Real estate is an imperishable asset, ever-increasing in value. It is the basis of every security and about the only indestructible security and no country can be said to have developed without a thriving real estate and or housing industry.
However, real estate markets in Africa vary considerably from country to country with regards to sophistication, types of available rights, land title registration procedures, and overall transparency.
The property market in Africa is exposed to deep structural problems in the sector hence players have been encouraged to focus more on creating and delivering sustainable value and building capacity more than on simply erecting buildings.
The industry in Ghana has its own shortfalls, the sector is underdeveloped which has created numerous challenges and vulnerability. For example, a property listing portal could have about seven different agents listing the same property with the same pictures but with different outrageous price quotations, also there are properties that have either been sold or rented out four years ago, but still have the same listing appearing on property portals. What we have now is a totally chaotic system.
Most of the developed countries from where Ghana goes to beg did not develop with the help of anyone, they did it themselves. It begs the question, how much does our government earn from the overall sales and rental of properties annually in Ghana?
Government agencies like the Ghana Revenue Authority don’t even know how many houses are sold or rented out annually so how do we tax these transactions? Ironically, the industry practitioners have been pushing the government to reform and regulate the industry for years now since there’s good money to be made in taxation.
Some industry experts have called on the government to set up a real estate and housing commission and to appoint a commissioner who must be equipped with the powers to provide guarantees to capital investors because that is how we can attract mortgage lenders to invest their capital. But even though that is yet to been done by the government, something big has been done by a group of industry professionals.
The Ghana Real Estate Professionals Association (GREPA) has launched the first Multiple Listing System in Africa.
A Multiple Listing System is:
• A facility for the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information so participants will better serve their clients and the public.
• A means by which authorised participants to make blanket unilateral offers of compensation to other participants (acting as sub-agents, buyer agents, or in other agency or nonagency capacities defined by law)
• A means of enhancing cooperation among participants
• A means by which information is accumulated and disseminated to enable authorized participants to prepare appraisals, analyses, and other valuations of real property for bona fide clients and customers
• A means through which participants engaging in real estate appraisal can contribute to common databases
With the introduction of this MLS, more than half of the chaos in the property market will be replaced with an orderly system that has enormous and unlimited benefits, which include a data management system; a tool to help listing brokers find cooperative brokers working with buyers to help sell their clients’ homes.
The MLS provides a system of cooperation, allowing for a more consolidated property information database and doing away with the current existing fragmented system in the industry.
The system provides trust and transparency to all member agents, since they all have access to information of a property as well as which agent has representative rights over it.
The system also has data syndication which allows properties entered into the MLS to be automatically published
to various online listing websites for the general public.
The Internet Data Exchange also enables real estate professionals to display the most comprehensive and up-to-date property listing data from the MLS on their own real estate websites. This means that agents who have their own websites will be able to pull all listing in the database onto their website
It promotes Agency Relationships/Cooperation; buyers and sellers can work with a professional of their choice, confident that they have access to the most authentic largest pool of properties for sale in the marketplace.
The system is a research resource center for valuations, feasibilities and research, an efficient system to control property tax payment as well as ownership verification, it would serve as a perfect government resource and this is why the LoopGhana MLS powered by Xposure is a game-changer for Ghana’s real estate industry.