My name is Anita, and I am a realtor at Sundance Limited. If you need information about buying land as a foreigner in Ghana, our company, Sundance, is here to help. Gradually, land in Ghana is becoming an expensive and rare commodity. But do not worry. We are here to guide you in looking for cheap land for sale in Ghana. Are you looking to purchase land in Ghana as a foreigner? Well, good for you!
This article contains information that any foreigner buying land in Ghana should know. Gone are the days when it was easy to chance upon land easily and purchase it from the right owners as early as possible. Do some checks and due diligence to avoid court litigation. But if you put in enough effort, you can purchase your land without issue.
If you need more information on buying land in Ghana, Sundance Estates can help. Feel free to add us on Whatsapp at 00233201924859. You can also join our Facebook group here.
Yes, a foreigner can buy land in Ghana though this is subject to some limitations. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana and the Land Act of Ghana 2020 (Act 1036) allow foreigners to own land for up to only 50 years. After which, the lease agreement has to be renewed subject to the owner’s consent. So it is important that when drafting a land ownership agreement, ensure that a lawyer includes that provision there for you.
Also, regarding a foreign company that intends to own land in Ghana, the law defines a foreign company as an entity or corporate body where non-citizens hold more than 40% of its equity shares. This means that such an entity cannot own land for more than 50 years in such a situation. Ghana has different types of land based on the ownership of the land.
The type of land a foreigner intends to purchase has distinct steps and procedures for purchasing. So, this is the first step that you, as a foreigner, must look out for. Thus, there is family land, stool lands, Public/Government lands and Private Lands.
Family lands are property that belongs to a specific family. Hence, they are owned jointly by all of that family members. It is well known that some regions in Ghana have lands owned by families. Prampram in the Greater Accra Region and several areas of the Volta region are two clear examples of places where family land is common.
In consultation with the principal family members, the family head is the appropriate person to sell family land. Therefore, the law will not recognize a transaction in which some principal members sell family land to you without the family head’s consent. There is a phrase in law known as “Buyer Beware”, which means that as a buyer, you must do your due diligence to know that you are buying from a legitimate source.
So, in case you are duped, the law will not take your side. It seems unfair, but that is the law! Because the family heads are held accountable for the family property, the family head’s participation in these transactions is crucial. Without it, you should not make any transaction to buy such land.
Stool land is the property of a specific stool and its occupants. The stool, with the consent and approval of the chief elders of the stool, is the appropriate legal party to sell stool land, according to the law. However, a government agency that manages Stool Land negotiations, The Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands, a constitutionally mandated government agency, may be able to help.
It can be one of your first points of call if the land you intend to purchase is stool land. It is important to understand that no principal elder or linguist may attempt to sell you any stool land. No matter how much you paid for it, the law will not recognize the transaction.
This category of land belongs to the Government. In this situation, the Lands Officer at the Lands Commission is the best person to contact if you want to buy such land. If you make a deal to purchase such land from a person, family, or chief, you will be setting yourself up. Most people who purchase this land without due diligence and buy such lands sold to them by evil people typically have their homes bulldozed by government organizations to safeguard their land.
So be sure to conduct a thorough search before buying such lands. Foreign nationals should submit a lease application to the Lands Commission for public lands. You may also apply at a regional land office, depending on the land of interest. Make sure you include all necessary papers in the application for quicker processing.
If a private person, or private business, including a real estate company, owns the land, it is considered privately owned. In Ghana, a sizable number of lands are privately owned. This is due to the sales made by stools and families, particularly by private persons or businesses. On the other hand, the owner is free to sell it whenever they want.
It is important to remember that the current Land Act 2020 mandates that one spouse cannot sell the land without the other spouse’s approval in cases when a husband and wife possess it. Therefore, a husband or wife cannot sell any property the couple has acquired while the marriage has been active without the other’s permission.
Also, there is a recent trend by some unscrupulous persons working in real estate companies where ownership documents are signed by private persons, not the real estate agency. Ensure that any ownership documents you take from any representative of the real estate agents have a seal from that real estate agency. In case of any issue, you can track the seal to that agency and not to a private individual in the agency who may have gone rogue.
Ghana is a beautiful country with an interesting culture, hospitable people and good food, so it is understandable why anyone would want to live here. So, considering the knowledge discussed above, here are some important steps to consider when buying land in Ghana.
