Friday 31 October 2008

The Ciaran Maguire Group - Palm View Resort

Well praise be for a little positivity in the world. We've been looking for it for a long time and, at last, we've come across a company in a positive frame of mind when all others are losing their jobs, houses, cars, shirts, etc.

The Ciarán Maguire Group has suddenly - and we mean very suddenly - announced itself on the Irish (and we believe world) stage to all and sundry. At a time when most newspapers in Ireland couldn't sell an ad to save their lives, along comes Ciarán and his group and starts advertising liberally, everywhere, even on the Late Late Show.

If nothing else, you've got to admire the guy's 'liathróidí', (Bill Cullen's new catchphrase), or 'cajones', depending on where you come from. He is spending an awful lot of money in a market where nothing is moving, not because people don't want to move, simply because they can't - nobody can raise funding for very much (unless they're sitting on a mountain of cash a la Warren Buffet).

We would have to add a proviso here though. Not everyone is all that wonderfully excited about Ciarán's assuming the throne as the crown prince of overseas property in Ireland. In fact, some have gone as far as to say that his proposed six-star Palm View Resort on Boa Vista Island in Cape Verde is not all that it may seem.

Questions have been asked about such items as the quality of the development, the price it is being sold at, whether the development has planning permission, the ability to land a 747 at London City Airport (I kid you not), etc. Suffice to say that the whole topic is getting a good and proper airing.

We're not giving any opinions on this one at the moment, we simply don't have enough knowledge on the subject to do so. If anyone has any further information on Ciarán, his father Christopher Maguire, and the group in general, we'd love to hear from you.

In the interim you can take a look at the following links - some positive, some not so positive - and make up your own mind.

The Ciarán Maguire Group - the groups own website - we're wondering if Warren Buffet has copyright on that opening paragraph.

Flash Developments - Ciarán Maguire's developer website

Palm View Resort - site for the development in Boa Vista, Cape Verde - the link from the Flash Developments site leads to a parked domain for some reason.

Ask About Money - discussion about Cape Verde which has diverted to a discussion of what The Ciarán Maguire Group is, or is not, about to do on Boa Vista.

The Property Pin - Similar Cape Verde thread to the AAM one except this one started with discussion of the Palm View Resort and it's proposed developer.

The Inside Goss - Blog querying what is going on with the Ciarán Maguire Group and its development/s.

Boa Vista Experience - Local Boa Vista website. You'll need to register and visit the 'developments' sector.

After that please make up your own mind on what Ciarán and his group has, or does not have, to offer.

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Cape Verde Property Links

Full list of Cape Verde Property

List of Agents selling property in Cape Verde

Agent News for Cape Verde

News on the Cape Verde Property Market

Cape Verde Property Purchase Advice

List of Exhibitions featuring Cape Verde Property

Editorial from

Saturday 25 October 2008

Humber Valley Turns the Lights Out

It is with great regret that we learn of the near demise of the Humber Valley Golf Resort near Cornerbrook in Newfoundland in Canada. If you visit the company's homepage today you'll merely get an announcement that it has filed for protection from its creditors. This means that, barring a miracle, the company and its assets will be liquidated.

This is most unfortunate on a number of levels. Of course it will come as a huge blow to owners in the resort, but Humber Valley was much more than just your typical resort. Apart from being a wonderful golf course and a spectacular holiday resort, it provided lots of much needed employment in an area of Canada that didn't have very much of it. The resort helped keep builders, maintenance crews, golf course professionals, bar & restaurant staff, food and materials providers and even staff at the local Deer Lake airport in employment. The announcement will come as a huge blow to the entire region.

We visited Humber Valley for a week in April '07 and had a wonderful time while there. The staff were courteous and efficient (with wonderfully weird Waterford/Canada accents) and it was very much a 'different' type of holiday from your average getaway. The resort's passing, should it come to pass, will be very much regretted. It would have appeared last year that the resort was on the path to great things with it's golf course being voted the best in all of Canada for 2007.

It is difficult to know whether the demise has come about because of the credit crunch or merely poor management of the resort. Brian Dobbin, on who's concept the resort was originally developed, moved on last year, and the remaining owners would appear to have found that the resort was simply not viable as an on-going concern.

