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Looking to Acquire Land in Ghana? Here’s All You Need to Know

Whether you're a prospective homeowner looking for your dream property or an investor seeking lucrative opportunities in the booming Ghanaian market, this article provides valuable insights, tips, and resources to help you make informed decisions every step of the way.

Ghana, often called the ‘Gateway to West Africa,’ has become a favorite destination for several people in the diaspora. Boasting a vibrant culture, a rich history, and a promising economy, it is also recognized as one of the most peaceful countries in Africa,  attracting about 2 billion Foreign direct investment (FDI) annually.

One of the sectors that continues to see enormous growth is its real estate sector.  Whether you’d like to regularly attend Detty December or visit occasionally to learn more about the culture, owning property in Ghana is equally exciting for locals and foreigners. The real estate opportunities are immense from the lively urban charm of its fast-developing capital, Accra, to the serene beauty of the countryside.

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But where do you begin? Whether you’re a prospective homeowner looking for your dream property or an investor seeking lucrative opportunities in the booming Ghanaian market, this article provides valuable insights, tips, and resources to help you make informed decisions at every step.

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  • Land Acquisition

The process for a native Ghanaian to acquire land in Ghana is generally similar to that of a foreigner. This means one does not have to be a resident in Ghana for a certain number of days – significant, right?

Before anything else, please familiarize yourself with Ghana’s land laws, including the 1992 Constitution, the Land Act of 2020 (Act 1036), and the Land Title Registration Act of 1986 (PNDCL 152). Ghana’s legal framework for land ownership is primarily governed by the 1992 Constitution, the Land Act of 2020 (Act 1036), and the Land Title Registration Act of 1986 (PNDCL 152).

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It is important to note that there are restrictions on acquiring land in areas designated as stool or skin lands controlled by traditional authorities. As part of Ghana’s rich and diverse culture, stool and skin lands are categories of land under the jurisdiction of conventional authorities. Stool land refers to land owned by a traditional chief or king, while a local chief owns skin land. Customary laws govern these lands and are often subject to specific regulations and restrictions on ownership, including restrictions on ownership by non-indigenes or foreigners. I guess this is the only caveat from a citizen to a foreigner. Some areas or regions where stool and skin lands are prevalent include the Ashanti, Eastern, Central, Western, Volta, and Northern Regions.

Although the Greater Accra Region is more cosmopolitan, areas with stool lands remain, especially in suburban and rural settings. Depending on the location and type of land, obtain approvals from relevant authorities such as the Lands Commission or the Town and Country Planning Department. This may involve obtaining permits or clearances for development projects.

  • Finding Legal Assistance and Agencies

It is important to engage legal assistance and an agent. With the help of a real estate agent, you can conduct a thorough search to verify ownership, assess a land’s status, and identify any encumbrances or disputes. Agencies like Firmus Advisory and Signum Development are great places to inquire. They can also help you at every step of the way.

  • Negotiate a good deal.

This may come as a surprise to people who come from countries with fixed pricing, but you need to have strong negotiation skills in Ghana.

More often than not, the first given price is never final. Note this down –  it is essential. Have strong bargaining skills. Negotiate the terms of the sale with the seller. Once an agreement is reached, draft a sale agreement or memorandum of understanding outlining the terms and conditions of the transaction. If you’re buying from a real estate company, they will usually have documents for you to sign.

Afterward, could you pay the agreed-upon purchase price for the property? The transfer of ownership typically involves executing a deed of conveyance or lease agreement, which must be registered at the Lands Commission to formalize the transfer. Please make sure that the transaction is appropriately documented and witnessed. Don’t say I did not warn you.

  • Taxes. Taxes. Taxes

Be aware of tax obligations associated with property ownership in Ghana, such as property taxes and stamp duty. Consult with a tax advisor to understand your tax obligations. In Ghana, property owners, whether citizens or non-citizens, are subject to various tax obligations related to property ownership. Some essential tax obligations associated with property ownership in Ghana include Property Tax, Stamp duty, Capital gains tax, Rental income tax, Property transfer tax, and annual ground rent. You must know and be obliged to use the appropriate ones for your real estate. Trust me when I tell you you don’t want the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to get you.

  • Keep Your Documents

Last but not least, keep all relevant documents, including the sale agreement, deed of conveyance, registration certificates, and tax receipts, in a safe and accessible location for future reference. Please keep it in a safe, in the bank, or wherever you deem fit, but never lose these documents.

Ghana’s real estate market offers a wide range of opportunities for both locals and foreigners. Real estate is spread nationwide, giving you a wide range of environments. With average prices ranging from $70,000 to $250,000, it’s a landscape ripe for investment and growth. As you navigate the process, remember the importance of legal guidance, negotiation skills, and tax compliance. By embracing these principles, you can unlock the potential of Ghana’s real estate market and build your dreams upon its solid foundation.

Editor’s Note: This piece focused mainly on acquiring land in Ghana. Our next article will guide you on buying homes and other properties.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general guidance and informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal, financial, or real estate advice. Readers are encouraged to conduct thorough research and consult with qualified professionals, such as real estate agents, lawyers, or financial advisors, before making any decisions related to buying land in Ghana. The author and publisher of this article shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or inconvenience arising from the use of or reliance on the information presented herein.

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