Kirk McArdle writes for Expat Living on Foreign Property Investments

Property-Investment-e1436435889726I am not too sure about investments but I do like property!”


Kirk McArdle, independent financial consultant, on an investment that most of us class as a safe haven. Read more here.
When I sit with or speak to potential clients, the main objection I come across is “But I don’t like dabbling in the stock markets. I have no faith in them!”
Well, there are investments out there that the stock markets are not correlated to, and one of these is property.
Now I live in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in the time that I have been here one thing that I have found is that South Africans love an investment property. If they are in the position to purchase a second property (after the family home!) then they will. Any mortgage will typically be covered by the rental income and the property value will usually increase in line with inflation. At some point in the future the property can be sold to realise this capital appreciation.
But what is out there on the international stage?
“I like the physical aspect of bricks and mortar.”
Well, not to worry! As a company, Austen Morris Associates has access to property investments with specialist global institutions that assist investors in building property portfolios in markets that will provide medium to long term capital upsides with solid yield potential.
These institutions are not fund advisors, but instead help investors in buying physical property and assisting with all levels of the purchase process including acquisition, mortgages, subsequent lettings and any property management.
We currently have access to investment properties in UK (London & Edinburgh), Germany (Berlin), Australia (Sydney) and USA (New York & Chicago).
Instead of focusing on resort or the lifestyle features of properties we look for institutions that concentrate purely on the investment fundamentals that will drive yields and capital growth over the property’s purchase term. These fundamentals include both the macroeconomics of the countries’ economies as well as the property’s location within certain cityscapes.
“I like the idea of property as an investment, but I want something very streamlined”
Again, at Austen Morris Associates we listened to our clients and prospects and we looked for property investments that completely take the hassle out of the physical property ownership. We have current clients who like an investment that is not correlated to the stock market index. It will compliment their other investments they have with us.
Austen Morris Associates works with one of the largest land investment institutions in North America who provides a unique offering.
These institutions land investments are based around dirt! That’s right, actual dirt.
When it comes to building residential or commercial estates then there is a process from the moment the land is bought to when the last brick is laid.
Now the institution we work with specializes in a certain portion of this overall development process and this is the raw land purchase via investors.
After that they handle the concept planning stages i.e. utilities infrastructure, planning applications, preparation for development.
Once all of the above parts in the development process come together, the land is ready for reselling to a building developer at a vastly higher price than the initial land was purchased.
And the developer is then in a position to do exactly what he does best, and that is build the property.
Our clients exit the investments at this stage when the developer buys a ready to build upon plot of land.
So, will the stock markets have any impact on property investments?
Generally speaking, no, as house prices do not rise and fall each day like the markets do. But when there is a recession like the global crash of 2008, then obviously house prices drop. You must remember that the price of a property is only the value that the owner places on it!
At Austen Morris Associates we specialize in helping individuals reach their personal financial targets, and there is no one investment that fits everyone. That’s why we like to sit down and talk to our potential clients about their own private situation and to see if we can be of benefit.
If you would like an introduction to Austen Morris Associates and to find out how we can help with asset planning, then please do contact me on +27 11 514 0745 or at

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