On the back of government’s quest to encourage investment in real estate development, and meet the country’s housing deficit through the implementation of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) has lauded the initiative, saying, this will give them the needed funding.
According to Deputy Director-General of Finance, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Paul Ababio, the REIT will be traded like stocks, and expected to enable investors to buy and sell shares under the commission’s regulations.
“The idea is to boost investment in real estate and to implement measures toward the advancement of the housing sector”, Mr. Ababio added.
Executive Secretary of GREDA, Samuel Amegayibor, in an interview with the B&FT, said the initiative is long overdue and that if SEC finds REIT prudent, they are all for it.
“We have been in touch with the SEC, they have been looking forward to raising funds, and REIT is one. SEC is an agency of government that regulates the sector, so if they find it prudent and think that if that comes through, it will help us sanitise and be able to fetch us funding, I don’t think GREDA will have any objection,” he said.
Mr. Amegayibor, however, indicated that even though the regulatory body, SEC, is yet to notify them formally, it will be prudent on their part to sensitise the public more on the REIT initiative to increase patronage.
“We haven’t had any formal petition from them about this. These are some of the things which need to be properly structured. They need to have a wider publicity on the agenda and sensitise the public.
“The only company in Ghana that is listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange is Comet Property, and I don’t know if they have sustained. Normally if you list on the stock exchange, you are given a trial, and unfortunately that didn’t work out,” he added.
Accordingly, Mr. Amegayibor bemoaned the many struggles GREDA has gone through, even though the industry has been in existence for many years. He was, however, optimistic that educating the public more would ensure more people invest in the REIT, thus, boosting the real estate industry.
“We have a peculiar circumstance and our industry, even though the private sector is over 34 years old, we haven’t really taken steps to get our fundamentals right so there is this struggle.
So, if they want to do anything like that, it’s all about proper education, and proper sensitisation. I am sure there are a lot of people who have money who may be willing to invest in the business, but it’s just that a lot of things do not fall in place with the investment,” he explained.