Exploring the Hidden Gems: Underrated Cities for Real Estate Investment in Nigeria

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Nigeria, a country rich in cultural heritage and economic potential, has always been a focal point for real estate investors. While cities like Lagos and Abuja often steal the limelight, there are several underrated cities that offer incredible opportunities for real estate investment. If you are a Nigerian living abroad and looking to invest back home, this guide is for you. Let’s dive into these hidden gems and uncover the promising real estate markets you might have overlooked.


Investing in real estate is like planting a tree; the sooner you do it, the better it grows. However, the success of your investment largely depends on choosing the right location. While major Nigerian cities like Lagos and Abuja are well-known hotspots, they

come with high costs and stiff competition. This article aims to shed light on lesser-known cities that present excellent opportunities for real estate investment. These cities, often overshadowed by the giants, have unique potentials that are waiting to be tapped into.

Why Consider Underrated Cities?

Why should you consider investing in lesser-known cities? First, they offer lower entry costs compared to the heavily saturated markets of Lagos and Abuja. This means you can get more property for your money. Secondly, these cities are on the rise, with

growing populations and infrastructural developments that promise good returns on investment. Lastly, investing in these cities can diversify your portfolio and reduce risk.

The Appeal of Lower Costs

Think about it: buying a plot of land in Lagos can be akin to buying a small gold mine. While the returns can be high, the initial investment is daunting. On the other hand, in cities like Abeokuta or Uyo, you can secure prime locations for a fraction of the cost,

giving you more flexibility and a quicker path to profitability.

Rising Development and Infrastructure

Many of these underrated cities are experiencing rapid growth. New roads, schools, hospitals, and commercial centers are being developed, enhancing the living standards and attracting more residents. This growth spurs real estate value appreciation, making now the perfect time to invest before prices skyrocket.

Abeokuta: The Rock City

Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, is known for its rocky landscapes and historical significance. The city is rapidly growing, with increasing commercial activities and improved infrastructure. The presence of several educational institutions and industries makes Abeokuta an attractive option for real estate investors.

Economic Growth and Stability

Abeokuta is benefiting from the Ogun State government’s focus on industrialization. With several manufacturing plants and a conducive environment for businesses, the city’s economy is stable and growing. This stability translates to a reliable real estate market with consistent demand for residential and commercial properties.

Tourism and Cultural Heritage

The city is famous for Olumo Rock, a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors year-round. This cultural heritage not only boosts tourism but also increases the demand for hospitality real estate, such as hotels and guesthouses. Investing in properties around tourist areas can yield high rental income.

Ilorin: The Harmony Hub

Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, is known for its peaceful coexistence of different ethnic and religious groups. This harmony creates a stable and attractive environment for living and investment.

Strategic Location

Ilorin’s location at the crossroads of major highways linking the northern and southern parts of Nigeria makes it a strategic hub for commerce and trade. This connectivity enhances the city’s real estate potential, especially for commercial properties.

Educational Institutions

Home to the University of Ilorin and several other tertiary institutions, Ilorin has a large student population. This creates a high demand for rental properties, providing a steady income stream for investors.

Uyo: The Beautiful City

Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, is renowned for its cleanliness and beauty. The city is well-planned, with wide roads, modern buildings, and lush greenery, making it an attractive place to live and invest in.

Government Support

The Akwa Ibom State government has been proactive in developing Uyo, with several infrastructural projects aimed at improving the city’s appeal. These include the construction of a new airport, modern road networks, and public facilities. Such developments boost property values and attract more investors.

Tourism and Hospitality

Uyo is also a burgeoning tourist destination, with attractions like the Ibom Plaza, Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, and beautiful beaches. The growing tourism sector increases demand for hotels, resorts, and other hospitality-related real estate.

Akure: The Sunshine State Capital

Akure, the capital of Ondo State, is another city with untapped real estate potential. Known for its friendly climate and agricultural prowess, Akure offers a unique blend of urban and rural living.

Agricultural Opportunities

Akure’s economy is heavily supported by agriculture, with numerous farms and agro-based industries. Investing in agricultural real estate or residential properties for workers in this sector can be highly profitable.

Educational and Technological Growth

The presence of Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), and other educational institutions has spurred technological advancements and a growing population of young professionals. This demographic shift is driving demand for modern housing and commercial spaces.

Jos: The Tin City

Jos, the capital of Plateau State, is known for its cool climate and beautiful landscapes. Once a bustling mining city, Jos is now reinventing itself as a real estate haven.

Scenic Beauty and Tourism

The picturesque landscapes of Jos, with its hills and waterfalls, make it a prime location for tourism. Investing in resorts, holiday homes, or eco-tourism projects can be highly rewarding. The serene environment also attracts retirees and those seeking a peaceful lifestyle.

