The Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) has announced plans to raise shares among its members. GREDA is marking its 35th anniversary WHILE looking into the future -seeking to own a Real Estate Investment Trust and raise money internally, Patrick Ebo Bonful, president of the group, has stated.
According to Mr. Bonful, the group has gone ahead to form its own company – ‘GREDA Investment Limited’ – a special purpose vehicle to help raise funds for acquiring lands and putting in services which ordinarily would have been done by government, arguing that they will no longer wait for government.
Speaking to media in an interview on the 35th Anniversary Symposium sidelines in Accra, he said: “The next step is for GREDA to own a Real Estate Investment Trust to help with the demand side of our business, that is also in the pipeline. The first one that is going to be launched will come within the next three to six months and will be selling shares first to members, and later we’ll go to the external market and get more funds to achieve this objective.
“We will go to the stock exchange eventually, but at this moment we want to make it an enclosed business and build the structures. And once we affirm, we don’t want our vision to be diverted by people who have money. We want to raise money internally, set structures for the business, set our goals and enforce our vision; then we can bring people onboard to buy into our vision and make sure we don’t end up losing our focus.”
When GREDA Investment Trust takes off, it is expected to complement the demand side of property acquisition in the country: “When buyers need help, they go to the Trust; they will give you the right platform – where you will either sign up with them for a rent-to-own scheme or you get a straight-up mortgage or credit arrangement with that institution; so, it will help us serve all these segments of the market.
“It will also help us make the market a bit more affordable, because we will not end up buying and paying for one land four or five times. This vehicle will do a lot of the due diligence and take away individual risks in acquiring lands, so we will pass on the cost-savings to our buyers as well,” Mr. Bonful explained.
Nii Kommey Okine, a founding member of GREDA, in an address said the group has contributed to reducing the national housing deficit by 33 percent – with the home ownership deficit presently standing at 1.8 million from 2.8 million.
He maintained that GREDA is still relevant to solving housing needs, since the national housing market requires 100,000 homes per annum.
To him, Ghana’s housing market follows a free economic model; and he urged the group to adapt to the new housing reality. “GREDA should focus on building capacity to attract investors, joint venture partnerships, and go out to shop for investors,” he said.
GREDA is a body recognised by government for Real Estate activities, and exists to promote the development of strong private sector participation in Ghana’s housing delivery. It aims to cooperate and partner extensively with government, and any other bodies, to greatly enhance delivery capacity for houses in both domestic and external markets.
It also aims to realise the potential housing has for social economic development of the country, in terms of attracting investment and providing a stable social climate for economic growth and progress.