There has been a gradual but steady change of land use pattern from residential to commercial use in Bode Thomas Street in Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos State in the recent time.

The aim of this study is to determine the likely cause of this change and what are the problem usually associated with this type of changes. Is it as a result of demand and supply vis-à-vis the present economic and investment climate in Nigeria today? The study will also examine the prospects and causes of changes in use of the property so as to be able to use this project to predict the future of the study in terms doing thorough analysis and field-oriented results on property use and values.

Lastly, a recommendation/conclusion will be preferred for the identified problems.


Title page




Table of Content


1.0 Introduction 

1.1 Statement of Problem/Justification for the study

1.2 Aim and Objectives

1.3 Significance

1.4 Scope of study

1.5 Limitation of study

1.6 Study Area (Historical Background)

1.7 Definition of Terms


2.0 Conceptual/Literature Reviews

2.1 Concept of Property 

2.2 Factors Influencing Changes in the Land Use Pattern

2.3 Factors Influencing changes in the Land Values

2.4 Social Economic Implication of the Changes in use of the Properties.   


3.0 Research Methodology 

3.1 The Research Design

3.2 Data, Types and Sources

3.3 Instrumentation of Data Collection

3.4 Sample frame, Sample size and Sampling procedure

3.5 Method of Data Collection

3.6 Method of Data Analysis


4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis

4.2 Nature of the use conversion

4.3 Factor Influencing the Conversion of Residential Building to Commercial Building in the Study Area.

4.4 Problems/Effect of Conversion of Residential Building to Commercial Building in the Study Area.


5.1 Summary

5.2 Conclusion

5.3 Recommendation





Land resources are fixed in location and in supply. Virtually all human activities require land. From the large scale industrial complex the supra metro-line, the traditional market to the roadside Cobbler’s shop all require land in varying dimensions (Agboola, 2004). On the surface of the land, beneath it and hanging above it are all traces of human activities which go a long way to say that land is perhaps the single most important element in development and mankind’s most basic natural resources.

Because of the diverse needs of different human activities with respect to location and area coverage and the temporal dynamism of the location attributes and need of these human activities, there is often the intense competition for land. However, land is practically limited in supply and the awareness of land as an irreplaceable finite resource has made its care.

Development in mainly cities starts from the centre as the benefits of inner city location’s attract several land uses towards the city centre. This has significantly influenced land use on urban centres. There is a traumatic change in land use caused by several human activities competing for scarce land in urban centres. The person who is prepared to pay the highest sum for a site is likely to eventually occupy it. Such individual will be able to successful edge out other potential users. By this operation, sites in an urban area will tend to be used for that purpose for which the user makes the highest net gain from alternative uses of that site. This would result in the highest and best use for that land. This scenario has made changes in land use, as part of urban growth inevitable. Land and buildings will continue to witness conversion of use from a lower order to a higher one in order to attain optimal use. The concern of this project is to investigate the level of conversion of land use and their implications in Nigerian cities with a focus on Bode Thomas Street Surulere Local Government, Lagos (Agboola 2004).           


The land use changes coupled with higher demand for commercial uses led to the continuous increase in rent in the study area. The returns realized from the properties used for commercial purpose is greater than that of properties used for residential purpose. Due to this greater returns most residential property owners prefer their property to be used for commercial.

Another is indiscriminate dumping of refuse along roads (thus causing road encroachment) and also on storm drainage systems and designated open space causing blockage, air and water pollution.


The aim of this project is to examine the problem and prospects of conversion of residential building to commercial building taking Bode Thomas Street in Surulere local government area of Lagos state as a case study.

In order to achieve the set goals of this study or project, few steps of objectives will be undertaking: -

(i) To identify the residential properties converted to commercial properties in the study area.

(ii) To examine the values of residential and commercial properties for the past 10 years.

(iii) To know the problems and prospects of conversion of residential buildings to commercial uses.

(iv) To study the trend in rental values in the study area.


(i) To examine the root cause of the social and economic problems associated with the conversion of residential building to commercial buildings in the study area and recommended lasting solutions applicable.

(ii) To highlights the benefit and advantages derived by the owner of the residential building being converted to commercial use.

(iii) To analyzed and preserved the data collected from the survey for future prediction in the use pattern and value of properties in the study area.


The scope of this study covers the conversion of residential buildings to commercial uses in Bode Thomas Street Surulere local government area, Lagos State.

