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Scots lottery winners are the least likely to splurge after a big win, preferring instead to spend sensibly and invest the cash, a new survey has revealed.

The spend spend spend lifestyle is out, with most winners using the money to buy a new house or go on a nice holiday.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed said they would share their good luck with family and close friends, however 7% said they would not tell anyone about their big win.

The survey, for National Savings and Investments (NS&I), asked almost 1,500 Brits what they would spend a £1 million win on. Not one Scot said they would blow their win on flashy cars or designer clothes and jewellery, in fact 11% said they would not spend anything at all.

Half those surveyed said they would spend the money on a new house or car or a property abroad, while almost one in 10 said they would put it in secure savings and investments.

But while the Scots have a reputation for being tight-fisted they are more likely to give some of their win to charity than winners south of the border, with more than 80% saying they would give to a good cause.

Scotland has had a run of lottery luck in recent weeks. Last weekend Midlothian couple Alex and Sandra Fraser scooped the £8.5 million Lotto jackpot.

In keeping with the survey’s findings the couple said that they would be spending their win on a nice house, a car – and a box at their beloved Hibernian FC.

Just the week before the Frasers’ big win six distillery workers from Glasgow shared in a £15 million Lotto prize. The colleagues from Morrison Bowmore Distillers, each won a £2.5 million share of the jackpot.

But while the Frasers and the distillery workers went public with their big wins according to the NS&I survey most people (61%) would only tell family and close friends.

One in four winners would only tell their partner while 7% would not tell anyone at all, with men more likely than women to keep their good fortune a secret.

Enterprising Scots are also more likely to use some of the money to launch a business idea – with the majority naming their role model in terms of managing their money as billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson.

Just 4% of Scots said they would model their spending on the Beckhams, almost a quarter chose to follow Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s example when it came to how to spend their riches

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Irish investors have spent more than €12.5 billion buying commercial property in Europe since 1997, according to new figures from DTZ Research. Irish buyers accounted for about 6 per cent of the €210 billion spent on cross-border purchases since 1997, making them the joint fourth biggest acquisitors with British investors. US, German and Dutch investors took the top three positions. Britain and France are the most popular locations for overseas property buyers. Irish investors were particularly attracted to Britain, spending €4 billion there alone last year. The figures exclude hotel purchases, such as the Irish acquisition of the Savoy Hotel for around €1.1 billion.

Irish spend over €12.5bn on European commercial property 26 June 2005 By Neil Callanan Irish investors have spent more than €12.5 billion buying commercial property in Europe since 1997, according to new figures from DTZ Research. Irish buyers accounted for about 6 per cent of the €210 billion spent on cross-border purchases since 1997, making them the joint fourth biggest acquisitors with British investors. US, German and Dutch investors took the top three positions. Britain and France are the most popular locations for overseas property buyers. Irish investors were particularly attracted to Britain, spending €4 billion there alone last year.

The figures exclude hotel purchases, such as the Irish acquisition of the Savoy Hotel for around €1.1 billion. “The main drivers of cross border investment are the low real cost of money and the attraction of sol id income streams,” the DTZ Money into Property report states. “This weight of money is likely to remain strong as slow economic growth in the EU will keep interest rates low.” Michele Fallon, investment director at DTZ Sherry FitzGerald, said that there was increased interest in “newer markets such as the Scandinavian countries along with Greece and Turkey”.

Increasing numbers of British investors have been buying in Scandinavia and Irish investors are now beginning to follow suit. “There’s quite a few Irish people looking at the moment,” she said. “The Swedish economy in particular is regarded as a solid performer with a stable economy. Getting suitable properties in traditional markets is difficult at the moment and investors are now willing to look at places like Sweden if you can get a secure income and tenant.” The demand here reflects the general demand for property across Europe with DTZ Research reporting that “huge wall of equity is waiting to be invested and additional sources of product are coming through from corporate balance sheets as well as local and central government.”

Source: Thepost.ie

BUY-TO-LET is back in the news, but for all the wrong reasons. This month, the Department of Trade and Industry shut down several schemes that promised “and failed” to make millionaires out of investors.

Rivals quickly moved to condemn the cowboys in their industry. Inside Track, one of the biggest companies in the business, went so far as to put forward its own four-point plan for regulating the property investment sector.

But against the background of a stagnating UK housing market, some property professionals are questioning the way that many of the remaining schemes operate.

Marketing material tends to be long on the potential to make money and short on the pitfalls. An Inside Track marketing leaflet tells you “how to make a million in property investment – even in a falling market”. The website of PropertySecrets.net, an agent for overseas property aimed at UK investors, proclaims: “Buy-to-let and property investment. Maximum profit “minimum risk”

At the moment, such claims do not have to be substantiated, as they would if made by firms which came under the aegis of the Financial Services Authority. In fact, the Inside Track promotion’s boast that “last year we created over 200 property millionaires’ relates to the gross value of its investors’ property.” The company admits that the net value, after deducting the debt taken on to acquire the assets, would make their clients’ wealth look far more modest.

Ray Boulger, of John Charcol, the mortgage adviser, says that such claims are misleading. He says: “To be a property millionaire properly, you need to have net assets of £1 million. In the boom markets of three to four years ago, that was possible. In today’s quieter market, that is much harder.”

But the criticisms go much deeper than the promotional material. These buy-to-let companies typically aim to negotiate special deals with developers of flats or houses. In return for tying up the sale of a large chunk of a new development in advance, the agent will obtain a “discount” on the purchase price. This sum, often from 10 per cent to 20 per cent, should then be passed on to the buy-to-let investor.

Someone who has lined up a mortgage to cover 85 per cent of the value will then own a property with minimal outlay of their own. In a rising market, with a tenant covering the costs of a loan, this so-called off-plan buying is a licence to print money.

Lee Grandin, of Landlord Mortgages, a specialist buy-to-let broker, describes it as “a high-risk, high-reward, high-loss strategy”.

He points out that new properties tend to be sold at a premium anyway, while a valuer’s figure can be out by as much as 10 per cent. Taking account of either of those factors could wipe out your discount. Not only that, but when the property is eventually built, an investor’s flat will be coming on to the letting market along with all the others in the development. This “investor flooding” could make it harder to find tenants.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, the third largest lender to the market, is much more blunt. He says that such schemes are “fundamentally about property speculation and not about long-term investment in private rented property”.

Less than 5 per cent of the property his firm lends against is new because professional landlords find it difficult to let. “Much of the new property is higher value, whereas much of the demand is affordable,” he says.

Not surprisingly, such criticisms are rebutted by operators of buy-to-let schemes. Tony McKay, chief operating officer of Inside Track, says: “Our activity is completely transparent. We negotiate a discount with a developer and pass the whole of that discount to the investor.”

Such discounts are genuine, he says, because the developer saves on certain marketing costs by selling to an investment club, while a pre-sale reduces his risks. A valuation 12 months ago of 2,600 properties bought by Inside Track investors showed an uplift of £80 million on an original cost of £395 million, according to Mr McKay.

He admits that the subsequent flattening of the market may have left some property below the pre-discounted price, but he says that the discount provides insurance against falls in values.

Source: Times Online