Foreigners are permitted to own land in Ghana, but all land is sold in a leasehold agreement. Expats can own land for a maximum of 50 years. Nationals can own land for a maximum of 99 years.
You should also note that there are four different types of land in Ghana (government, vested, customary/stool and family/private), and some of them cannot be privately owned. Depending on the type of land you wish to purchase, you may have to deal with different authorities. Be vigilant about seeing official ownership papers on any properties you are considering. The Land Registration Division of the Lands Commission will be able to help with this step.
You should also ensure that an independent licensed surveyor prepares a plan that details exactly where your property is. This can help with ownership disputes in the future.
The emerging middle class and the growing expatriate community in Ghana has led to a high demand on the national housing market. Local companies and the government are working hard to meet this demand, but there remains a housing shortage.
Prices generally range between USD 100 000 - USD 400 000 for a 3 or 4 bedroom house in a nice neighbourhood.
There are a number of online websites that focus on buying property in Ghana. They include:
Ghana News has classified sections in their print-version that advertises properties for sale. These classifieds are not available online.
Public postings and personal networks is, like with renting, a popular and easier way to find homes for sale. Keep an eye out for fliers at expat hangouts in Accra, and be sure to ask around. Word of mouth can be very helpful when it comes to navigating the real estate market.
There are quite a lot of estate agents located in Accra. Typically, they work for a 5% commission. The estate agency market is currently unregulated.
Try to gather recommendations from friends or family in country, and ask your work/volunteer organization for recommendations. Your chances of finding a reputable agent are much better if they have been vouched for by someone you know.
Before making a payment, it is wise to draft a purchase and transfer agreement between you and the seller. Hiring a lawyer will help with this process.
You will also need to organize permits, again with a local professional. This will ensure that you follow any building codes/laws. If you are building a home, you will also need to familiarize yourself with the rules that govern how and when you can/must build.
Once the transaction is complete, you must inform the Lands Commission. They will grant you a title certificate and cadastral plan at a later date. It is extremely important that you do this properly - mistakes will make the land difficult to sell in the future.
The World Bank publishes a helpful guide that further details the steps involved with purchasing land.