Investing in Ghana
Propertywire speaks to sisters Anna and Victoria Agyekum, founders of London-based boutique agency, On Point Property, a firm which helps buyers navigate the property market in Ghana.
They also run the annual Ghana Property and Lifestyle Expo in London and in Ghana, which is designed for anyone interested in investment opportunities, holiday or family homes in the West African country.
Why invest in Ghana?
For those from the African, African Caribbean or African American diaspora, investing in the country has obvious appeal, as a relatively politically stable nation on the continent with a warm climate.
Anna said: “There’s a longing to be connected back to African roots.
“Ghana is warm all year round, there are so many opportunities for entrepreneurs, and Africa’s population is the youngest in the world.”
However the country has strong yields that could appeal for investors, regardless of their heritage.
Anna said it’s not unusual to achieve yields of 8-12% annually – far exceeding UK returns.
She estimated that one-bedroom apartments range from around $150,000 – $265,000 in prime locations such as Cantonments, Airport Residential Area, and Labone. On such a property you’d typically expect to receive rents of $2,000 per month. As rents are paid annually, investors typically receive a large amount of cash in one go.
How the firm works
While securing these yields is tantalising, the sisters say you can come unstuck investing in the country without professional help, as Anna warned that “people were getting robbed” prior to them setting up the business.
As children, Victoria said they witnessed their parents attempt to build a property in the country from the UK. However it took a suspiciously long time and cost too much, suggesting there was some foul play involved.
On Point has established partnerships in Ghana to eliminate these worries.
One major linkup is with the Ghana Bar Association, which sets the law in the country, and provides a pool of reputable solicitors to ensure the legality of a property.
Meanwhile they have a client base of 16 developers, as well as linkups with banks that they work with as part of their diligence process to know they are working with reputable developers that offer diaspora mortgages to their clients if they require finance. Some of the banks they work with are Access Bank Ghana Plc, Stanbic Bank Ghana, and First National Bank (FNB).
Properties are typically purchased with US dollars, due to the American currency having more stability than the Ghanaian cedi.
Most of the investment into Ghana centres around Accra, the country’s capital.
The city is fast developing, with the creation of new luxury buildings, combining residential and commercial property, while living in apartments is becoming increasingly commonplace.
Sought after areas include Cantonments, Airport Residential Area, East Lagon and Labone. The area has been boosted by the positioning of Ghana as a tourism hotspot. In December in particular travellers flock to Accra, which is gaining a reputation as the new Ibiza for the international party set.
Anna said: “Accra is a great investment opportunity.
“You’re not far from the beach. The apartments are not just apartments – they’ve got skypools, they’ve got gyms, they’ve got saunas, they’ve got massage rooms.”
Given these facilities, it’s no wonder that celebrities including Jay-Z and Michaela Coel are said to have homes in Ghana.
Kumasi, Ghana’s second biggest by population and capital of the Ashanti region, also has scale for growth, though the sisters say it will take some time for it to generate the same level of appeal as Accra. Kumasi Airport is currently undergoing expansion projects to push its status as an international airport, which would boost the appeal for further development and international investors.