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The Source-Major Opportunities Emerging In The UK

January 23, 2009Article by Ray Withers

We first highlighted the likely depreciation of the pound back in the summer, when the £/$ was trading at 1.89 and we launched the Cane Island Project in Florida!! That now seems like a decade ago with the rate now at 1.365 US dollars. Investors who partook in that particular deal have secured a healthy 38 percent appreciation in currency terms.

In real terms the pound is at a point not seen for 10 years. This offers a fantastic buying opportunity for international investors. As a company we have never seen so many enquiries from our international investors looking for UK property. A combined depreciation of the pound and the market now makes UK property some 54 percent cheaper than a year ago.

As a result we have started our search for value property in the logical place, the capital – London

The London market is acting under completely different fundamentals to the rest of the UK, a market where investment and demand still stand relatively well. The Times recently wrote:

‘The chronic lack of supply was at odds with the high volume of properties for sale during the 1990s’ housing downturn and indicated that demand and supply were aligning more quickly this time. Right Move added that the dearth of property could translate to an increase in average asking prices in the next few months’.

Catching the bottom of any market is impossible, however with sterling at a record low and deals available at 20% below RICS evaluations, now is definitely the time to be evaluating the London Market.

That’s not to say we have abandoned our emerging market commitments, we have just successfully launched the Nations Hotel in Panama, a beacon of hope in a world of falling economies and we still believe there are value properties to be found in the US and Abu Dhabi.

We are also looking to offer diversification away from the standard property model. I am very excited by a number of eco investments I have recently researched. These include investment in sustainable hardwoods in Sri Lanka/Malaysia and potential for Carbon Credit investment. More of which to follow in the coming weeks.

We are also keen to hear your feedback, if you feel we have missed something or would like us to research a market or proposal please let me know.


Written by: Ben Jefferis


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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