Authors Posts by Les Calvert

Les Calvert

Les Calvert is the owner and CEO of many internet property and travel related websites including this overseaspropertymall.comand he regularly writes news and articles for his websites, trade magazines and newspapers.

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Continuing our quest for interesting properties for sale around the world, we came across this game ranch in Kalahari, South Africa. The ranch is 643 hectares in size and surrounded by a three meter tall “Game proof fence.” We take that to mean “Elephant proof,” so we’re not so sure that’s a viable claim, but it makes for interesting reading.

Included in the sale is a four bedroom house, along with four, thatched roof chalets. Also included is a Land Rover, 25 Eland, 45 Kudu, 22 Zebras, and assorted other animals  but disappointingly, no Elephants.

The company that owns the ranch, Phrima safaris, offer big game rifle and bow hunting safaris and an opportunity to “live Africa like you never thought possible.” The name Phrima translates from the local language as “place where the sun sets,” so if you are looking for a getaway at the ends of the earth, this would seem to be it. Amongst their hunting advice is the maxim, ‘use enough gun,’ which sounds like good advice to us.

Their website is here, although if you are not fond of photographs of dead trophy animals, we suggest keeping away. If, on the other hand, you are, they have an interesting selection for your viewing pleasure. In the meantime, here are some spectacular photos of live animals in the Kalahari, shot by hvhe1.

Viviun is listing the property at a mere $320,000, which is negotiable.

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With all the doom and gloom surrounding the property markets, we felt it was about time to take a look at those markets that have remained robust and healthy throughout the current credit crunch. So here are five markets that have consistently performed well, regardless of the ups and downs seen recently.

Manhattan, New York

4 5878 designers of the purpose-built Moroccan resort, Mediterrania Saidia, are pleasantly surprised to discover that the marina needs extending even before they’ve finished building it. The marina was over-subscribed from the day it was officially announced and the existing 840 berths will now be expanded to over a thousand.

Each of the additional berths at Mediterrania Saidia will be more than forty foot long and also create space for more commercial areas, a sports club and extra parking spaces. The marina is the hub of the seven million square meter resort which includes restaurants with sunny pavement terraces, bars, a traditional souk, designer boutiques, high street fashion stores, a medical centre and discotheque.

In July 2002, Morocco called a tender to select local and foreign partners to develop five seaside tourist resorts for a budget of $4.2 billion in a drive to attract 10 million foreign tourists by the year 2010.

Ha Noi, Viet Nam

A State Bank of Viet Nam official said, ” Ho Chi Minh City’s real estate market is accounting for around 35 trillion VND or 10 percent of the total loans offered by commercial banks operating in the city”.

Ho Huu Hanh is a director of the State Bank of Viet Nam’s Ho Chi Minh City branch. He also said that since early this year, despite the fact that commercial banks have raised their lending interest rates by 0.05-0.15 percent a month, they have also seen an increase in the number of clients queuing for loans to invest in the property market.

By the end of 2007, the An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank had lent property developers 1.2 trillion VND, which accounted for 20 percent of its total lending. The rate was also similar at Sacombank, Techcombank and ACB.

The US sub-prime crisis continues to take it’s toll amongst developers and recent announcements from a variety of sources don’t seem to see any let up on the horizon. Some recent announcements this month include:

Toll Brothers Inc.(sic) said that its fiscal first-quarter home-building revenue fell 22% from year-earlier levels to $842.7 million and it doesn’t see any end in sight to housing-market woes. The company said it is still finalizing its first-quarter impairment analysis, but expects pretax write-downs of between $150 million and $300 million. “The housing market remains very weak in most areas. Based on current traffic and deposits, we are not yet seeing much light at the end of the tunnel,” said Robert Toll, the firm’s chairman and CEO. Toll will report full first-quarter results on February 27th.

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The priciest piece of property in Alicante, the “Tower King Jaume 1,” a villa 5 kilometers from the town has just been placed on the market.

Boasting only two bedroom suites the price came as a bit of a surprise to us – €10,500,000   That is correct, over ten million euros for a two-bedroom villa.

Despite the small number of bedrooms, the villa is huge – over 1,100 square meters built and a 4,200 plot. Also included is a heated pool, private library, private pub, gymnasium and an aviary, along with a guest house, staff quarters and spectacular gardens.

Well, we know where we’re retiring to. Along with half the estate agents on the planet we suspect. Bahrain’s Ithmaar Bank has announced the planned development of a $1.6 billion island for the healthcare industry. Dubbed “Health Island,” development is due to start “soon”, said a bank official who refused to be named.

As well as medical facilities, hotels and apartment buildings are planned for the island, which will be located off the north coast of Bahrain near Muharraq.

Investors are eyeing the Gulf’s healthcare industry as the region’s population booms, and the government becomes less willing to provide the free healthcare it has in the past. Ithmaar is also working on a $1.2 billion beach resort and a $175 million hotel that complies with Islamic law also to be located in Bahrain.

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French property prices are set to increase dramatically since the introduction of a new high-speed Eurostar link from St Pancras station in London. The high-speed rail line, launched on Wednesday, promises to cut most Eurostar journeys by 20 minutes, making Paris a less than two-and-a-half hour train ride away from London.

Despite the many billionaires created by property investments in the US, the US domestic housing market is in a bad way right now – with more doom and gloom predicted, at least in the short term.

The latest Case-Schiller Index reports further drops in house prices, by as much as ten percent in some states. California and Florida are leading the price declines with prices in San Diego dropping by 8.3 % this year-to-date. House prices are at a six year low across the country and the average drop was 4.4%, with no end in sight.

“I think the housing market has got another year of very weak sales, falling construction and lower home prices. And all of that assumes that the economy holds together reasonably well and we don’t have a recession,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s The Joint Economic Committee estimates there will be 1.3 million foreclosures from mid-2007 through 2009 in subprime mortgages, loans provided to borrowers with weak credit histories, which will wipe out an estimated $71 billion in housing wealth directly and another $32 billion indirectly by lowering the values of neighboring homes, according to the report by the JEC’s Democratic staff.