MULTIPURPOSE REAL ESTATE COMPLEX KICKS OFF IN ACCRA

Construction work on the West Africa’s largest multi-use real estate project, The Exchange, is underway in Accra.

The complex is expected to become a focal point in Accra, as it offers a unique combination of attractions, including a retail park, a luxury hotel, residential areas as well as office accommodation.According to the project managers, the first phase was expected to be ready in 2018.

The multi-purpose complex will operate to international standards with the aim of uplifting Accra’s residential scene, while achieving international leisure and business standards.

Already, the complex has become the first project in Africa to receive the EDGE certification. EDGE honours projects of high environmental awareness that embody consciousness when compared to conventional developments.

The Exchange will achieve a more than 20 per cent reduction in energy and water use.

According to Mabani Holdings Ghana Limited and Actis LLP, the investor-partners of the project, work on the concept was started in 2011 and had since gone through the design stage, with construction underway on the site.

They said over 2,000 jobs would be created during the construction stage, with many more available after completion.

“The project is set to benefit the Ghanaian economy immensely, with over 90 per cent of the project to be sub-contracted to local companies, which is very important to bring in the value that is expected,” the Chief Executive Officer of the Mabani and Forewin Group, Mr Ghassan Yared, said.

He added that The Exchange was poised to be the city within the city of Accra.

“The Exchange is here for life, for business, for pleasure. It is there to pamper clients and customers,” the partners promised.

It is designed to be a genuine and truly beautiful destination for singles, friends, couples and parents and will cater for all generations — from babies and children to the elderly.

The hotel – Radisson Blu

It will house the Radisson Blu, a 4-Star business hotel which will consist of 206 rooms, several restaurants and a wonderful seating area with an outdoor pool and a bar.

Ms Amanda Jean-Baptiste, the Director of Real Estate at Actis, said: “The Radisson Blu Airport at The Exchange will provide quality modern space for business travellers and will help further establish Ghana as the conference destination of choice in West Africa.”

Philip Salem, a Director at Mabani, noted: “Our partnership with Actis on The Exchange, and now with Rezidor, demonstrates the potential for local and international businesses to come together to deliver world-class infrastructure and services that will underpin Ghana’s future growth.”

President and CEO of Rezidor, Mr Wolfgang M. Neumann, recently stated at the African Hotel Investment Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that the hotel’s arrival in Ghana “supports our strategic growth in West Africa – a resource-rich and fast-growing region with considerable potential for our core brand — Radisson Blu.”

Source;  Daily Graphic – 10th October, 2016

GIVE HOME BUYERS VALUE FOR MONEY – GREDA BOSS

The President of the Ghana Real Estate Developers (GREDA), Mr Kwakye Dopoah-Dei, has asked members of the association and estate developers in general to prioritize quality over quantity in the construction of houses for the general public.

This, he said was needed to ensure that estate developers give value for money to their customers while earning their trust and confidence in the estate development and housing construction business.It will also help the sector to maintain its status as a key contributor to the socio-economic development of the country, Mr Dopoah-Dei, who is also the Managing Director of Rivornia Ghana Limited, said in Accra.He gave the advice in an interview after the grand opening of Bentley Grove Homes, a luxurious residential property developed by Imperial Homes.

Imperia Homes, which specialises in the development and sale of luxury properties, is one of the key members of the association.

GREDA proud 

Mr Dopoah-Dei said the association was proud to have Imperial Homes, which specialises in promoting real estate at the upper end market, among its membership and.

Over the years, he said Imperial Homes had continued to offer its clients top quality homes , starting with its maiden project, the Imperial Court at Abelemkpe in the Greater Accra Region, some nine years ago.

“We bare great testimony to your contribution to the housing stock in Ghana in spite of the numerous challenges currently facing the industry,” he said.

He thus encouraged other developers to emulate the example of the company by being innovative in the midst of challenges.

Imperial Homes properties

Some of the properties developed by Imperial Homes since its inception in 2007 include the Mankata at Airport Residential Area , the Ayana Vistas at Cantonments, which is ongoing, the Bentley Place Town houses and Premier Court & Premier Place.

