INTERESTING TRENDS revealed ON THE HOUSING MARKET

? As online trading looks set to take over traditional marketplaces in Ghana

Kwabena Opoku-Boakye-2

The high level of Internet penetration being experienced currently in Ghana has resulted in more people using the web to buy and sell properties. Both new and old houses have found a new marketplace in the digital world. Between May and July 2013, 5,234 properties have been advertised for sale on the classified ads site Tonaton.com alone.

In Accra, the average house price is pegged at GHc 315,000 whereas the average price in the rest of Ghana is GHc 280,000. These figures are based on a collection of data of the houses listed on Tonaton.com by individuals and businesses between May and July 2013.

Source: Tonaton.com

The average house prices in various locations in Ghana seem to follow global trends where houses are more expensive in the national capital than the rest of the country. The average price of a house in Accra was 12% more than what pertains in other parts of Ghana. On the other hand, the average price of a house in Kumasi was GHc 220,000, which is about 21% below the national average. Sekondi ? Takoradi and Cape Coast have the least expensive houses in Ghana averaging GHc 180,000 and GHc120, 000 respectively. These represent 35% and 57% below the national average. About 85% of the total number of uploaded properties on Tonaton.com was from the Greater Accra region.

?The purpose of such data analysis is that we want to be part of creating a more transparent property market in Ghana?, reveals Kwabena Opoku-Boakye, Marketing Manager for Tonaton.com. ?For example, prospective buyers who are interested in buying a house in Accra but are on a tight budget may like to know what the market price is in the other cities?.

The most expensive areas in Accra, according to the data published by Tonaton.com, is Airport Residential Area, East Legon and Spintex where average house prices on the website are GHc 950, 000, GHc 800, 000 and GHc 600,000 respectively. The least expensive houses on the other hand may be obtained in Kwabenya, Abokobi and Madina. A prospective buyer could get a property in any of these areas at an average price of GHc 245,000, GHc 210, 000 and GHc 200,000 respectively. It is worthy to note that a large percentage of these prices quoted by sellers on the website are negotiable.

Between April 2013 when Tonaton.com was officially launched and July 2013, there has been an increase in the monthly number of listings of property ads by 306%.

?There was once a time when people used to go from neighborhood to neighborhood looking for houses to buy and apartments to rent. You relied on family and friends to give you information regarding houses that were available for rent or purchase. But with the heavy traffic in the cities today coupled with high transportation costs, people can neither afford the time nor the expense of travelling to find that perfect home,? Kwabena explains the shift towards online advertising. ?Having an online marketplace such as Tonaton.com offers people the opportunity to see a wide variety of property options and do an extensive research before they shortlist what to physically visit and review. As this convenience brings more buyers to the site, sellers too are realizing the advantage of posting their ads online knowing that they can reach a large number of people efficiently?, he concludes.

(Source: http://tonaton.com?Tonaton.com has been operative in Ghana since April 2013)

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