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Now’s A Good Time To Bank On US land

June 23, 2009Article by Ray Withers

Although average US property prices have plummeted by 16.9% year-on-year and the property market ranks 42 in a league table of 46 world property markets, not everything is so bad in the States.First, investors should remember that the property price fall is an average – that means some homes have lost more money than others.The property market is sometimes termed a ‘macroeconomy’ because local factors can affect home prices.

For instance, investors would expect home prices around the General Motors plants in Detroit to fall to a very low level due to job losses and the lack of work in the area.Similarly, some areas are not losing out anywhere near as badly as Las Vegas, Florida and California, where many of the worst home price falls have registered.Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for one has a year-on-year average price fall of just over 8% – and in a country where about 2 million homes are facing repossession, the city has only 554 homeowners in dire financial troubles.

Because home prices are holding well, Myrtle Beach is one area to consider land-banking in the US – because investors can buy building plots relatively cheap and can predict prices there will probably rise quicker and to a higher level than many other places.The sub tropical South Carolina climate makes Myrtle Beach a top US holiday destination with more than 14 million visitors a year.

Nearby are literally hundreds of golf courses, and if that’s not enough, Myrtle Beach is part of South Carolina’s 60-mile Grand Strand of beach.South Carolina is also easy to get to in the US – only 40 minutes flight from New York.The Myrtle Beach land bank property is at Fairway Residence, a gated resort in the heart of the established Island Green Country Club, South Carolina, at popular retirement resort Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Investors can secure a building plot at a pre-launch price of £21,000, exclusively through Property Frontiers. The plots offer the opportunity to either land bank or to construct a luxury home and take advantage of the uplift associated with property development.Investors will have the option to develop their plots through a joint venture between Property Frontiers and one of South Carolina’s most experienced developers Tower Developments.

Options will include three and four bedroom-detached houses.Unlike many land development opportunities the infrastructure and luxury facilities are already in place, including a clubhouse, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a fitness centre, and a business centre.Comparables on the same development are selling for $89,000 (£63,000).

* The league table was compiled by international estate agents Knight Frank for the first quarter of 2009


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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