REDUCING BUILDING COSTS IN THE COUNTRY

By Prof. George W. K. Intsiful

How much does a building costs in Ghana? How many people can afford the cost of a building even though the lowest paid labourer in the country aspires to build his or her own house? Can such costs be reduced? These are some of the questions that are asked by thousands of Ghanaians everyday. In attempting to address questions of this nature, building in Ghana will be discussed along two lines – small ones which could include private residential units and public ones which are financed by the central government and could include offices, classrooms, markets etc.

Communal Labour

For small buildings, in days gone by and in traditional or rural societies in Ghana, building activity was a communal one, which involved virtually the entire community. All that the proposed house or building owner, for example, needed to to was to provide food and drinks for the workmen and women who provided one skill or the other. The building materials were obtained in the surrounding areas and virtually every member of the community participated because those who did not were also denied such communal assistance when they wanted to build. Communal labour for building construction, however, appears to have died in the Ghanaian communities and may even sound like a fairy tale to the present generation.

Traditional Buildings

In spite of that, there exists across the country several traditional buildings. It is a well – known fact that the advent of the rains in the rainy season also means that many of such traditionally constructed buildings collapsed . Several issues of the local newspapers have documented this over the years. The major reason for the collapse can be described as poor construction methods which include the absence of foundations and the lack of durable materials . Most traditional buildings have no foundations and the walls sit on the ground. What passes for a foundation in many traditional buildings is simply raised compacted earth and rain action results in erosion and weakening of the whole structure. In a tropical climate where sound roof construction is very essential, many rural buildings have poorly constructed roof substructures to carry the final roofing material.

Even though over the years, corrugated metal roofing sheets, which can be described as more durable than the flimsy materials such as bamboos and thatch are now widely used in traditional construction, the rather weak substructure of flimsy timber members, which receive the roofing materials, results in a shorter lifespan for the roof as a whole. Additionally, many rural buildings of swish or mud construction have several cracks developing around doors and windows. Mud walls are also not plastered or rendered. Thus, rain action again leads to rapid deterioration. The effects of water on earth buildings have very often been totally destructive. All these problems are further worsened by the lack of surface drainage. Waste water from kitchens and bathrooms and bathing enclosures, as well as rain water from the roofs, collect in the alleys separating individual building units. The stagnant water consequently eats at the base of the buildings and weakens the structure which eventually collapses.

Builder’s Brigade

Needless to say, such building activities take place without the involvement of the district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies. Admittedly, in more recent times, due to urbanisation, many buildings across Ghana are being developed with building materials such as cement, sand, iron rods etc. The prices of these modern building materials never come down. They are always on the increase. So what is the way forward? The widespread use of earth buildings suggest that improved earth construction could go a long way to lower building cost across Ghana. Some people might shout that you need kilns and other sophisticated machinery to make that possible. In a country with huge unemployment problem, particularly among the youth, is it not possible to revisit the concept of the Builders’ Brigade of the Kwame Nkrumah era to produce even sun-dried bricks in large quantities for construction purposes?

Trained Artisans

One of the major needs of the country is the availability of skilled labour for building construction. My understanding is that one of the original goals of the introduction of the junior high school (JHS) and senior high school (SHS) systems was to pave the way to students to be trained for  skilled labour in the vocational and technical areas since not every product of the two systems can continue to pursue tertiary education at the University. Is it not possible to return to this initial goal? With a wider training programme for artisans, more people could be trained at the regular upward movement of fees charged by artisans could also be stabilized.

‘SPEED UP PASSAGE OF REVIEWED RENT CONTROL LAW’

By Timothy Ngnenbe

The National Tenants Association of Ghana (NATAG) has declared its intention to go to the Supreme Court to seek interpretation of Section 25 (5) of the Rent Act of 1963, and Section 19 (2) of the Rent Control Law of 1986.

The association has also called on Parliament to expedite action on the processes to pass the reviewed rent control bill into law.

The National Secretary of NATAG, Mr Eric Opoku, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said the current rent law, which barred landlords from taking more than six months’ rent advance, had been grossly abused.

“Even the executive and legislative arms of government have breached Section 25 (5) of the Rent Act through the payment and receipt of four years’ rent allowance by Ghanaian legislators. We want to seek interpretation as to whether it is proper for parliamentarians to continue to receive four years’ rent advance even though it is clearly stated under the Rent Act that tenants should not pay more than six months’ rent advance.”

