Roman Ridge, Accra – a diamond in the rough

Global real estate locations including London, New York, South Africa and Dubai have all been experiencing price stagnation or price corrections in the luxury residential real estate sector recently. This has led some investors to look for emerging markets where they can accept the additional risk for a chance at quicker price growth and steeper long-term price appreciation.

As an experienced investment adviser, I know Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates have great international appeal due of the rush of trading, commercial enterprises and culture, as well as serious local investments in infrastructure.

The African real estate market has picked up tremendously over the past few years with increased investments into the sector. This is destined to increase in the coming years, with significant factors driving the African real estate sector in the midterm. One of these key factors is the continent’s population boom.

Africa’s population currently stands at over 1 billion and is expected to reach 2.4 billion in just 40 years. This clearly shows that in the next 4 decades, hundreds of millions of Africans will need additional roofs over their heads. Research shows that going by the current estimates, 300 million more Africans will become ‘city people’ and urban dwellers by 2030.

In recent years Accra, Ghana, has seen a steady inflow of expatriate and skilled personnel responding to the resource and manufacturing boom. Most of them are coming for the limitless opportunities in what has often been seen as one of Africa’s best-run countries. With luxury cars and their designer-clad passengers in plentitude, Cantonments, Labone and Airport Residential is littered with the totems of their success, such as huge mansions with gated driveways that stretch into the distance. The desire to be in such ‘prime’ areas has caused these areas to become congested, with the demand far outweighing supply in this micro-luxury real estate city.

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In trying to figure out how this problem can be fixed, I chose to look at other areas in Accra and discovered the gem that is Roman Ridge. Roman Ridge is one of the few planned neighborhoods in Accra, located in the northern part of the city and bordered by Airport Residential Area, Dzorwulu, New Town and Pig Farm.

Roman Ridge is located near Achimota, a major arterial road that runs east past Liberation Road (a secondary major arterial road that links the airport node to the Central Business District-CBD) to Labadi Beach. Developments in these areas are usually 300m from Achimota and are far enough away to minimise the noise pollution from traffic, but close enough to provide easy access to the CBD, Airport, Labadi Beach, Cantonments, Labone and East Legon. Sitting about 3.3 kilometres west of the Kotoka International airport and approximately 7km from the CBD of Accra, it presents an opportunity for urban energy with the potential of sky-high decadence.

Properties here are reasonably priced, much to the comfort of the buyer. Most apartments here are built to the very best of designs and finished beautifully. Homes purchased for investment purposes will command reasonably lower prices than Airport and Cantonments, but they are built with the same specifications and finishing.

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This effect is driving desire for apartments and townhome rentals in Roman Ridge very much; corporate expats and home seekers get quality homes at affordable rental prices and in turn make owners of these homes some good money. When time matters, Roman Ridge presents you with a living, work and play setting. You can afford to dwell well in Roman Ridge.

The northern part of Accra, where Roman Ridge is located, has seen numerous old properties beautifully renovated, while many full-title homes still boast wooden floors, high ceilings, cozy gardens and big bedrooms; for many creatives it is the “place to be”. There are some amazing developments coming up in Roman Ridge, the most exciting one has billboards littered around Accra advertising it.

The NoVA, as it is called, will be a mixture of a hotel-run serviced apartments (big international hotel brands are being whispered) and residential apartments. Roman Ridge presents you with modern amenities and an urban location with a sophisticated lifestyle. It is right around the corner, near everywhere one desires to be. Next time you’re considering buying a property, take a drive through Roman Ridge.

Email: mehyde.advisor@gmail.com

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