with its own set of pros and cons. Here’s a brief comparison:

Renting Accommodation


  • Flexibility: Easier to relocate, which is beneficial for those with uncertain or changing life circumstances.
  • Lower Initial Cost: No large down payment is required, only a security deposit and rent.
  • Less Responsibility: Maintenance and repairs are typically the landlord’s responsibility.


  • No Equity Building: Rent payments do not contribute to property ownership.
  • Less Control: Restrictions on property modifications and reliance on a landlord for major repairs.
  • Potential for Rent Increases: Rent can increase over time, subject to market conditions and lease terms.

Buying Accommodation


  • Equity Building: Mortgage payments contribute to ownership, building equity over time.
  • Long-term Investment: Potential for property value appreciation.
  • Greater Stability and Control: More freedom to modify the property and no landlord constraints.


  • Higher Initial Costs: Requires a significant down payment, closing costs, and potentially higher monthly costs.
  • Maintenance Responsibilities: Homeowners are responsible for all repairs and maintenance.
  • Less Flexibility: Selling a property can be time-consuming and complex, making it harder to relocate quickly.

How to Find Affordable Accommodation in Lagos

1. Use Online Real Estate Portals

Online property portals offer a comprehensive view of the Lagos real estate market. You can filter searches based on budget, location, and property type, making it easier to find suitable options.

2. Explore Mixta Africa’s Affordable Housing Projects

Mixta Africa provides a variety of affordable housing options in Lagos, including semi-detached homes, bungalows, and apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms. Notable projects include Lakowe Lakes Golf and Country Estate and Marula Park in Lagos New Town.

Their properties often merge affordability with quality, catering to diverse budgets. Check out their offerings on Mixta’s website for current listings and details.

3. Negotiate Rent

The listed prices are often negotiable. Engage with landlords or agents to potentially lower the rental cost, especially with long-term lease commitments. Demonstrating readiness to pay several months in advance can be a useful negotiation tactic.

4. Consider Different Neighborhoods

Explore various areas in Lagos, as some neighborhoods offer more affordable housing options than others. Look beyond popular areas; sometimes the best deals are in less-known locations.

5. Rent-to-Own Schemes

Some real estate companies, including Mixta Africa, offer rent-to-own options, allowing you to eventually own a property after a certain period of renting. This can be a more accessible path to homeownership for those on a tighter budget.

6. Consider Sharing Accommodations

Shared apartments or houses can significantly reduce your living expenses by splitting rent and utility bills with roommates. This is a practical solution for many in Lagos, particularly students and young professionals.

7. Be Mindful of Additional Costs

Include additional costs like utilities, service charges, and transportation expenses in your budget. A slightly higher rent in a well-located area can sometimes be more economical considering commuting costs.

8. Act Quickly

The housing market in Lagos is dynamic, so be prepared to make quick decisions when you find a suitable deal.

9. Check for Subsidized Housing Programs

Investigate any government or private housing programs offering affordable housing options for Lagos residents.


Exploring the accommodation options in Lagos is a journey through a landscape of diversity and variability. In my professional life as a Senior Accountant and as a resident, I have seen the varying costs in neighborhoods like Ikeja, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki, and Ibeju Lekki. This variation underscores the need to choose a location that aligns with your financial capabilities and lifestyle preferences.

The decision to rent or buy is a significant one, influenced by personal circumstances, and each choice comes with its unique set of pros and cons. Strategies for finding affordable housing in Lagos, such as leveraging online property portals, considering developments like those offered by Mixta Africa, negotiating rent, and accounting for additional expenses like utilities and transportation, are vital. Living in Lagos demands an informed approach to housing and budget management, requiring a balance of cost, flexibility, and personal preference to ensure a sustainable and enjoyable living experience in this dynamic city.


Author’s Note: Hi, I’m Joy – a seasoned finance professional based in Lekki, Lagos. I balance a fulfilling career with successful real estate investments in Nigeria. Join me as I share insights on navigating the world of real estate investments in Nigeria. Let’s find your dream home and unlock financial success together!


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