As the year draws to a close we have taken a step back from an incredibly busy couple of weeks to look at the past few months.
We started this blog in August this year for a couple of reasons. Having been involved in various sales businesses as well as the property industry we have seen no end of scams, schemes and dodgy business practices go on. We have also seen a large number of opportunities go unnoticed, as well as a large number of investors being hauled into things they really don’t understand.
The whole point of this blog has been to enlighten the public as to what is going on in the world of investment property, good and bad. Sadly during 2008, most of our time has been occupied covering the doom and gloom and the shadier side of the business.
In August we covered Panama and the “Sheep Factor”. Rumour has it now that some developments may not be finished now due to lack of financing. We also covered what the collapse of Fadesa meant to purchasers buying outside Spain. Possibly the first of many developers to go by the wayside.
September bought us the collapse of another developer, Colonial, followed rapidly by the Viva Estates and Ocean Estates, not forgetting the infamous Inside Track/Instant Access saga. Vivas’ Expo centre has now completely closed and been stripped of furniture, Instant Access is still trying to squeeze more money out of clients and fend off the heat by simply changing directors.
October saw the exposure and gall of Red Hot Homes resurfacing, rearing its ugly head again. To this day, the site has been modified slightly (mainly to remove the mention of Channel 4) We also saw Dubai developers claiming there would be no knock on effect for them from the recession.
November was a quiet month, the main focus being on Dubai, the rumour and the confirmation of massive job cuts by DAMAC, we did state here that there would be a substantial drop in prices in the region, only to see 50% off sales a couple of weeks later.
December has been an insane month. We started with another company called inside track that had mysteriously disappeared with everybodies cash, followed by coverage on fractional ownership. This article did generate a response from the company, inviting us to attend their seminar free of charge, as well as admit their website needed updating Needless to say we declined on the account of the need for anonymity required for this type of reporting. Their website (at time of writing) has still not been updated.
To date, the biggest post of the year. (UPDATED 08/01/09) Has had to be removed due to unfounded legal threats against innocent parties.
The final article of the year though is one we are surprised no-one had picked up on. Fortuna Land and Oanna Group has been running for some time and received huge press coverage in the UK and abroad. All the “authorities” in the industry were happy to republish the badly translated articles by El Pais, yet no-one did any research into the background of it all and actually inform people how it all came to be. Granted, it took us a while, but fantastic reading if a little astonishing.
What can we expect from 2009?
Well doubtlessly many more companies are still to fold or go into difficulties, we’ll report as we hear about them. No doubt there will be more scams and cons to cover too.
On the positive side?
Brazil. A slow burner admittedly, but it has the economic infrastructure to become a major player in the world in general, saving any natural disasters or political uproar, the safest bet for the mid term.
The US Dollar. With Barack Obama about to take the hotseat, we will without doubt be seeing some “feel good” economy factor. The Dollar is highly likely to rise during the first quarter of 2009, so if you are sat on Sterling at the moment going down in value, a bit of currency trading might be an idea. When you sell your Dollars though, go into Euro until the Pound sorts itself out.
A happy new year to you all, the comments we have had so far have been positive, both from the public and the industry. It is a great shame we have to remain anonymous, but having seen some of the lawsuits that have been flung about in the past, we’ll stay the way we are for now.
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