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How about land as an alternative investment? Perhaps this idea would suit many people more than buying a house/flat to rent - as you may not get the best of tenants..


More are more people are looking for alternatives to traditional investment, as pension funds face shortfalls and interest rates remain low.

For many, it is the lure of property, both domestic and foreign that attracts the attention and the investment. Properties as second homes, rental vehicles or straightforward investments are very popular, but purchase can be complicated and maintenance costs are high. Land, on the other hand, is an untapped investment that could make some fantastic profits.

Why land?

Land is becoming an increasingly popular investment, particularly in places like the UK, where housing shortages are a growing problem and land consequently rises in value. The benefits of buying land include:

Return - the rates of return on land, whilst not guaranteed, are often better than returns on any other type of investment, including stock market investments and property.

Simplicity - the purchase of a parcel of land is a straightforward legal transaction that can be completed within 28 days. Selling your land on is equally as easy.

Management - you don't have to be checking share prices every day or spending your profits on maintaining a property, or dealing with tenants. Instead, you buy your land and then leave it until development plans are agreed, or you simply want to sell it on. It is a simple, low maintenance investment.

Locality - no matter where you live, there is probably some land available for purchase. You can visit the site, talk to the company that owns the land currently and look into the likelihood of planning permission being granted. You can have a direct involvement with your investment.

If you have money that you want to invest, but you're not convinced by the level of return on traditional investment vehicles, then think seriously about buying land. Even a small investor can access this market now, through land banking, where a single company buys an expensive piece of land and then sells smaller parcels on to private investors. Talk to a land agent to see how you can get started.

About the Author
Nationwide specialises in land acquisition and sale across the UK.

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