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The effects of student population growth on commercial housing with case study Molyko

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 The development of higher education institutions such as universities has brought and expansion or increase in the student population as a result the student population has been on an increasing state in the past decades and will continue to increase. Student population growth is a major underlying factor for the demand of hostels and without the continuous supply of dwellings; it pushes the price for renting hostels to increase due to the excessive demand of housing by students. The conditions of payment, quality and standards in terms of renovations and their level of management of the hostel room. However, the growth of housing development is not relied on student population alone other factors are also responsible for housing development. The concentric zone model was used is it widely applied to housing and population growth. The main data gathering instruments were open and ended questionnaires, document analysis and filed survey. In order to analyze the trends in student population growth using  the population data of students from the past ten years, Molyko is explore as a case study in the various neighborhoods such as dirty south, Malingo, mayor street sosoliso, Limbe quarter, Ndongo, and UB junction. The overall outcome or results of this research shows that student population growth has negatively affected the prices of hostel as some students are unable to afford quality rooms and payment is made fully that is student cannot access their rooms without making full payment      and more students tend to live in hostels around the school campus in order get easy access as one moves farther away from school the number students decrease so does the price.

Keywords: student population growth, commercial housing, demand, quality, renovations, supply


1:0 Introduction

This chapter explains the background of study, the problem statement, research questions, research objectives, research hypothesis, scope of study, and significance of the study.

1:1 Background of study

The growth of human population in the last decades have been staggering. According to the United States census bureau, the global population was 2.5 billion in 1960, it further increased to 3.5 billion in 1975 and 5 billion in 199 and 6.5 billion in 2006 (Eni D.D, Ukpong Blessing Johnson 2014). Population growth is an important factor when it comes to housing as it has contributed largely to the development and building of houses in the developed and developing world. Rapid urbanization in the developing countries and the world at large is the most unprecedented phenomena of the world’s development in the past few decades. Poor housing conditions are a global problem but considered worst in developing countries (UN Habitat 2003).

In the past century, the world has witnessed great changes and improvement of living conditions in many countries along with their economic growth. various innovations and instruments arise to tackle the housing problems. There is much variation in policies, instruments and innovations in different countries as such there is the need to find common grounds in search for solutions for housing. There is a great need for sharing experience and practices across countries (UN Habitat 2008).

The current mismatch between the demand and supply of housing represents a serious problem for millions of urban dwellers who are contributing to social tension within the local populations with negative impact on the economic as well as political stability on regional as well as national level (Kamete, 2006)

As population growth is an underlying factor for the demand of housing without new supply of dwelling, it pushes up the prices for both renting and purchasing of dwellings. This problem is further compounded in many large cities with a change in living preferences that has resulted in a fall in household rates particularly in the western world. Hence, population movement to the city and fewer people per household mean the supply of more housing is needed (Angelo karantonis 2007).

Africa faces a major housing crisis due to rapid urbanization and a growing slump population. New targeted approaches to affordable housing are necessary if countries want to take advantage of the demographic shift to make cities inclusive, spur economic growth and expand opportunities, according to a new report by the world bank group (Johannesburg 2015). In Africa, the problem of housing is especially pressing in the urban areas. Several studies have shown or confirm that important percentage of urban population have inadequate living conditions, limited supply of water and energy and thud forced to create informal settlements. Hence the number of slum dwellers exceeds one billion humans at present (UN HABITAT,2003). The gap between the supply and demand of housing has been widening with time. It was estimated that at the end of the first five-year development plan (1964 -1969) there was a shortage of 21000 houses in the urban areas. This shortage grew to 25000 houses at the end of the second five-year development plan (1969-19740 and to 300000 houses in 1982. It is now estimated that the deficit in Tanzania urban centers is about 1200000 housing units. This growing housing shortage is as a result of overcrowding levels that a room in urban areas or the understanding that an occupancy of more than 2 persons per room constitutes overcrowding the percentage of families in overcrowded houses in urban centers is about 35% habitat (1996).  In the 1980s only 20% of Africans lived in cities. However, in 2006 the number rose from 37% in Kenya consecutive census reports indicate progressive growth of urban population which is attributed to natural population, rural migration, influx of refugees and immigrants from neighbouring countries   (Goldsmith and Sirola 2001) during colonial period Eastleigh was limited to a residential area for especially Asian population and a few African elites. However due to its strategic location, accessibility advantages and potentials to support trade attracted extreme functional land use such commercial activities that were outside the original framework of the area.

Many of the challenges faced by the poor can be linked to housing this is because the housing environment represent an everyday landscape which can either support or limit the physical, mental and social well-being of the residents (Bonnefoy 2007; Songsore and Mc Granahan 19193). The view is that, adequate housing can be positively correlated with socio-economic benefits to both the occupants and the larger society (Newman 2008).

Access to adequate housing and shelter is a fundamental human right, considered central to human well-being through the provision of facilities that are essential to security, comfort, health and nutrition. However major inequalities persist and a third of the worlds urban population lived in slum conditions in 2014. The opportunity and need for better housing are particularly acute in Africa, with its rapidly shifting economic and demographic profile. The continent is the fastest growing in the world and is predicted to increase from 1.2 billion in 2015 to 2.5 billion by 2050 which will necessitate hundreds of millions of new homes alongside increased housing demand, the existing housing stocks is steadily transforming for example thatch roofs are being replaced by corrugated metal roofs and mud walls by conctete and thick brick walls (Lucy S. Tusting, Donal Bisanzio and Samir Bhalt Et al).

