If you are house-hunting in Nigeria, more than likely you will be conducting your search with online websites geared towards property listings. 95 percent of purchasers use web-based tools to help them find their dream home and over 50 % say that their first step was to get online and look for real estate to purchase.
It makes sense, using these sites is convenient, quick, and gives seekers a snapshot and virtual view into potential properties. The websites make it easy to filter by location, size, type, and price, and it gets the creative juices flowing for future homeowners.
Nigeria has a robust online real estate ecosystem with several sites to choose from to help in real estate searches. These sites are a part of the prop-tech scene that is rapidly expanding in Nigeria.
Here at Obodo Naija, we conducted a mock search for a home and will give you our review and observations from our test. We discovered that there were so many sites to pick from (too many in our opinion), but we narrowed it down to a select few and we also will give a shout out to an honorable mention that we found interesting.
To be completely honest, none blew our socks off, but there was a clear winner that edged out the competition with some interesting features.
Criteria – what we based our results on.
- User interface (how the site looks, feels and works)
- Amount of listings.
- Available resources and blog posts.
We did a basic search for a house in a randomly selected city (not Lagos or Abuja) and we selected Owerri. We tried to get very specific with our search, but we soon found it to be a futile effort, so we just did a very broad search of <all properties> in Owerri.
Fifth Place – Private Property. This site needs an overhaul to be more appealing. It is a no thrills website, but it still gets the job done. With only 7,000 listings, there is not a whole lot to choose from and in a country the size of Nigeria – this is just a raindrop in the ocean.
Its blog is well done and has many articles to peruse and links to helpful resources. No map interface. Links to local agents – yes. Only 11 properties found in Owerri.
Fourth Place – Realtor.ng We really wanted to love this site, because its user interface and imagery is better than the rest. It is snappy, modern, slick, and easy on the eyes. To date, it has 29,011 listings. The site’s blog is not very well done and we quickly clicked away, since it was so scattered and hard to follow.
No map interface. No mobile app. Links to local agents- yes. Lots of potential with Realtor.ng, but for now it comes in a respectable third place. 63 properties found in Owerri.
Third Place – Hutbay This is a great overall site that checks most of the boxes. It has a great user interface, clean imagery, and easy to navigate pages. Good resources for buyers, links for agents to build websites, and a decent blog. Map interface. No mobile app. 123 properties found in Owerri.
Second Place – Nigerianpropertycentre.com This could have been in our number one spot for sure, because it was very similar to our first place winner, in fact we got confused sometimes because the layout and format were almost identical – only the color variations made it apparent. We loved how it had a section for market trends and average prices, it had a mobile app and they had a cool video on searching for property in Nigeria. It also appears that they have recently launched in Kenya and Ghana – so they are doing big tings! Minor complaint is that the site felt a bit generic, and no map search. 280 Properties found in Owerri.
First Place – Propertypro.ng. This site is the most well rounded and robust of all property sites in our opinion. It has a great user interface, good imagery, well laid out and what impressed us the most is that it has a mobile app available for download, and it also had several resources for online buyers and sellers.
There were links to local contractors such as plumbers and electricians, it had great neighborhood guides with relevant information and the best blog of all the sites tested. It has map and streetview interface. This is was the site we kept coming back to do research. 301 properties found in Owerri.
Honourable Mention – Castles.com. This is a very familiar site and company to most Nigerians. They have a real estate lifestyle magazine that they heavily promote (which was kind of annoying). But their property search site is not bad.
It has a nice Interface, a bit slow, but it looks good and works well. Only 8 properties were found in Owerri and there is no mobile app or map interface. It has potential and could be a premier site soon.
Property search sites have come a long way and are now an everyday staple for individuals delving into the Nigerian real estate scene. We would argue that there may be too many options for folks to choose from, but some say the more the merrier.
We would love to see a map view of all listings implemented on some of these sites, but we understand that they are not “there” yet. Also, our preference is to have one or two go-to sites and that’s it, not 10- which makes house hunting more efficient and enjoyable.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? What are your favorite sites? Please let us know in the comments.