The Pricing of the Emergent Leasehold (Possessory) Estates of Ghana



The paper develops hedonic analyses of the pricing of leasehold versus freehold estates in Ghana. The motivation of the paper is the passage of Act 267(5) in 1992 that effectively abolished outright sale of stool lands in Ghana. Stool lands are lands controlled by tribal “chiefs.” Act 267(5) prohibits the sale of freehold estates for stool lands. There are two important findings in this study. The first is that freeholds tend to attract premium prices relative to leaseholds. This supports the bundle-of-rights argument. The second is that the effect of the 1992 Act is indeed capitalized into land prices because of the relative increase in the supply of leaseholds vis-à-vis freeholds. Specifically, the price of freeholds increased relative to the price of leaseholds after the constitutional event. The study also finds that transactions involving stools and individuals, usually perceived to be associated with litigation risk (or title insecurity) relative to government lands, are sold at a discount. Transactions noted to have a history of litigation are also associated with price discounts. The estimated coefficients on all the variables representing services to the site like water, electricity and access roads are significantly positive, indicating a high demand for such essential services.