Mr Karim Jamil Ibrahim, Managing Director of Dream Realty has predicted that by mid or end of 2019, Ghana will see another real estate boom in Accra but said, 2018 was a slow year because the new government came in with a new vision.
“Four or five years ago, there was a lot of supply in real estate, both in the residential segment and the commercial segment. We saw a lot of development take place in Accra, which was great for the city, but it took time, which is normal, for it to be digested by the market”.
He disclosed this during an interview to ascertain his assessment of the real estate sector in 2018 and the current trends.
Mr Karim Jamil Ibrahim is very active in the real estate sector in Ghana and has major projects including the Octagon, office spaces in the corporate segment, the commercial segment, hotel apartments project now turned into a full hotel.
The government he indicated is working hard to fix the macro-economic problems facing the country, and commended the President and his team for doing a great job, saying players in the sector cannot wait to see the results of these decisions and strategies they are implementing.
“Unfortunately, we knew with such a shift in economic policy that there would be a slowdown inside the country. Working on the macro-economic level of a country will automatically, in the short term, result in a deceleration in the economy, and we saw this in the real estate sector in Ghana. It always takes some time for the new policies on the macroeconomic level to reflect internally and to be seen and felt in the microeconomics, of which the real estate sector is also a part. We are all hoping that in mid to the end of 2019 we will start to see a big change”.
Big companies, he mentioned are waiting to make sure that the new policies being implemented by the government are going to reflect positively into the market so that they will engage in new projects.
Real estate projects built during the past four or five years according to Mr Ibrahim were being sold and rented at a slow pace, but said they, are very optimistic for the very near future.
“In the past six months, the last two quarters, we have seen some action in the real estate sector. We have new companies that are coming in looking for offices, but not as much on the retail side yet. Retail did not pick up as it was supposed to. Many shopping malls mushroomed around the city and the result was not great. Ghana needed time for it to become more sensitive regarding commercial and retail, especially”, he stated.
A lot of big companies he stated tried to come and open big retail shops in Ghana, but did not succeed and have to go at a bit of a slower pace.
On the issue of demand, Mr Karim averred that his business and the project that they embarked in Accra Central, example the Octagon, have mainly offices and showrooms. The showrooms are all corporate: banks, insurance companies, etc.
“We did not get retail companies such as clothing, accessories, and so on, because people are still cautious regarding this kind of investment in the country. In the past six months, we saw the market starting to move again. The beginning of the year, the first two quarters, was difficult and 2017 was not easy either”.