The Real estate industry in Ghana was negatively impacted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this, players in the space were confident of a boost this year following the availability of vaccines which proves to have a level of efficacy.
However, with news of the new Omicron variant of the virus, what are the prospects for businesses in the space ahead of the festivities which normally is the peak season for them?
2019 saw a major boom in the real estate industry in Ghana as the success of the year of return theme saw a spike in demand for homes both for rent and for purchases by a lot of people from the diaspora.
sadly, the sector took a nosedive due to the outbreak of the pandemic in Ghana last year .
COVID-19 and its associated restrictions prevented a lot of foreign customers who were major clients of the real estate business from coming into the country.
However, things began to pick up as many countries began to open after rolling out vaccination campaigns.
What are the prospects for players in the space ahead of this year’s yuletide peak season?
Kelvin Nyame is the CEO of Meqasa and he stated that “it’s looking more positive this year, compared to last year. We were still struggling to understand what Covid came with, all these challenges, whether people will be allowed to travel as normal again and then how the real estate market was going to bring back confidence to investors, seekers and buyers.”
He added that “This year is different. If you look at the data for this last quarter, we’ve seen over 1.5 times more demand for a mainly short stay like studios, one-bedrooms, two bedrooms, finished short lets. That’s more demand than there is in terms of supply.”
It appears business seems to be picking up for real estate players like Meqasa, an online real estate platform.
The Ghana Airport Company Limited recently announced that airlines that brought international passengers who were not fully vaccinated into the country at the Kotoka International Airport would be charged $3500 per passenger. This forms part of measures to curtail an outbreak of the Omicron variant of the pandemic in the country.
But does this pose any threats to the real estate industry ahead of the festivities?
Mr Nyame responded saying that “for a lot of the expatriates in the diaspora, luckily, they have been exposed to the vaccine and had access to it. If you look at the data in terms of how many people have been vaccinated, per population, they have a better record than, unfortunately, our parts of the world and most of them also know that leaving or trying to board a plane requires either negative covid tests or, at least getting vaccinated.”
“So I feel like the surprise that affected the industry in terms of whether there will be no vaccine, whether there will be a cure, whether people can travel from last year has reduced.”