“We are calling for it to be reviewed immediately because the more it delays, the more tenants continue to suffer injustice from landlords,” he said.

Recall

NATAG has since 2013 advocated the review of the Rent Act of 1963, citing abuse of the law by landlords.

The association also blamed the executive and legislative arms of government for breaching the Rent Act through the payment and receipt of four years’ rent allowance by the legislators.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing responded by saying that the four-year rent allowance amounting to GH¢50,000 that was given to each of the 275 legislators did not constitute a breach of the Rent Act, since the allowances were not paid directly as rent advance.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr David Tetteh Asumin, said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on January 29, 2015 that Parliament did not rent houses for its members, but rather paid rent allowances.

Mr Opoku observed that the imbalance between the demand and supply of housing units in the country had given landlords the opportunity to exploit tenants through the charging of exorbitant rent and taking of rent advance for up to three years.

He, therefore, called for the strengthening of the Rent Control Department, the body under the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing mandated with the responsibility to solve rent disputes between tenants and landlords.

Social housing

According to him, the government ought to roll out a social housing policy that would address the over 1.7 million housing deficit in the country rather than the affordable housing policy being espoused by government.

He contended that affordability was relative to people of different social classes and that social housing would be the best way to help the poor in society.

Ghana Home Loans signs MOU with govt to deliver affordable housing

Ghana Home Loans, the nation’s leading residential mortgage provider, has signed an MOU with the Department of Rural Housing (DRH), a policy formulation agency under the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing (MWRWH).

DRH shall undertake to build homes using improved local building materials such as Compressed Earth Bricks (CEB) and Micro Concrete Roof Tiles.

As the mortgage partner, Ghana Home Loans shall provide the prospective home owners with Home Construction Mortgages to finance their projects.

The credit facilities have repayments periods of up to 15 years.

The use of locally sourced materials has the twin benefit of supporting local industry as well as delivering affordable housing to the target groups.

DRH offers a selection of spacious standard house designs ranging between 77 and 148 square metres.

However the Department will consider large scale projects which require a different set of house designs.

The product offering is targeted at individuals, staff associations, and credit unions that have acquired land for their members and are considering options for construction.

The challenge that these groups have typically faced has been identifying housing solutions within their income range and agreeing on a contractor to build for them.

Source:  Ghana Home Loans

 

Ghana Home loans launches ‘Quick Cash’

Ghana Home Loans (GHL), the nation’s leading mortgage provider, has introduced into the Ghanaian market its latest product, “Quick Cash.”

It is a short-term loan which enables individuals or groups of people to access funds to undertake urgent needs.

GHL’s “Quick Cash,” according to the company’s Head of Mortgage Origination, Ms Regina Baah, was aimed at assisting homeowners to access fund within the shortest possible time.

“Quick cash is targeted at homeowners, whether self-employed or salaried, resident or non-resident, who have urgent cash needs such as school fees, port clearance fees, medical bills etc,” she said at the launch of the product in Accra on Monday.

According to her, since 2006, GHL had offered a diversified range of home loan products to assist thousands of Ghanaians to realise their dream of homeownership.

“These include a home purchase, land purchase as well as home equity release mortgage,” Ms Baah added.

Preferences

The Executive Head of the Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education and Research, Nana Otaru Acheampong, who launched the products, advised Ghanaians to make good choices, especially on their finances.

According to him, any purchase that would not amount to future gains should not be made since it would become a major barrier in destroying one’s life.

Concerning the Quick Cash product, he noted that: “This product is timely as it bridges the liquidity gap between financing needs and expected funds available in these periods of austerity.”

For his part, the Chief Operating Officer of GHL, Mr Dominic Adu, said the minimum amount an applicant could apply was US$ 5000, adding that: “This could rise up to any amount.”

He said once funds were released, payment for the loan would be demanded within 24 months.

Source: Graphic Online

Ghana needs collaboration to resolve 1.7 million housing deficits – Dr Ankrah

Ghana needs an effective public-private partnership to resolve its national housing deficit, Dr Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah, the Former, Managing Director, State Housing Corporation, has said.

