If you live in America and you still think people in Africa live in trees, as your grandfather had prejudiced your mind a long time ago, think again! Welcome to Accra, Ghana, the land of Kwame Nkrumah, and the first country in Africa to wrestle independence from the British 53 years ago.
There is something going on here which has not happened before. People here are snapping up luxury condos and town-homes like there is no tomorrow, and some smart developers in town are responding to the brisk demand very briskly too. There is a lot of anticipation and excitement here, maybe because of the recent oil find and the expected drilling scheduled for the last quarter of this year. Demand for luxury real estate in safe residential neighborhoods has become a sport. People can’t wait to see the ground broken by a developer in these neighborhoods before they swoop in to register their interest quickly. Major companies in Ghana are literally stepping over each other, registering their interest in rental properties. Foreign companies looking for accommodation for their foreign staff in particular, are racing for such places because most of these developments are created in gated communities with high security 24/7. Ghanaian security companies are having a field day, employing lots of manpower to guard these developments.
The Airport Residential Area in particular has become a haven for high rise condominiums and town homes. Driving through this area these days feels like driving through the Wilshire corridor in Beverly Hills, California. The major players in this area are Holi Flats, Meridian Apartments, Primrose Place, Blackwell Realty Ltd, Purple Oak Ltd and Villagio Vista by Trasacco Valley Developers at Dzorwulu, just next door. Having met most of the players myself, it feels good to know that it is Ghanaian entrepreneurs who are the brains behind all these projects and it tells you how far our country has come. I guarantee anyone to step into any of these developments to see the quality of work being done on these projects: it feels like any luxury condo or townhome in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Paris or Tokyo – I guarantee you! Condo units here are selling from US $295,000 and up, depending on number of bedrooms and baths. Most complexes have a pool, a gym, a tennis court and a clubhouse. Savvy investors are snapping up these properties briskly at today’s prices because they know that these will be the multi-million-dollar properties of tomorrow, just as it happened in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris or Tokyo over the years. I had my own experience recently, representing a landlord in negotiating a lease for a foreign company who have just arrived in town to start building lots of homes in Ghana. By the time we concluded our negotiations, three other companies were already lined up on standby, waiting to take the building if our negotiations failed. That’s how high the demand is for properties in these areas. There is a new enclave being built at the Kotoka International Airport to be called Airport City, which will house 5-star hotels, a shopping mall, high-rise office buildings and a mall for automobile dealers. This enclave is merely a walking distance from the Airport Residential Area and the Kotoka International Airport itself. Holiday Inn Hotels have staked a foothold in this area and are already doing brisk business. The best kept secret in Accra these days is the Cantonments area, where the sprawling heavily secured American Embassy has a commanding presence. Sorry, visitors have to leave their cameras at home when they come to this embassy. You can’t take pictures in this fortified area. The Cantonments area has virtually become the enclave for luxury town-homes. This is the area where the W. E. B. Dubois Center is located, just a walking distance from the American Embassy. It is a favorite hangout for American visitors and the area has become extremely popular and heavily patronized. Don’t be surprised to see bulldozers razing to the ground old houses and outmoded structures for brand new, sophisticated mansions here. The AU Village, built for the African Heads of State during their meeting in Accra in the Kufuor era, is virtually a few blocks away. Luxury apartments in this area rent easily for US $3000. Luxury condos and townhomes for absentee owners easily rent for $4000 per month. Yes, in Accra, Ghana! If you are thinking of buying property in this area, be ready to shell out anything from the $400s. There are several gated communities here, all tastefully created with lots of greenery, swimming pools, club houses, tennis courts and gyms. It is a joy to visit them and see things for yourself. And if you have the money, buy one! The developers are waiting and eager to satisfy your taste.
Who says Africans live in trees? Leave those tired thoughts behind and welcome to the new Ghana!!!