Policy and Practice

Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 363-379

First online:

Modes of housing production in developing countries: the contemporary role of land, labour, and capital in Lagos, Nigeria

  • Muyiwa AgunbiadeAffiliated withUniversity of Melbourne Email author 
  • , Abbas RajabifardAffiliated withUniversity of Melbourne
  • , Rohan BennettAffiliated withThe University of Twente

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The strategies of participants in housing production, in developing countries, are diverse and not fully understood. Governments in most developing countries have not been able to, sufficiently, explore how the production factors: land, labour and capital, impact on housing production. As a result, many policies formulated by governments aimed at stimulating housing production are found to result in unintended outcomes: they do not always align with the way housing is actually created. This study uses the production factors to assess how motivations are shaped and different modes of housing production result. The aim is to gain an improved understanding of how housing developers, builders and government, impact modes of production. The method includes synthesis of past studies on factors of housing production in Lagos. In parallel, it also involves visits and interviews with some selected developers and agencies to allow a deeper engagement with their activities. This is in addition to direct observation and interviews undertaken through purposeful selection of some autonomous (on-site) builders. As an exploratory study, it observes that a better approach to land supply is significantly beneficial in shaping the modes and capacity of housing. The study helps understand the strategies of participants in housing production in developing countries, especially in Lagos. It recommends that efficient land supply to the autonomous on-site builders should be a focus for policy makers. This will contribute to the production of more housing thereby facilitating an improved production of present and future housing needs of the population.


Land Labour Capital Developers Profit Owner occupier Housing production