The research study is restricted only to the problems and prospects of conversion of residential building to commercial building with particular reference of Bode Thomas Street in Surulere Lagos. The time period considered here is between 2003 – 2013 and the type of properties are mainly detached houses.


This study is limited to conversion of residential building to commercial uses.

Collecting information regarding transaction in property and land use conversion in the study area is a difficult tack. In few instances where information on property transactions were available, proper recording classification and analysis were not always provided. There was also reluctance by most people to give away needed information on flats and duplexes and this detached house.


Surulere Local Government is located in the western part of Lagos State. The area lies on latitude 60 33’ North of the equator and longitude 30 25’ East of the Greenwich Meridian. It is 8km from central Lagos and has an area of about 27sq Kilometers. The area is bounded in the north by Mushin Local Government on the west/south by Ojo Local Government and on the east by the Mainland Local Government.

The inhabitant of the area are multi-ethic, Yoruba, Igbo’s and Hausa. They also have diverse cultures. The area is well manned with modern industrial estates at Ipronri Iganmu and Coker areas.

Surulere Local Government Area was created on the 27th August 1991, from the defunct Mainland Local Government. The 2006 population census results as declared by the National Population Commission, put Surulere Local Government present population figures at five hundred and three thousand, nine hundred and seventy-five (503,975). Agriculture is still given a place among the services provided by the local government a vegetable farm which is the envy of many exists in Tejuosho area very close to the model market. Today, Surulere Local Government stands out as one of the major commercial nerve centres of Lagos State.

The first residential property to be converted to commercial use in the study area cause a lot of problems. The landlord’s association in the neighbourhood took the person that converted the property to court for constituting a nuisance to the neighbourhood and illegal conversion of the plot that was earmarked for residential use. But the landlords association lost the case.

The victory of the case coupled with other factors such as increased rent and facelift/modernization of the building among others are some of the reasons that encouraged others are some of the reasons that encouraged other landlords to allow for change in use of the property. The New Town Development Authority made several abortive efforts to stop this change in use, but were not allow to perform their duty effectively because to vested interest that the big wigs in the society and top military officials of the New Town Development Authority from performing their job effectively.

It is most surprising that while the Town Planning Authority recognized the study area as residential in their master plan and faced with the commercial use conversion problem, the local government was busy collecting the tenement rates on these converted properties which in law can be regarded as acquiescence since the local government is a body of the Nigerian government.

Initially, there was not much change in the use of properties from residential uses to commercial uses but the rampant change in use of residential houses in the study area started in 1986 when the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) was introduced. The policy encourage the establishment of new generation banks, finance house and bureau de-change, all of which required to be located close to Central Business District (CBD) and thereby made the exchange in use of properties in the study area inevitable. The location of the banking operation inevitable. The location of the banking operation and bureau – de- change attracted much other complimentary business which made the area more commercial. The zeal to locate in the study area by most business gave room for competition and result in increasing rents and land values mostly during the days of the banking boom Nigerian.


i. Residential Property – This is a properties that provides permanent housing for individuals, families and household. It is basically used for accommodation. It include cottages, tenements blocks of flats, bungalow, duplexes and mansions (Lawal 1997).

ii. Commercial Property – This is a property that is for commercial purpose. A commercial understanding is one conducted with a view to then realization of profits, not merely for the fun of it. (Okunola et al, 2004)

iii. Rental value – The rental value of a property is the annual rent with may reasonably be expected to be obtained in the open market. For example, if the tenant undertook to pay rent for a particular property, it is known as rack rental value (Deane et al 1982).

iv. Value – This means the worth of something in terms of money or other goods for which it can be exchanged. It is also the power a commodity has to command other commodity in exchange for itself.

v. Property – In a wide legal sense, property means anything that is the subject matter of ownership (Olajide S. and Ismail B. 2003)

vi. Rent – A periodical payment, usually in money, although it may be in kind or services made by a tenant to a landlord for the use of land, house etc.

vii. Industrial Properties – In this category area every class of properties primarily used for the production of goods e.g. factories and warehouses, location in relation to transport system, availability of labour, market and raw materials are important factors (Ojo S.A 1991).

viii. Recreational Properties – These include amusement part, relaxation and open space, tourist centre, hostel, game, reserve, club and museum etc (Rushmore  , S. 1978).




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