Developers' Land Acquisition and Housing Development Constraints in Lagos Fringe Areas
The acquisition of parcels of land without commensurate development is often evident in and around urban settlements. Meanwhile, the need for immediate physical housing construction is critical because housing deficit is persistent. This study investigates organised real estate developers’ land acquisition activities and housing development constraints in Lagos fringe areas. Purposive sampling technique was adopted for the study. From the population of 251 REDAN members in the southwest zone of Nigeria, only 141 members (56%) on the list were found to be practising with their offices within the study areas. 31 land bureau officers were also surveyed. The study employed mean item score (MIS), standard deviation, frequency and principal component factor analysis (PCFA) to identify the most critical factors considered as constraints to new housing development. Finding shows that the major activities carried out on land are farming, land banking and safeguarding land from encroachers and land thieves. It was also evident that only about one-third of the land acquired was used for physical housing construction. The study discovered evidence of rigorous title processing and planning approval; very slow title documentation and re-acquisition of land with Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) by the government through the application of Land Use Act mechanism. Further findings revealed two major themed-principal components that revolve around institutional factors and inconsistency in government policy and regulations. The study recommends that the government should remove policies and regulations which serve as impediments to timely land documentation especially in instances of re-acquisition of land already bought by developers for the overriding public interest. This is very daunting for private developers and investments. Hence, the need for innovative land institutions to enhance the sustainable framework for land reform dynamics. This is inevitable in a growing African megacity.