Find Property and Real Estate expertise in Ghana
The real estate market in Ghana is increasingly dynamic thanks to the country’s increasing population, growing economy and favourable investment environment. The Ghanaian property market is currently experiencing a boom due to the liberalisation of the financial sector in the early 1990s. The real estate sector has seen steady expansion since then, although it has experienced occasional impediments and delays during times of economic instability. In 2012 the government confirmed an agreement with the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association reaffirming a commitment to encourage the growth of private real estate, partly through public-private collaboration, particularly aimed at meeting the needs of the lower-end of the market. The infrastructure in Ghana is encouraging for real estate development, with freely-transferable capital and profits, but the general concentration towards the middle and top ends of the market has left a shortage of affordable housing in the country.
Investment opportunities are therefore to be found in the construction of residential homes, industrial and commercial houses and shopping centres. The Export Processing Enclave real estate development has been created to provide factory shells, office space and serviced plots to potential investors.
There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Ghana. However, of the four types of land ownership – government land, vested land, customary/stool land and family/private land – some cannot be privately owned, typically government land. The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) links investors and ministries, government departments and agencies, institutional lenders and other authorities concerned with investments in property. According to the World Bank, however, it can take more than a year to complete the seven processes involved in registering a property in Ghana, due to titling problems and cadastral inefficiency.
The Accra and Tema Metropolitan Areas have around 70% of the total property developers in the country. Although there is free trading of properties, many transactions are completed informally and knowledge about the property market is limited and fragmented.
The Ghana Real Estate Developers Association is the central organisation for real estate developers and represents its members to the Ghanaian government. It also promotes the development of residential estates and aims to increase the stock of housing units. Being a member of the association allows members to pool resources together and ensures the products of members conform to national building standards and planning laws. The regulation of relations between landlords and tenants is overseen by the Rent Act of 1963 which established the Rent Control Division, although in many cases Common Law and the customary laws of Ghana also apply.
The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index (2012) placed Ghana 45th out of 185 countries in terms of registering property, a very strong regional position coming below only Sudan in relation to other sub-Saharan African nations. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13) found that Ghana was slightly below average in relation to the protection of property rights in the country, including financial assets, with a value of 3.9 out of 7, compared to a mean of 4.3, placing it 91st out of 144 countries.