It is to be hoped that the problems at Humber Valley won't have a similar affect on Newfound Property's sister resorts in the Caribbean, Pinney's Estate and Ocean's Edge on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The company raised £3.6m from a share placing and a further £7m from two of its directors in Dec. 07, details here. At the time the company declared part of its strategy was to "Focus on the conservation of working capital in the near term, including, inter alia, reduction of overheads at Humber Valley Resort." This would appear to have been a strategy that hasn't worked thus far.

In August this year an announcement was made that 40 employees at the resort were to be made redundant and that it would no longer run a hotel and tourism operation. It also said that it was ending the practice of helping owners rent out their properties.

You can find the full Humber Valley story here, as it may have disappeared from the Humber Valley Resort homepage by the time you read this.

If you are looking for updates on the Humber Valley story you'll find Gary Kelly's blog and the Crazy about Newfoundland blog to be exceptional resources.

There is an update on this story here.

Canadian Property Links

Thursday 23 October 2008

The World's Top 100 Most Powerful Property People

We are very proud to announce that Globaledge's most recent listing of 'The World's Top 100 Most Powerful Property People' includes at number 77.

We are of course thrilled with the mention as it sees us rubbing shoulders with some of the most recognised websites in the world, not bad for a site that isn't much more than a year old.

Included in the list are such luminaries as the BBC, Business Week, CNN, Channel 4 and the Real Deal. They're all ahead of us, but at least it gives us something to aim for. It's a very good position when you consider that Globaledge's own blog only reached number 85. We are also, as far as we can ascertain, the only Irish site on the list. 

It's onwards and upwards from here then, hopefully we'll be able to climb the rankings and get ourselves recognised with some of the most powerful news media in the world in coming polls. 

The full piece on the Globaledge website can be found here.

Sunday 19 October 2008

Solid Reliable Investment Products the Order of the Day

Well, the deepening depression, worldwide economic turmoil and a genearal flight from high risk/potential high return products has meant that 'safe and secure' is the way to go these days. There was a time, in the not so distant past, when safe and secure meant storing your money in the bank, any bank. Obviously this is not the case today. Although the Irish government, and many others, have guaranteed deposits, there are still those who are now feeling that the very fact that it was deemed necessary to provide these guarantees is an indicator of just how deeply in the doo-doo most of the banks really reside. Consequently, people are getting very wary of having all their savings lodged there. And probably rightly so.

This begs the question, what else is there to invest in? There are lots of things really, the problem with most of them is inherent volatility. Shares are a real gamble at the moment, but of course values are low. The problem is we don't know who will survive and who will fail over the coming years so the gamble element is probably even more inherent now than ever before. Commodities such as gold and oil are proving popular, of course neither makes interim returns and both are proving yo-yo markets so it is hard to tell what they will do in the longer term.

Then, of course, there's property. We all know the saying 'safe as houses' but, in the recent past, this saying has been questioned, quite a lot actually. House prices in a wide variety of countries have nose-dived and negative equity looks like the 

But there is still property out there that can justify inclusion in a strong investment portfolio. We're not talking resort or holiday property here, in fact we're seldom enough talking about residential property at all. Good commercial product in strong stable countries such as Germany and Sweden are still producing the goods, downturn or no downturn. In fact, property bought at the right price due to the downturn in the UK and US can still be considered a runner, and there are those Irish that are still very interested in these markets.

Our advice? Take the workload off yourself and take a close look at a well organised, professional property syndicate. If you don't know anything about the concept then take a look here.

If you want some further information on some currently available syndicate products, fill out this form and we'll send a selection to you. You're committed to nothing by filling in the form and we won't share your details with anyone else.

Friday 17 October 2008

How have people found the Blog

Folks seem to like this particular list for some reason, it got a lot of traffic last time around, so here we go again.

This is the list of the top search terms leading to the site over the past two months (we haven't done one of these in a while). They're ordered from the most popular downwards.

