The General Manager of Green Park Properties, Mr Kwabena Ofori Addo has bemoaned the rate at which Ghanaian contractors inflate prices of building materials when awarded contracts in the real estate sector.
Commenting on why investors in the sector were awarding their contracts to foreigners instead of Ghanaians, he said although Ghanaian contractors were equally capable of undertaking the projects, they overpriced as if it’s their last business and are unwilling to make concessions.
“We are having Chinese companies and other foreigners taking up most of the projects because Ghanaian companies overprice the materials for the contract,” he noted.
Mr Ofori Addo said this in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on the sidelines of a sod cutting ceremony for the construction of a 32-house estate at East Legon. The project, which has been dubbed ‘Legacy project’ is being undertaken by Engineering Consortium and Golden Mainland Ghana Limited.
In settling on Golden Mainland, he said they engaged many contractors both local and foreign but Golden Mainland was chosen at the end of the day because the company thought of repeat business.
“They were thinking ahead of the present and were, therefore, willing to make concessions but with the local companies, where they stand is final so it was difficult to give them the contract,” he stated.
High cost of real estate apartments
On the high cost of real estate apartments in the country, he said this was due to the cost of operation, stating that if the companies reduce the prices, then it would mean they are working for the banks and not get any profit.
He said some of the challenges included getting permit, acquisition of land, change of ownership of land, getting stamp duty and getting utilities to the project cite.
He said all of these added up to their cost of operation as all the agencies expect money to exchange hands before they work of these things for them.
“Everybody wants money to exchange hands and they know that for the kind of project we undertake, it is valued in millions of dollars so the money they ask for is not GH¢2,000 or GH¢3,000 but in excess of GH¢20,000-GH¢30, 000,” he added.
Change of thinking
The general manager also called for the need for Ghanaians to change their thinking about apartments.
“More people now want to live in self-compound homes and don’t like apartments so the market keeps growing smaller,” he noted.
“If people change their perception and start buying, the prices too will come down,” he added.
The Project Manager of Golden Mainland, Mr Samuel Darko Korang, throwing more light on the project, said it was scheduled to be completed within 22 months.
He said it would be an edifice that would light up the whole area and also cut down on the housing deficit.
“Although its targeted at a specific class of people, we will ensure it is still affordable. It’s a high end building so it is for the middle to high class. The idea is to help expatriates trooping into the country because so some are for lease and others are for outright sale,” he pointed out. — GB