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The Future is Looking … Green

June 24, 2010Article by Ray Withers

For far too long now, the whole concept of ‘green’ has conjured up images of hair-shirted neo-Puritans and (dare I say it) somewhat smug assertions of virtue. This has unnecessarily damaged a movement based ultimately on rational self-interest. Human needs are impossible to fulfil without considering the needs of the planet. And without a decent environment, human creativity and happiness also become impossible.

What has this got to do with property investment? Well, everything, actually! Discerning property investors and pragmatic conservationists are natural allies, rather than opponents as they are often caricatured. Both have an interest in supporting local economies and in forms of development that preserve rather than destroy. The pollution and destruction of natural environments has a negative impact on investments, after all, especially land and property.

Emerging economies now know that uncontrolled ‘development’ is not really development at all. Far from lifting people out of poverty, it creates new problems, such as droughts, floods and food shortages as large areas of countryside are abandoned and cities expand without adequate infrastructure. Sustainable investments in property and land are a way forward for emerging economies, preserving what is best in traditional ways of life but at the same time creating wealth and providing modern opportunities in housing, employment and communications. In the western world, meanwhile, a more mature form of green awareness than the puritanical stereotype is growing rapidly and this is reflected in our investors’ interests and inquiries.

This is why eco-investments are an increasingly vital component of our work at Property Frontiers. Investors are looking for less conventional products that also provide good and reliable yields, whether income or capital based (or a combination of both). And, as we have noted already, the present economic climate is encouraging people to try new forms of income or capital generation. More and more property investors see the value of supporting local economies and development projects that satisfy human needs. What better form of long term investment can there be?

Sustainable agriculture and energy and property investment are complimentary and share the same interests. We have mentioned some of our eco-products over the past few days. Expect to hear more about them and don’t forget to visit www.ecoinvestments.co.uk

Eco-investment is a new frontier for us. Yet it is not a departure from our other products and activities, but and extension and deepening of them – and of our commitment to supporting investors in the world’s most investable property markets and concepts.

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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