“If you’re not going to put money in real estate, where else?,” quips Samir Tapir who invested most of his money in New York real estate in the 1990s and subsquently became a billionaire in 2002.

Over the years, real estate investment has proven to be one of the most profitable investments globally (read Uganda’s Sudhir Ruparelia’s real estate success story). According to a forecast by wealth intelligence firm, Wealth-X, The number of High Net Worth Individuals – people with more than $30 million in investable assets – will rise by 95,000 over the next decade. This means every year, there will be more people who want and can afford luxury properties.

Like in several real estate markets of the world where economic growth is shooting up or at least stable, demand for luxury real estate is rising in Nigeria, so also are prices.

According to a report by property portal, PrivateProperty.com.ng, luxury rental property is the most popular and lucrative property category in highbrow areas in Nigeria. The report stressed that most residents cannot afford properties in these areas; they are mainly demanded by expatriates and non-residents who are interested in running their business activities in Nigeria.

Using data gathered by PrivateProperty.com.ng, Nigeria’s largest property portal, the most expensive real estate locations in Nigeria was identified. There are more locations with expensive properties in Lagos than any other place in Nigeria, according to the report. Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja followed Lagos’ 4 locations with 3. Ibadan, Abeokuta and Port Harcourt are other Nigerian cities with some of the most expensive properties in the country.

1. Banana Island in Lagos (Lagos State) – N450Million ($2.81Million)

A 3-bedroom apartment typically sells for N100Million ($625,000) here and N450Million ($2.81Million) for a 5-bedroom house. Apparently due to the cost of acquiring properties, rental properties are very popular, with rent for a 3-bedroom apartment even going as high as N10Million ($63,000) per annum.

A man-made island in Lagos State, Nigeria that is slightly curved in shape – like a banana, Banana Island is located in the Lagos Lagoon. It has one of the highest density of millionaires within its boundaries, with billionaire Globacom Chairman Mike Adenuga, daughter of a former president of Nigeria, Iyabo Obasanjo are proud owners of property on the island. Son of late MKO Abiola, Kola Abiola and Saayu Dantata – Son of late Alhassan Dantata are other notable residents of the Island.

2. Maitama in Abuja (Federal Capital) – N430Million/$2,687,500

Property in Maitama costs close to $2.7 million or more. An area occupied by embassies and high commissions, as well as the crème de la crème of the society, Maitama sure deserves its second place on this list.

3. Asokoro in Abuja (Federal Capital) – N418Million/$2,612,500

One of the major districts in Abuja, Asokoro is a high class area; home to state house, Aso Rock, secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) office, among others. Property ‘understandably’ cost a fortune in this area.

4. Jabi in Abuja (Federal Capital) – N400Million/$2,500,000

Nigeria’s capital city comes in at number 4 with property at Jabi costing at least $2.5 million. Many Nigerian politicians have interests in this area.

5. Nicon Town in Lekki (Lagos State) – N320Million/$2,000,000

Nicon Town in Lekki is one of the budding real estate markets in Lagos now, with property in excess of $2 million.

6. Ikeja GRA, in Ikeja (Lagos State) – N250Million/$1,562,500

Many wealthy Nigerians who love the quiet life the GRA offers crave property in this area and don’t mind they have to part with money in the excess of $1.5 million to get the comfort they want. You’d find several expats here too.

7. GRA Phase 2 in Port Harcourt (Rivers State) – N145Million/$906,250

Port Harcourt is home to a lot of expatriates, many of who work for oil companies in the oil-rich city. If there are people who can afford property close to a million dollars, they sure can. Many South-South billionaires who just don’t want their money out of their region also spend so much on property at the city.

8. Lekki Scheme I, Lekki (Lagos State) – N140Million/$875,000

With $875,000, you can get a property in Lekki. The Island has been home to some of the most expensive property in Lagos in recent times, but demand for more luxury has pushed it down to eight on this list.

9. Alalubosa GRA in Ibadan (Oyo State) – N100Million/$625,000

Ibadan, Africa’s second largest city has been regarded by some as the most under-developed city in the world, but the city has started living to its potentials in the past few years, little wonder it made it to this list.

10. Ibara in Abeokuta (Ogun State) – N80Million/$500,000

Abeokuta’s real estate market is growing fast as people look to outlying locations outside Lagos, as high prices are forcing many out of the real estate space in Lagos.

In an article published by CNBC in 2013, multimedia producer Bianca Schlotterbeck, who’s now Photo Editor at AP, said the biggest threat to property markets is their own popularity, as the lack of local affordability can become a political issue, prompting governments to impose cooling measures. This may never be so for Banana Island as it was developed for the rich by the government itself.

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