Increase in population is associated with several problems such as high infant mortality, poverty, malnutrition, environmental degradation, congestion, and inadequate housing (Herman and Khan 2008). The population of Cameroon has been on and increase which have developed housing problems with an estimated population of25.5 million inhabitants at the end of 2017is projected to reached 29.5 million inhabitants by 2025 and 32.9 million by 2030 9UN,2015). The urban population in Cameroon doubled within a period of 30 years after the independence moving from 28% in 1976 to 44.39% in 2005(Fembe and Balgah 2012) which resulted to the expansion of Cameroon cities such as Douala, Bamenda, Yaounde, Bafoussam and this increase has also been felt in some peripheries such as Bikoko in Douala, Mile 16 in Buea, Nkwen in Bamenda and Kang in Kumba.

In Cameroon biggest cities which are Douala its economic capital and Yaounde its political capital, the population of these two towns have increased over the last decades from 935166 in 1976 to3174437 in 2013 for Douala and Yaounde from 1176743 in 1967 to 3919828 in 2013 (NIS 2015). This shows that the population of the two cities have largely increased in the last decades, this increase is as a result of the urbanization of people from other parts of the country. with this increase,12000 and 15000 units of dwellings were to be built but 2400 units were averagely available in the cities leading to a deficit of about 400% and 525% of housing supply in the cities (ministry of housing and urban development 2012).

The housing equation in Cameroon is difficult to solve. Owning a house requires quite a fortune let alone in the urban areas. This situation is compounded with elevated cost of building a house worsen with the skyrocketing price of building materials. It is against this backdrop that the government waded in with the 10,000 low-housing programs in a bid to reduce the gap in terms of lodging needs and the growing urban population (Par Roland Mbonteh, 2018).

The country is from suffering from terrorism in the Far north region and civil strife in the North west and South west region. These have increased the problem of housing with many moving away from these areas. This relocation to other regions came with the destruction of existing housing and put further strain on the housing market and the government (World Bank 2020).

Housing in Buea has experienced some remarkable changes in recent times due to increasing demand by university students for standard housing. However given this improvement in the sluggish drive towards upgrading of the housing as some landlords tend not well to renovate their houses but students are still to pay the same amount of rents to the not so good houses due to the fact that there is high demand 

Peri urban dynamics in Buea has been characterized by changes in land use including a sharp decrease in the agricultural land use from 80% in 2000 to 50%in 2014. There has also been a progressive increase in settlement from 9% in 2000 to 23.3% in 2014. However due to a number of factors such as population growth, the need for space to accommodate human activities (Jude Kimengsi, Solange Aklene, Gwan Elinge lyonga Emmanuel 2016).  Commercial housing in Buea is experience remarkable changes due to the presence of increase demand for housing by individuals from other towns especially students. This housing demand is very high in the city of Molyko whereby there exist the presence of higher institutions such as the University of Buea, and other higher institutions present in Buea. With the existence of these higher institutions, there have high rate of population growth coupled with the with social unrest in the Far north, North west and Southwest regions have caused people to migrate into other parts of the country especially the town of Buea which has led to very significant increase in the demand for housing and hence housing prices have also increased. Landlords have increased the rents of tenants especially in hostels. Presently in Molyko, some landlords are still increasing the rents of their hostels, and others have given their tenants quick notice to evacuate their houses leaving the tenants stranded to start searching for a new place to stay bringing them back to struggle of finding a new home.

1:2 Statement of problem

Population growth through its numerous benefits is coupled with a variety of problems. To begin with, as a result of population growth there have been increase in the demand for housing which has led to increase in the cost of housing. This is so because the number of people who are in need of housing is more than the available housing hence the prices tend to increase. In addition, there is the situation of cohabitation among students is at an increased rate as two or students and agree to split and share the rents among themselves to reduce cost. There is also rampant construction of housing so much so that some landlords build houses without leaving go accessible and motorable roads leading to the constructed houses and others only have footpaths leading to them. This growth has also led to increase in social ills such prostitution, arm rubbery, cyber criminality and a whole lot of other crimes in order to meet up with the standards of the town. The cost of the construction of houses has also increased as a result of increase in the cost of building materials. overcrowding and congestion on roads and other public services is a call for concern. There is also high rate of exploitation from tenants as some landlord tend to do bidding on their house where by the person who is willing to pay higher than the others will get the house.

1:3 Research questions

1:3:1 Main research question

What are the effects of student population growth on commercial housing?

1:3:2 Specific research questions

  1. What is the trend of student population growth in Molyko?

  2. What has been the spatial tendency of commercial housing in Molyko?

  3. What is the relationship between student population growth and housing development?

1:4 Research Objectives

1:4:1 Main Research Objective

To examine the effects of student population growth on commercial housing in molyko.

1:4:2 Specific Objectives

To examine the trend of student population growth in Molyko.

To know the spatial tendency of commercial housing in Molyko.

To know the relationship between student population growth and housing development.



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