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Last Updated: Nov 15, 2006

Ownership issues
hound real estate in Ghana



Ghana (pop. 19 million, GDP/cap US$542) is a very poor country. Formerly known as the Gold Coast, it was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from Britain in 1957.

After independence there was a long power struggle between civilians and the military. Jerry Rawlings overthrew the government in 1979, and gained popularity by instituting price controls. He relinquished power to an elected government headed by President Hilla Limann (1979–81), but soon overthew Limann. He then abolished the constitution, suppressed dissent, and established a program of self-sufficiency and austerity, while surviving four coup attempts. He won free presidential elections in 1992 and 1996, serving until 2001

John Kufuor succeeded him, following a victory in the December 2000 presidential elections, and won a second term in 2004.

Ghana gdp per cap graphThe economy managed to expand under Rawlings, averaging 4% annual GDP growth from 1992 to 2000. The recovery of global gold and cocoa prices (the country’s major export commodities) helped in the early 2000’s. Better management by the present government has restored macroeconomic stability.

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Ghana. However, there are four forms of land ownership, some of which cannot be privately owned. Each involves differing modes of acquisition. These are: Government Land, Vested Land, Customary/Stool Land, and Family/Private Land.

Ghana inflation rate graphPotential buyers should first consult the Ghana Investment Promotion Center regarding procedures, and to be directed to the appropriate agencies involved in legally acquiring property, since identifying legal ownership can be a problem.

There are about 40,000 expatriates in Ghana. Most chose to live in the capital, Accra. Expat communities with large, detached houses with gardens and garages can be found just outside the city centre. Most of these are secure, with gates and guards on duty at night.




RENTAL YIELDS
Last Updated: Nov 14, 2005



Ghana exchange rate graphA 200 sq. m house would cost about US$150,000 (GHC1.43 billion), and would rent for around US$750 (GHC.2 million) per month, giving a gross rental yield of around 6 to 8%. Residential property prices are around US$700 – US$750 per sq. m (GHC6.7 – 7.2 million).

The rental market in Accra is relatively large with 37.5% of all households renting (only 22% for Ghana as a whole). Only about 40.4% of households in Accra claim ownership of their houses (57.4% for Ghana), while another 20.5% live rent-free (19.5% for Ghana). The remaining 1.6% of housing is employer-provided (4.5% for Ghana).

Read Rental Yields  »



TAXES AND COSTS
Last Updated: Jan 16, 2014



Rental Income: For nonresidents, tax on gross rental income is withheld at source at 10%.

Capital Gains: Capital gains are taxed at 15%.

Inheritance: No inheritance tax is levied in Ghana. However, a 5% gift tax is imposed on the transfer of properties (or any right or interest in such) by way of gift.

Residents: Residents are taxed on their worldwide income at progressive rates, from 0% to 25%.

Read Taxes and Costs  »



BUYING GUIDE
Last Updated: Jan 06, 2014



Ghana homes for saleTotal round-trip transactions costs, i.e., the cost of buying and selling a property, range widely from 8.25% to 16% of the property price, due to the multiplicity of land titling issues. The seller pays the 5% real estate agent’s commission. The buyer pays the stamp duty ranging from 0.25% to 1%, and legal fees ranging from 3% to 10%.

Real estate transactions are negotiated and concluded in Ghanaian Cedi (GHC). English is the official language.

Read Buying Guide  »



LANDLORD AND TENANT
Last Updated: Nov 15, 2006



Ghana luxury housesRental market practice in Ghana is pro-landlord.

Rent: Rents can be freely negotiated and rent increases are unrestricted. In practice, a landlord charges one to three years rent in advance, though according to the Rent Act, landlords can only charge six months rent in advance, with succeeding rental payments due every six months.

Pre-termination of Contract: If the tenant wishes to pre-terminate a contract, he must inform the landlord three months in advance. In most cases, the tenant must look for someone to take over the lease for the duration of the contract or wait for the repayment for months.

Read Landlord and Tenant  »



ECONOMIC GROWTH
Last Updated: Nov 15, 2006


The poor Gold Coast

Ghana gdp growth graphThe economy grew 5.1% annually from 2001 to 2005 annually. Real GDP per capita was 61.3% higher in 2005, than in 1983.

But much remains to be done. Ghana is still in the list of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), and the country is heavily reliant on foreign aid. Inflation was 14.3% in 2005, down from 60% in 1995. 90% of the population lives below the poverty line.







  • Pro-landlord rental market
  • Rife w/ poverty & instability
  • Severe ownership issues
  • Inflation is higher than yields
  • Complicated land titling system
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY FACTS
Price (sq.m): n.a. For a 120 sq. m. property, usually an apartment.
Rental Yield: n.a. For a 120 sq. m. property, usually an apartment.
Rent/month: n.a. For a 120 sq. m. property.
Income Tax: 10.00% Assumptions: Owners are a non-resident couple drawing US$ / €1,500 per month in rent, with no other local income.
Roundtrip Cost: 12.13% The total cost of buying and then reselling an apartment. Includes:

* all transaction taxes and charges:
* lawyers' and notaries' fees
* agents' fees

Assumptions: The buyers are non-resident foreigners. The apartment cost US$250,00 / €250,000.
Cap Gains Tax: 15.00% Assumptions: The property was bought for US$250,000 / €250,000, and sold 10 years later, after a 100% appreciation.
Landlord and Tenant Law: Pro-Landlord Rating is based on a detailed study of each country’s law and practice.




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