Land Prices Soaring; Derail Housing Dreams

Land values in the country have risen exponentially over the past 12 months as strong demand for homes soars to the delight of land dealers who are expecting at least double returns on their investment.

The situation, which is most telling in the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions has unerved potential homeowners who have had to pay a premium for a plot of land.

According to information gathered by the B&FT, demand from real estate developers and welathy private individuals is the key driver of the land prices, which has made it increasingly difficult for many workers to acquire a parcel of land and build a decent home for themselves and their families.

The increasing cost of land points to the pricey homes on the market as evident in the inflation data of the Ghana Statistical Service, which indicates that inflation in the housing sub-sector has jumped year-on-year by 24.3 percent as at the end of July; above the national avareage of 16.7 percent.

B&FT has gathered that the price of a plot of land measuring 100 x 70 sqft in areas such as Danfa, Amasaman, Oyibi, Afienya, Dodowa and others in the Greater Accra Region; Berekuso, Obosomase,Nsawam and Doboro in the Easter Region have increased by as much as 400 percent over the past year.

For instance, a 100 x 70 sqft plot, which hitherto sold for between GH¢10,000-GH¢15,000 at Oyarifa on the outskirt of Accra is now sold for about GH¢40,000. Same plot size sold for about GH¢8,000 in Danfa a year ago is also now being sold for about GH¢20,000.

A 100 x 70 sqft plot sold for about 7,000 in Oyibi less than a year ago, is now sold for about ¢30,000.

Major towns on the borders of Greater Accra and Eastern Regions are attracting huge interests leading to an increase in land prices. Berekuso, Obosomase, Nsawam and Doboro are particularly popular with city dwellers seeking to escape the hustle of city life amid high demand for homes from young professionals.

As such, a plot of land is sold for between GH¢25,000- GH¢ 40,000 at Berekuso; GH¢15,000- GH¢25,000 at Obosomase; and between GH¢8,000- GH¢15,000 at Nsawam.

Due to the high land cost now, lands have become a major investment vehicle for many investors who have found the treasury yieds and securties unattractive as a result of the challenges in the economy.

The challenges with the price of land is further compounded by the complex land ownership sructure.

The additional investment in time and money required to go through an eight-month Title Perfection is also a huge disincentive

It must however be acknowledged that the Lands Registration Division is now digitising the process and streamlining things to make it less strenuous to acquire the right documentation to lands.

This notwithstanding, government policies over the years have failed to address the challenges with land acquisition and development in Ghana — one of many reasons the housing deficit is growing by the day.

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