Educational Hub

Jos hosts several educational institutions, including the University of Jos, which drives demand for rental housing. The influx of students and academic staff ensures a steady rental income for property investors.

Calabar: The Canaan City

Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, is often called the cleanest city in Nigeria. Known for its hospitality and vibrant cultural scene, Calabar offers unique real estate opportunities.

Festival and Tourism Appeal

Calabar is famous for the annual Calabar Carnival, Africa’s biggest street party, which attracts visitors from all over the world. This influx of tourists boosts the hospitality sector, creating opportunities for hotels, restaurants, and short-term rentals.

Government Initiatives

The Cross River State government has implemented various initiatives to improve infrastructure and attract investors. These efforts include the development of the Calabar Free Trade Zone, which enhances the city’s commercial real estate prospects.

Asaba: The Fast-Growing Capital

Asaba, the capital of Delta State, is emerging as a key city for real estate investment due to its rapid development and strategic location along the River Niger.

Infrastructure and Connectivity

Asaba boasts excellent road networks, an international airport, and proximity to Onitsha, a major commercial hub. These factors make it a strategic location for both residential and commercial real estate investments.

Entertainment Industry Hub

Asaba has become a significant center for the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood. The influx of filmmakers and actors has spurred demand for housing and commercial properties, offering lucrative opportunities for investors.

Owerri: The Heartland City

Owerri, the capital of Imo State, is known for its vibrant nightlife and bustling economy. The city’s growth is fueled by its strategic location and dynamic population.

Economic Activities

Owerri is a commercial powerhouse in the southeastern region of Nigeria, with numerous businesses and markets. This economic vitality drives demand for both residential and commercial properties, making it a promising investment destination.

Hospitality and Tourism

The city is also known for its numerous hotels, restaurants, and entertainment centers. Investing in hospitality real estate can be

particularly profitable, given the steady flow of visitors and tourists.

Ibadan: The Ancient City

Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, is one of the largest cities in Nigeria by land area. Its rich history and growing economy make it an attractive destination for real estate investment.

Educational and Research Institutions

Ibadan is home to several prestigious educational and research institutions, including the University of Ibadan. The presence of these institutions creates a high demand for rental properties, ensuring a steady income for investors.

Commercial and Industrial Growth

The city’s commercial and industrial sectors are expanding, driven by a large population and strategic location. Investing in commercial properties or industrial estates can yield significant returns as these sectors continue to grow.

Gombe: The Jewel of the Savannah

Gombe, the capital of Gombe State, is often overlooked but offers substantial real estate opportunities due to its strategic location and economic potential.

Agricultural and Trade Hub

Gombe serves as a major agricultural and trade hub in the northeastern region of Nigeria. This position supports the demand for residential properties for farmers and traders, as well as commercial spaces for businesses.

Peaceful and Growing

Despite being in a region often associated with instability, Gombe remains relatively peaceful and is experiencing steady growth. This stability makes it an appealing option for real estate investment, particularly for those looking for long-term gains.

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Investing in real estate in Nigeria doesn’t have to be confined to the well-trodden paths of Lagos and Abuja. Underrated cities like Abeokuta, Ilorin, Uyo, Akure, Jos, Calabar, Asaba, Owerri, Ibadan, and Gombe offer unique opportunities with lower costs and significant growth potential. By exploring these hidden gems, you can diversify your investment portfolio and tap into markets that are on the rise. Remember, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the second-best time is now. So, take a closer look at these cities and consider making your real estate investment today.


1. Why are lesser-known cities in Nigeria good for real estate investment?

Lesser-known cities offer lower entry costs, reducing the initial investment burden. They also have growing populations and infrastructure developments, promising good returns on investment.

2. What are some underrated cities for real estate investment in Nigeria?

Some underrated cities include Abeokuta, Ilorin, Uyo, Akure, Jos, Calabar, Asaba, Owerri, Ibadan, and Gombe. Each of these cities has unique opportunities and growth potential.

3. How can I ensure my investment in an underrated city is profitable?

Research thoroughly, focusing on areas with ongoing development projects, growing populations, and economic activities. Engaging with local real estate experts/ send a comment below for help and staying informed about government policies can also help.

4. What types of properties are in demand in these underrated cities?

There is a demand for residential properties, commercial spaces, and hospitality-related real estate. Specific needs may vary depending on the city’s characteristics, such as tourism, education, or industry.

5. Is it safe to invest in real estate in Nigeria?

Yes, investing in real estate in Nigeria can be safe and profitable if you conduct thorough research, understand the market dynamics, and work with reputable real estate agents or contact us and legal professionals.

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