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‘Look Inwards To Solve Housing Problems’   
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Ghana does not need investment in the real estate sector like the botched South Korean STX deal that was meant to provide thousands of houses to Ghanaians, Prince Yaw Sarpong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ASN Holdings Limited -- a financial and properties company, has said.

“We do not need an STX to solve the housing deficit. We have the chiefs who have the lands. We should be committed to building our own homes. We need dedicated people who are centred on the issue of solving the problem,” Mr. Sarpong said.

The country currently has a housing deficit of about 1.7 million units with several analysts saying that not many Ghanaians can afford the homes presently on the market.

But Mr. Sarpong, who has introduced the Home Investment Fund to support the financing of homes for Ghanaians, believes that the situation can be changed only if Ghanaians will buy homes built by Ghanaians.

“I think that if Ghanaians will buy Ghanaian-made homes we can solve the deficit problem. We need to produce our own materials and build what suits us best. If we get a Chinese firm that brings in Chinese labour with Chinese products and sells the houses to us at US$500,000 we can’t solve the problem.

“We have the stones and other materials in the country to solve the problem. There is so much money in the informal sector to build our own homes. All we have to do is to invest in funds like ASN Home Investment Fund (HIF). The more houses are built, the cost reduces,” he added.

The ASN Home investment Fund, according to Mr. Sarping, is a long-term investment product that pools funds in different amounts from regular contributors for investment in the real estate market.

It has been designed to help investors become homeowners and seek to address the housing needs of investors. The fund serves the purpose of saving toward affordable home purchasing, home completion and maintenance while growing wealth.

With a minimum of GH¢5, Mr. Sarpong said, investors can invest as much as they want.

“What is unique about this is that the real estate market is a viable sector but lots of Ghanaians do not know about it. You can contribute as little as GH¢5 and the yield is most often higher than investing in stocks,” he said.

Mr. Sarping added that since it is an asset-backed investment fund with guarantees, investors will receive a minimum of 40 percent on their investment in five years.

“What we lack in this country is investment into the real estate market.” He added that currently, ASN Properties, a subsidiary of ASN Holdings, is building two-bedroom terrace houses for as low as GH¢80,000. “We are building a modern township at Katamanso which will have everything that one needs, including tennis courts and swimming pools,” he said.
Source: B&FT

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