Price Instability Affects Estate Developers

Samuel Amegayibor (Left), Ebo Morrison (Middle) and Sampson Ahi (right) inspecting products of some of the estate developing companies that attended the fair

Persistent price fluctuation due to the rapid depreciation of the cedi against major currencies is negatively affecting the revenue of players in the real estate industry in the country, President of Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), Samuel Amegayibor has stated.

Mr Amegayibor, who made this known on Friday in Accra at the launch of the fifth edition of HFC, MultiTV Habitat Fair, said it has became impossible for real estate developers to price their houses in the local currency due to the depreciation of the cedi against major foreign currencies, and hikes in the prices of building materials.

According to him, the development poses as a threat to the developers and the entire mortgage sector.

He noted that if government does not address the problems immediately, many Ghanaians who are gainfully employed within the industry could lose their jobs.

Mr. Amegayibor said, ‘We are confronted with a serious challenge that if nothing is done urgently by our policy makers to arrest it, the situation could have negative consequence on the industry which could lead to job loses.’

The president also disclosed that the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) to 17.5 percent earlier this year would affect the success of their businesses.

He stated that the Association was fully in support of government’s initiatives towards the policy of increasing the use of local raw materials for productions to 60 percent as against 40 percent foreign.

He revealed that ‘currently, the ratio is about 70 percent foreign inputs as against 30 percent local.’

 Real Estate Agency Bill
The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Sampson Ahi, in a speech, disclosed that plans were far advanced to finalize the Real Estate Agency Bill, which seeks to ‘regulate real estate agency practice, commercial transactions in real estate including sale, purchase, rental and leasing of real estate.’

He pointed out that the Bill would go a long way to strengthen the anti-corruption initiative in the country and curb money laundering and other serious financial malpractices in the sector.

He said, ‘There is the need to ensure that practitioners and parties to real estate transactions keep proper records of their transactions for tax purposes since most of them fail to meet their tax obligations.

This undoubtedly denies government the necessary revenue for developmental purposes.’

 The Fair
Ebo Morrison, Sales and Marketing Manager of MultiTV, noted that the three-day Habitat Fair was organized by MultiTV and supported by HFC Bank.

It was intended to bring stakeholders and the general public together to enable them dialogue and find solutions to the housing challenges confronting the state.

He stated that the fair would also be launched in Kumasi and Takoradi in September, this year and would be extended to all parts of the country come 2015.

Charles Bonsu, General Manager in Charge of Mortgage and Consumer Loans at HFC Bank, on his part, gave the assurance that his outfit would continue to finance the fair, urging Ghanaians to visit HFC Bank for all their housing loans.

Devtraco Estate Limited, Noble Realty, Blue Rose Estate, Lakeside Estate Limited, ASTRA Courts, among others, took part in the event to introduce their services to prospective clients at the fair held at the National Theatre.

By Melvin Tarlue

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