Speaking during the launch of the ASN Financial Services’ Home Investment Fund (HIF), Dr Ankrah said collaboration between government and the private sector would help bring solutions to the housing challenges.

The Home Investment Fund (HIF) is to help facilitate easy public home acquisition as well as promote the individual’s effort towards saving for affordable home ownership and mortgage repayment.

He commended the management of ASN Financial Services Limited for their foresight to provide solution to the housing deficit.

Ghana’s Housing deficit currently stands at 1.7 million units.

Mr Prince Sarpong, the Group C.E.O, ASN Holdings, said governments over the years have tried to provide measures to solve the country’s housing challenges.

He said it is the resolve of ASN constructions, a subsidy of ASN Holdings, to construct one million houses within a 10-year period.

He said already, his outfit has constructed a number of housing units ready for the public.

“GRA has signed a partnership with ASN Construction for about 7,000 houses for its staff, and that the Ghana Cocoa Board has also requested for about 2,000 houses,” he said.

Mr Johannes Akuffo Okutu, the Managing Director, ASN Financial Services Limited, said the Fund offered potential homeowners the opportunity and privilege to make monthly contributions over a period of one to five years towards the attainment of 20 per cent of the cost of the building.

He said ASN Financial Services would complete the payment within an affordable mortgage facility.

He said in the first of the acquisition, the company would provide free life insurance and mortgage protection.

“HIF home acquisition attracts no hidden charges in the form of facility fees, search fee and closing fee,” he added.

Source: GNA

Ghana Business News

Housing Ownership In Ghana

The 2010 Population and Housing Census records that nationally about 47.2% of dwelling units are occupied by their owners, while 31.1% lived in rented premises, 20.8% are occupied rent free. The results indicate that ownership of living units is mainly by private individuals, households’ members and relatives who are not household members. Only 3.7% of dwelling units are owned by employers (public and private).
The Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) 5 classifies housing into eight (8) types as follows;
1. Rooms in compounds
2. Rooms (other types)
3. Separate houses (bungalow )
4. Flats/ apartments
5. Semi – detached houses
6. Several huts / buildings
7. Tents/ improvised housing (kiosks/ containers)
8. Others

Compound houses still dominate the existing housing in urban Ghana but have declined from 62 per cent of Accra’s housing stock in 1990 to 42.5% in 2000. Newer forms, such as bungalows and especially flats and informal types (wooden shacks, kiosks, etc.) are growing very rapidly in proportion, but each is still a small component of the stock. In contrast, in Tamale, the housing sector profile found that all four of the sampled houses in newly- developing areas are compounds. Out of the 11.5 million rooms in Ghana, 40 percent (4.6 million) are in urban areas of which 13 percent (1.5 million) are in Greater Accra Region.

There is a high concentration of households in the urban Ghana (around two fifths – 2.7 million) occupying single rooms. It is evident, also, that about one third of urban households manage to obtain two rooms (31% in Accra) but very few enjoy three or more rooms. In Accra almost 60 percent of rented or rent – free properties are owned by private landlords; 50 percent in other urban areas. In Accra, about one in four renter and rent – free households live in houses owned by a relative but about 40 percent do in the rest of the urban areas. Publicly – owned housing is a small proportion of all rented and rent – free accommodation, only 9.3 percent in Accra and 4 percent elsewhere.

Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing..2015

Housing Stock In Ghana

The 2010 Population and Housing Census records total stock of houses for the country as 3, 392, 745 about half ( 57.7%) of which are in the rural areas. The data further shows that the stock of houses increased by 60.1% compared with the figure recorded in the year 2000, much more than the increase in population (30.4%) over the same period .
A total of 5,467,054 dwelling units were also recorded in the 2010 Population and Census. In terms of construction, mud brick or earth (34.2%) and cement or concrete (57.5%) are the two main materials for outer wall. For roofing, the share of the main materials is as follows; corrugated metal sheets (71.4%), thatch /palm leaves (8.6) and slate/asbestos (13%). In terms of quality and durability, about 15% of dwelling units are not adequately roofed. This may pose difficulties and inconveniences during bad weather.

Ministry of Water, Resources and Housing 2015