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Article by: Chris Dunkerley chris.dunkerley@thegpg.com Published: 24/06/2008

Buying real estate property is seen by many as a safe long term investment, but can acts of God shake investor's confidence?

Two years ago the property market in Thailand was looking like one of the hotspots for overseas property investment and holiday home purchases and then on Boxing Day 2004 the tsunami struck.

This was a disaster that no one predicted and that had a devastating impact on hundreds of thousands of people and many local economies. However, life does go on and rebuilding started as soon as it was possible. In many areas the property market has recovered well and in other places the disaster is been used as a catalyst to start major re-planning and redevelopment.

Hurricanes have pummelled Florida and have caused many holiday home owners to question why they own property in a hurricane zone. However, the market in Florida has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and the hurricanes have come and gone. People who invested in holiday or investment property there 5 years ago are almost certainly sitting on a large pot of equity. This equity can be used toward retirement planning or an ongoing property portfolio building strategy.

The latest event to cause problems for Global holiday and overseas investment real estate and tourism markets is bird flu. Although bird flu represents a huge potential disaster to human life worldwide it is just as likely that this virus may not mutate into a form with pandemic capabilities, or that it will not have the impact that some think is possible. At the moment Turkey is in the firing line and there is some evidence that holiday bookings to Turkey are down but, bird flu started in south east Asia and is endemic there, yet holiday bookings to Thailand are up!

Headline grabbing news scare stories have the knock-on effect of irrationally influencing people's perceptions of the risk of infection for a time. Remember the BSE scare in the UK. A very few people tragically died, tens of millions of us went on living our everyday lives, house prices continued to rise yet thousands of tourists (especially Americans) cancelled their holidays to the UK.

The evidence from most disasters suggests that tourism will recover and property buyers will return to the market and within a relatively short time. This is because when the dust has settled and the world's media have moved on to another event, the locations will still have all the same attractions and benefits that they had and good real estate in desirable areas is always going to be in demand.

An Opportunity for Some?

A slow down or temporary downturn in a property market may also represent a buying opportunity for savvy property investors who can see past the immediate issues. With demand temporarily depressed bargain hunters can look for companies or individuals who have to sell and will take an offer.

We must not forget that property should be viewed as a medium to long term investment that may have rises and falls. Those who weather all the storms should be rewarded by an increasingly valuable asset that they can enjoy with family and friends for many years.

The author Chris Dunkerley is the Director of The Global Property Group Limited.

Contact 0044 1457 833 083 or info@thegpg.com for more information on overseas property investing or holiday home purchasing.

 

External Article Link: http://www.thegpg.com/overseas-property-news/property-news.cfm?id=5

Article Link: http://www.thegpg.com/overseas-property-news/property-news.cfm?id=5

Please contact the author at chris.dunkerley@thegpg.com for more information.

 

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