There are various methods you can use. The most typical method is using a land agent to purchase land. A land agent is a specialist who can assist you in purchasing land. Direct sales to landowners or chiefs are another option that you can consider. You must contact a landowner or chief and set up a meeting if you want to purchase land directly from them.
You must fill out a land purchase agreement at the meeting. The agreement will include information about the land’s location, cost, terms, and land ownership documents in Ghana.
The location is the most crucial aspect to consider while purchasing land in Ghana. You must take the local climate, geography, and infrastructure into account. The type of property you can buy, the price, and the ease of access to services and amenities depend on the location. If cooler climates are a big deal for you, you can look out for land for sale in Aburi, in the Eastern region of Ghana.
But if you want the urban vibe yet don’t want lands in Accra for some reason, you can opt for land for sale in Kumasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
If you want to buy and register land in Ghana, here is some recommended advice.
It would be best to determine who your seller is and whether they are genuine. There are various methods for doing this. You can contact the seller, search internet databases, or speak with a land expert. The simplest way to verify the legitimacy of the seller is to get in touch with them. You can request records such as property tax records, identification card records, voter registration records, and court records if the seller is cooperative.
You should not overlook a warning sign if the vendor is opposed to or unable to collaborate. Others will also give those out, but make sure that you do your due diligence to ensure that these records are genuine and are in the databases of the entities they claim to be registered to.
Verify the land titles before deciding to buy land in Ghana. Depending on the nature of the land, the following documentation must be on the property: a property title certificate and a lease or indenture. Be sure of what you’re purchasing before you make a financial commitment. The land may also be worth less than you anticipate for various reasons, such as unresolved legal issues or competing claims to the property.
Examining the titles can give you peace of mind and prevent unpleasant shocks.
Searching for land at the Lands Commission is crucial in buying land in Ghana. This is done to ensure that the land documents received from the seller match those registered with the Department of the Lands Commission. Searching the Lands Commission’s database will reveal more information about the property you want to purchase.
The site plan for the property is used during searches at the Lands Commission. In general, asking your surveyor to prepare the search site plan on your behalf is a good idea. Some vendors may offer theirs, but it is safer to get yours.
This stage is vital if the property is not registered with the Lands Commission and is considered a new parcel of land in Ghana. Created to manage only stool lands, Customary Lands Secretariat has since expanded to encompass skin lands in the north and all family lands. The secretariat monitors every local land transaction involving any property in a certain area.
By learning who the true owners of the land are from nearby residents and landowners, you can run a neighbourhood search to ensure the land is free from any active legal disputes. Sometimes land information on the ground is quicker than the Lands Commission’s bureaucratic process.
The next step is to draft a contract that will control the transaction. If you are certain that the property is free from encumbrances, you are working with the right seller. And if the property has all the required paperwork protecting it, you can buy it. Ensure that the agreement contains all of the provisions that the parties have agreed to.
Now, ensure that interest in the land is transferred to you, and the person transferring the interest should have the authority to execute such documents. Also, the documents should match the boundaries indicated on the site plan. The documents should then be filed and registered with the Lands Commission in the region the land is situated and updated as necessary.
The final step is registering the assignment or sublease with the Lands Commission. After registration, a land title certificate will be given to the new buyer. Don’t hesitate to register your lease or sublet with the lands commission because only that body can certify that your land ownership in Ghana is legitimate.
Buying land in Ghana can prove to be a tedious process, but when you apply due diligence, it is not impossible at all. With the above steps, you will not encounter any drama when buying land in Ghana. You are also reminded to join our Facebook group here if you need any information concerning land in Ghana.
The least costly piece of land starts at GHS 21,000, and the most expensive cost is GHS 967,017,940. The average price is GHS 965,121.
Depending on the landlord, foreigners may hold leasehold interests in agricultural, commercial, residential, and industrial land for up to 50 years or less. The maximum limit regarding interest in land in Ghana is 50 years, not more. Ghanaians can hold leasehold interests in land for up to 99 years.
The best locations in Ghana to buy land include Tema, Prampram, Amasaman, Adjiringanor, Spintex, and some parts of Kumasi, like Ahantan, Santansi, and Ahodwo.
Land prices range from GHS 21,000 to about GHS 900 000 000.