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Jan 06, 2014

Ghana has a complicated titling system


How high are realtors’ and lawyers’ fees in Ghana? What about other property purchase costs?

Transaction Costs

Who Pays?
Legal Fees 3% - 10% buyer
Stamp Duty 0.25% - 1% buyer
Agent’s Commission 5% seller
Costs paid by buyer 3.25% - 11%
Costs paid by seller 5%
ROUNDTRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 8.25% - 16%
See Footnotes
Source: Global Property Guide

How difficult is the property purchase process in Ghana?

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Ghana. However, different kinds of land, some of which cannot be privately owned.

There are four types of land in Ghana: Government Land, Vested Land, Customary/Stool Land, and Family/Private Land.

Ghana properties

To acquire Government Land or Vested Land, an application must be filed with the Executive Secretary of Lands Commission or the Regional Lands Officer, depending on the location of the land.

Customary Land belongs to different Stools in Ghana, who have the authority to grant the particular customary land for which they are responsible. The 1992 Constitution states that there must be no free hold interest granted in land.

Customary Land granted to private individuals or families before the 1992 Constitution is now considered private land. In this case, the buyer has to go directly to the owner of the land.

The services of a real estate agent and a lawyer are needed in acquiring property. A title search is very important to determine the ownership and kind of land the buyer is interested in. Once all agreements have been settled, a Deed of Conveyance, or an appropriate instrument of transfer (indenture), is prepared by the lawyer. Upon signing, the title is transferred to the buyer, who, at the same time, pays for the property.

The title is registered at the Lands Commission Secretariat. Property registration takes around 14 to 55 days to accomplish, with around five procedures.

Legal fees are regulated by the Ghana Bar Association. The following amounts are prescribed legal fees for conveyance:

LEGAL FEES

PROPERTY VALUE MAXIMUM RATE
US$11,500 – US$40,000 10%
US$40,000 – US$85,000 7.5%
US$85,000 – US$180,000 5%
US$85,000 – US$180,000 5%
Over US$180,000 3%

Stamp Duty
Stamp duty is levied on the value of the property at progressive rates, from 0.25% to 1%.

STAMP DUTY

PROPERTY VALUE,GHS (US$) RATE
Up to 10,000 (US$4,167) 0.25%
10,000 – 50,000 (US$20,833) 0.50%
Over 50,000 (US$20,833) 1%



Footnotes to Transaction Costs Table

The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property – lawyers’ fees, notaries’ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents’ fees, etc.

Currency
Ghana uses Ghanaian Cedi. Exchange rate is at US$1=GHC9,556.41 as of 5th July 2006.





Comments

#1 BONGANI SHOBA | October 11, 2011

I would like to get the step by step process of registering a property in Ghana, especially for the citizens who are first time home buyers. Maybe one could give me a generic process that could be compared to other neighbouring countries.

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