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Interesting Times: New Seminar Series Launched By Property Frontiers

July 15, 2010Article by Ray Withers

We have previously referred in this blog to the phrase ‘May you live in interesting times’. It is reputedly an ancient Chinese curse, followed by a second, more powerful invocation ‘May the government be aware of you!’ Unfortunately, it seems that this is an early example of the urban myth and was coined by the Americans or the British. But it could be related to a real Chinese saying that loses something in translation but is still evocative: ‘Better to be a dog in peacetime than a man in a chaotic period’.

Whatever the origin of the phrase, there are few more ‘interesting’ times than the present period of financial meltdown followed by economic austerity. This is why we are launching a new series of seminars to help investors navigate their way through the present volatile market conditions and turn crisis into opportunity. We are aiming to look beyond both the doom mongering headlines and the feverish predictions of ‘recovery’. For we believe that the changes in the property market are profound and part of a wider economic trend that is likely to be long-term or even permanent. Instead of pessimism, we should embrace these changes creatively and learn to think about the property market from many angles.

There are signs that this is already happening. For example, 65% of our overseas investors this year have expressed interest in fractional investments (or ‘fractured’ they call them across the Pond) – whether that means fractional ownership, as in our luxury development at Bacolet Bay, Grenada or commodities such as bamboo and sandalwood. Property in the UK is also of interest – fractional ownership of student halls is proving popular with investors and this is a market that is not going to go away, whatever the Con-Dem Coalition does with fees and graduate taxes. People are starting to think laterally about the property market and look in unexpected places – both in terms of geography and type of product. The 65% figure looking at alternative investments is almost double last year’s, showing that the property market is reinventing itself or shape-shifting in ways that are varied and (in the best sense of the word) interesting.

There is something exhilarating about these trends, despite the economic climate that has accelerated them. Now for the promotional bit: I shall be speaking at the Hilton London Metropole, 225 Edgware Road, London W12 1JU on Thursday 22nd July. The theme will be ‘Property Investment in the Age of Austerity’. My co-presenter will be Property Frontiers Director David Cox. There will also be a presentation by Edward Stevenson and Robert Du Toit on ‘The Other Side of the Coin: The Upside of the Downturn’. Edward is a member of the UK Society of Investment Professionals and Robert is founder of QI Properties, an investment company offering discounted residential properties across the UK.

The whole event will last from 6.30 to 9.30 pm (that’s 1830 to 2130 if you prefer railway or military time). The response has been excellent, showing that interest in the property market remains stronger than ever. If anything it is strengthened by changed There are only a handful of places left and so if you are interested please drop an email to Kelly Stevens – kstevens@propertyfrontiers.com This is the first of a number of key events in different parts of the country as Property Frontiers takes to the road. Our aim is to explore new ways of thinking about property, but more important than that to listen to the people who matter to us most, our clients. We therefore hope to meet as many of you as we can.

Written by: Aidan Rankin


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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