THE Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) is urging a drastic approach to land acquisition and registration in the country to help address the growing incidence of multiple land sales in the country.
The President of the association, Mr Kwakye Dopoah-Dei, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that the reforms were needed to remove the bottlenecks in the land acquisition and registration for investor confidence and investments in the real estate business to pick up.
For a start, Mr Dopoah-Dei said GREDA was requesting that the Lands Commission should set up a special desk that would only register lands for the purposes of real estate development.
“This desk should look at the requests of real estate developers with eagle eyes for the purposes of fast-tracking investments so that some developers will not come with money to stifle ongoing registrations,” he said after the Executive Council of GREDA retreat at Ada.
The retreat, which was sponsored by Rivonia Ghana Limited, gave members the opportunity to brainstorm key issues affecting the GREDA members and proffer solutions to them.
Given that the multiple sale of lands in the country impacts negatively on investments in the estate business and cost of units delivered, Mr Dopoah-Dei, who is also the Managing Director of Rivonia Ghana, said the council found it prudent to deliberate on how to address it.
Beyond the specialised desk, he said the association was of the view that government could use its clout to eliminate litigation over land titles for estate developers in the country.
By that, he said, the country could devise “a system that allows the government to intervene in cases where landowners litigate with estate developers over ownership.”
“We are looking at where when an issue of litigation pops up in a land registration matter involving an estate developer, the government can intervene and say I am acquiring that land for the purpose of development. The government can then negotiate the price of land, get money from the developer into an escrow account and allow the development of the land to continue while the litigation is ongoing,” he said.
He added that “once the litigation is resolve, the money received can then be paid to the real land owner, thereby ensuring that the project is not stalled by court processes.”
That, he said, could lead to increased investments in the real estate business.
Mr Dopoah-Dei said the council also resolved to deal with the growing concern over the quality and standard of housing delivery.
That, he said, would be addressed by a quality assurance certification (QAC) due to be introduced soon.
He stated that the association had resolved to adopt “principles of development” to help achieve greater efficiency in the long term and minimise the risks of poor quality housing development.
He added that that was an initiative of the Executive Council to augment the efforts by the state agencies mandated to control infrastructural development in our country.
“In line with this, GREDA intends to introduce a quality assurance certification (QAC) that will be issued to members who comply and adhere to the QC&MS. The application of these principles will ensure that there is better quality improvement in housing, improved functionality of property units and consolidation of quality standards across the GREDA fraternity,” he noted.
He explained that the QAC would be issued and renewed annually after GREDA member companies had met the qualification metrics such as technical staffing requirements, use of quality materials and application of quality workmanship.
The rest are construction methodologies, quality supervision and proper application of materials.
Impact on members
He reiterated that the Executive Council was confident that the successful implementation of the QC&MS and the QAC would make the certificate “highly sought-after by customers as requirement for closing property deals.”
“It will also support in achieving major sales share in the industry to GREDA members,” he said.
Ultimately, Mr Dopoah Dei said the council expected the programme to help win back the trust and confidence of property buyers, challenge developers (especially GREDA members) to deliver value for end users and subsequently make the association the institution of choice for serious developers and the nation as a whole.