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5 reasons rent is costlier in Gombe than Kano

Players in the real estate sector have adduced five reasons to why house rent is costlier in Gombe metropolis than in Kano State. When Bashir…

Players in the real estate sector have adduced five reasons to why house rent is costlier in Gombe metropolis than in Kano State.

When Bashir Sani was transferred to Gombe from Kano by one of the federal government agencies, he spent over three weeks scouting for a house to relocate his family.

What amazed Sani was the price of rent for a three-bedroom apartment in Gombe, which almost doubled the one he lived in in Kano despite having the same facilities.

He said, “Gombe is far behind Kano in terms of development and what have you. But I find the houses here are far more expensive than in Kano. Imagine a three-bedroom apartment going for N500,000 even when I have to be buying water from water tanks.

“In Kano, there is a borehole in my house, and it is located in one of the highbrow areas, but I was paying N350,000 per annum.

“After scouting for about a month without success, I had to go for a two-bedroom flat in Gombe at N300,000 per annum.”

Ukasha Hussaini, a civil servant in Gombe, said when he scouted for a house, he found it difficult to find one of his choice in the low-density areas within his limited budget.

He said, “When I was getting married three years ago, I searched for an apartment in GRA but I realised that I could not afford a house there. I also explored Federal Low-Cost, the price was also high and they had water scarcity.

“I then chose an area at the New Commercial Area. There is a borehole in the apartments and the price is also similar with that of Federal Low-Cost; that is between N250,000 and N300,000 per annum for a two-bedroom apartment.”

Quality Infrastructure

A property consultant, Jolly Ayawira Yusuf, said one of the key factors that determined the price of a house was the location and other facilities like s road network, security and access to water.

Yusuf, who owns a property consultancy company, Ayawira Enterprises Limited, said in most of the highbrow areas in Gombe like GRA, Federal Low-Cost, Shongo Estate and Tumfure, a two-bedroom apartment with a toilet started from N250,000, while those with two to three toilets and three-bedroom cost up to N500,000 per annum.

He said, “In Shongo Estate and GRA, it starts from N500,000, and you can find a two-bedroom apartment of up to N1.5m per annum.”

He noted that, “Though not all areas in the Federal Low -Cost and Shongo Estate have potable water, but they have easy access to water vendors, hence the prices of the apartments are a little higher than around Tumfure axis, because these are some of the things tenants consider when paying rent.”

A player in the real estate market, Adamu Uba Abdulazeez, also said houses seemed to be expensive in Gombe compared to its neighbouring states because most of the areas in the metropolis had tarred roads, drainage and title documents.

He explained that the houses might be cheaper in places like Kano “because Kano has vast lands, and most of the lands are not linked with roads like what is obtained in Gombe.

“In Gombe, even in the densely populated areas in the ancient Gombe town, you will find good road networks with drainage.”

High demand

Yusuf also said that high demand for houses in Gombe created by the influx of people from other states affected by insecurity in the North East had caused short supply.

He said, “The market is about demand and supply. People are trooping to Gombe from other places. So, the market here is saturated because there are no available houses for the number of people that want them. The demand is high and there are not enough houses to accommodate them.

“So, when the demand for apartments is high and there are limited houses to meet such demand, the cost goes up. So, it is just natural that when the demand for a scarce commodity is high, naturally, the price must go up.”

Abdulazeez explained that it was okay for rent to be higher in Gombe than Kano, saying even the cost of living was cheaper in Kano than in Gombe.

He further said, “Gombe being a small city, most of the people living are native to the town, so they prefer to build their own houses, hence there are few property developers building houses for rent, and that makes demand for the limited houses to be higher.”

Govt’s ban on development of new areas

Yusuf explained that a policy imposed by the state government banning the development of some layouts in Gombe metropolis had greatly affected the property market and real estate sector.

He said, “The government has banned development in certain areas in Gombe metropolis. So, there are not enough lands to build more houses. All the areas in the state are occupied and the few remaining lands have some embargos on them.”

He, however, stated that the government could still intervene and help bring down the prices of house rent in the state.

He said, “If the government provides the basic amenities in Tumfure and other developing areas, more people will build their houses and developers will also invest to construct more houses which will be given out for rent, and that will definitely reduce the price for house rent.

“There are no available lands in Federal Low-Cost, GRA and Shongo Estate, even if there are, they are very expensive. But if roads, water and other amenities shall be provided in the Tumfure axis; that will open up the town and give opportunities for more houses.”

High cost of building materials

Furthermore, Abdulazeez, who works with Modernatta Realty Limited in Gombe, said the high cost of building materials was also responsible for the skyrocketing cost of rent.

He said, “Building materials like cement and rods are cheaper in Kano because it is closer to where these products are manufactured or imported directly to.

“And because Kano is the commercial capital of Northern Nigeria, in addition to its large population, the dealers of such building materials sell them faster in Kano than in Gombe.

“So, that automatically makes them cheaper than in Gombe.”

Security makes Gombe haven

Commenting on the matter, Dr Musa Abubakar Alkali, a lecturer with the Department of Estate Management, Bayero University, Kano (BUK), said rent in Gombe seemed to be expensive because the state was the gateway to the North East geo-political zone and that the relative peace and security in the state made it a haven in the zone.

He said, “Gombe is central and the gateway to the North East, having shared borders with all the five states of the geo-political zone. Whereby some people transferred to either Adamawa, Borno or Yobe states from the other parts of the country, because of the insecurity, they prefer to rent houses in Gombe and keep their families there while they shuttle to Gombe from those states at the weekend.”

Dr Alkali added that the establishment of higher institutions and citing of some federal government parastatals and agencies in the state also contributed to the high cost of rent in the state.

He said, “For instance, the Federal University of Kashere (FUK) is located in Kashere village and cannot contain the number of staff, even the students. So, most of the academic and non-academic staff prefer to stay in Gombe and shuttle daily for work.”

In what appears to be a move to tackle the housing deficit in Gombe, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, penultimate Saturday, performed the official unveiling of a new layout, christened Shongo Gardens Layout, where he laid the foundation for the construction of 550 housing units to provide affordable houses.

Gov Inuwa said, “This layout will be the first of its kind; where critical infrastructure such as roads, water, power and other vital services will be provided to create a habitable environment for Gombe residents, while at the same time attracting investors and developers.”




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