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Is now a good time to invest in property?

Updated on May 17, 2013

The world economy is growing in unanticipated directions. Parts of Europe contract and some countries struggle under the weight of high unemployment. In the East China grows and helps boost Australia’s economy because of its need for minerals and natural resources. India continues on an impressive streak of increasing its gross national product.

America has surprised investors by creating more jobs, while the United Kingdom struggles to throw off the recession and generate some real growth.

Investing has never been more difficult. The question is where to invest and in what. Traditional sectors such as banking and are very conservative and with such low interest rates the returns are dismal. The days of living off interest made from savings are pretty well over and if you do chose that kind of option then the best thing is to opt for a tax free offering.

But what about property? Is it still a safe bet? The good news is that most analysts believe that buying bricks and mortar are good choices. But of course there are a few caveats. The conditions should be fair or good. If not, and if you have to make repairs, then those costs will come from your capital or eat into your profit after some time.

Location is a crucial point too. Many countries hit by the global slowdown still have cities and regions which are showing strong economic growth. These are obvious locations for your investment. Stay away from areas that are not performing well or appear to be encountering a downturn. This means that you must research and also speak to people such as your local councillors, economic development offers and even your Member of Parliament to find out what the future holds. Search recent news articles online too for information about an area. Speak to other large companies or investors.

Property is a generally a good investment because it should be viewed as long term and therefore will not be subject to the rises and dips that occur on a short term basis. If you are looking to invest for less than five years and want quick returns, then property is not a good idea.

Generally, a dip in value is not a great cause for concern. Property also offers a lot of choice. There can be industrial property, which again can be broken down into different categories, such as heavy industry, chemical processing, light industry, industrial estates and manufacturing.

Long-term property opportunities providing good rates of return include business centres and commercial space, particularly in areas that are set to boom. Again, consider the points made above and focus on areas of a country that are doing well, are hubs, and which have strong commercial prospects.

Don’t limit your search to the United Kingdom and Ireland. Given the freedom of movement across Europe and the keenness of many European Union members to attract investors, it is worth considering those nations. Parts of France, Germany, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries are healthy and worth considering.

Of course, if you are not averse to risk then you might want to look at India, China, Indonesia and South America. You should be able to find an agent in London (or your nearest capital city) to help represent you in your first approaches abroad.

In terms of managing your location IWMS (integrated workplace management system) software solutions are incredibly sophisticated and brilliant at managing all aspects of your business, from security to energy, bookkeeping and security. The best systems are proven and can save money, time and worry, especially when your portfolio is not close by. The systems are, or course, expensive, but certainly earn their keep and offer incredible value.

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