Here is a short interview with Cynthia Opuni, Managing Director of Afariwaa Estates, who offers insight into Ghana’s real estate sector and how it can be improved.
Tell us about Afariwaa Estates
Afariwaa Estates is a residential development right in the middle of community 22, Tema. We have been in the housing business since 2008. To date, we have built about 60 homes and have families living in the estates. Our estates are located on the Tema-Akosombo road and we are only 10 minutes’ drive from the Tema Motorway roundabout.
We are still constructing more units which include three-bedroom semi-detached houses, three- and four-bedroom detached houses, and our new five-bedroom townhouses.
What is your target market and what are the payment plans?
Our target group is middle-class executives and those who would also consider buying to let as an investment or part retirement planning given the appreciation value of our houses.
We have flexible payment plans available including mortgage advice where we put our clients in touch with financial institutions like Ghana Home Loans and HFC bank. For our self- finance option, we offer customized financial solutions based on the needs of our clients.
How do you view the property market and what can be done to improve it?
The property market in Ghana is currently saturated with a high number of properties – some built by competent and accredited real estate companies, and others by private individuals who may not have adhered to the building standards expected. One would expect a legitimate regulatory body to oversee the building process on behalf of the industry to ensure that building standards are met and for houses to have the appropriate supporting infrastructure.
What practical steps should a buyer take when buying a parcel of land or a house?
AE: In order to avoid disappointments of buying from a company that is not genuine, we advise prospective buyers to conduct some level of due diligence before engaging with the company. It is also advisable to conduct searches regarding the legitimacy or ownership of the land on which the property is situated as well as enquiring through GREDA (Ghana Real Estates Developers Association) about whether the company is recognized or affiliated with the association.
What is your view on the introduction of the real estate tax?
The introduction of the 5 percent tax on houses means that invariably the prices of the houses we put on the market have to reflect this percentage. Technically, this tax is to be passed on to the buyer of the houses. We have had to register with the appropriate body to pay this tax and have had to educate our buyers about the immediate implementation of the tax payable. To an extent, the implementation of this tax payable has increased our selling prices slightly; however, we are confident that the value for money that our houses offer still makes the purchase a profitable venture.
This post was sponsored by Afariwa Estates