Purpose – The purpose of this research is to empirically examine submarket existence based on an understanding of the residential rental housing market in Ghana.

Approach – Based on literature review and market observations, we provide key concepts and an overview of the residential rental market in Ghana. Although there is a general consensus that submarket exists, empirical identification of same has employed varied methods. Based on real estate experts and stakeholder consultations, a priori delineations of submarket constructs are made based on spatial, structural and a nested approach. The existence of submarkets is tested using the Kruskal-Wallis H test and Hedonic modelling techniques.

Findings – By using fieldwork data from Accra rental market, the analysis provides credence to the conceptualisation of submarkets and how to empirically test for same. It is argued that researchers should employ alternative methods to compare results in order to make far reaching conclusions.

Research implications – examining the hypothesis that differential rental values exists for submarkets has implications forpolicy decisions to target submarket constructs differently to improve market maturity.

Practical implications – the research provides stakeholder investors in the rental space an understanding of market dynamics for profit maximisation, and end-users to maximise utility in deciding where to live – and as such households could benefit from making informed investment decisions on housing.

Originality / Value of work – This research is one of the first attempts to empirically delineate submarkets in the residential rental market in Ghana.