You'll notice that the regular favourites of Bulgarian Dreams, MRI Overseas Property and the Orient Palace in Bodrum are still clocking up major amounts of traffic. MacAnthony's in particular, and their chief executive, Darragh MacAnthony, seem to be particularly heavily searched for, and the text of the searches would indicate that there's quite a bit of dissatisfaction out there about the company and its directors. Our old pal, Hans Bartsen, from the Orient Palace also seems to be a pretty popular (or unpopular, depending on what way you look at it) individual. Robert Jenkin of Bulgarian Dreams makes a few appearances as does the bould Michael Lynn, he of KenDar Holdings, Overseas Property Law, and nicking €80m worth of bank money fame.

This is the most popular blog for MacAnthony's, it's this one for Bulgarian Dreams and this one for the Orient Palace. You'll find a few blogs on Michael Lynn and his worldwide travels but this is the main one.

And the winners are:

bulgarian dreams
mri overseas property
orient palace bodrum
mri overseas property scam
kevin okane accused of turkish property scam
mri overseas property complaints
mri property scam
mri property complaints
mri complaints
harcourt developments
mri overseas
macanthony complaints
Larionova, sunday independent
bodrum orient palace
mri property blogs
how is current financial crisis affecting itali...
futura gael
mri bulgaria customer forum
damac dubai
oriental palace bodrum
hans bartsen
macanthony realty
hans bartsen
unifin bodrum
simple overseas
my overseascafe
mri properties
platinum developments blog
mri property
d XL Leisure Group PLC.
Robert Jenkin, Bulgarian Dreams
matagorda lanzarote foreclosure property
watchdog on MRI overseas
matagorda bay lanzarote
portugal properties MRI
mri overseas property blog
when was MRI expelled from AIPP
macanthony scammers
mri overseas property scams
can i take mri to court
vantea property
MRI watchdog bulgaria
mri realty complaints
distressed sales portugal
mri property problems
mri overseas property
MRI Overseas Property
lehman brothers and harcourt developments
lanzarote property blog
selling in a difficult market
harcourt developments court case
cyril mcmorrow spanish property
mri property bulgaria forums
bodrum orient palace dutch court injunction
nieuws over Orient palace bodrum
how to complain regarding overseas property com...
property news vilnius 2008
mri portugese property scam
mri overseasproperty
mri office ireland mac anthony
Hans Bartsen
MRI property
Bulgarian Dreams
macanthony problems
fraud act bulgaria MRI realty
property scam in bulgaria
kevin okane turkey kelly agent
mri overseas property, complaints
macanthony complaints
mri overseas property reveiws
mri sales scam
macanthony realty international
MRI overseas property
macanthony realty florida scams
complaints about MRI
bulgarian dreams problems
mri overseas complaints
damac spanish agents
mike says portugal
overses property auctions
matagorda bay apartments lanzarote
irish news futura gael
ryanair baggage label
mri properties uk
court action macanthony
orient palace bodrum ireland
legal action against mri overseas property
unifin claim borum
problems with MRI in Bulgaria
location of DAMAC in Dubai
The Times MRI property
MRI overseas property blog
MRI agents in Portugal problems
mri international scam
damac investors blog
mri scam
MRI scam
mri overseasproperty scams
are manhattan house prices coming down
financial position ryanair
irish sunday independent property section
larionovo and profile
overseas property scams in bulgaria
land agents uk scam
ireland distressed property
mri overseas scam
larionovo to go
Ginetta Vedrickas fuerteventura
blog mri property
selling in a difficult economy
overseas property investment
property auctions in US unique properties
kendar global properties bulgaria
bulgarian dreams court
damac property blogs ireland
vantea cabanas
companies owned by darragh macanthony
orient palace alanya tax problems
mri company registration darragh mcanthony
mri properties crisis
algarve michael lynn
willie joe padden estate agent
french leaseback
larionova properties ireland
Sunset Resort OOD and Mr O'Reilly
justifying increase prices overseas
MRI overseas property turkey complaints
kevin o kane
darragh macanthony's money problems
mri over seas property,Florida
simple overseas properties
bulgarian dreams legal
UK agents selling USA foreclosures
Bulgarian property scam
how to bring in buyers from overseas to buy pro...
mri "mortgage" "bulgaria"
croatia property consultants
unifin groep court cases

Monday 13 October 2008

Top 10 most Transparent Property Markets

People often query how do they even know where to start when they are starting looking at overseas property. Well there's no easy answer to this question but, as most people are looking for a fairly 'risk free' option, a list which compares the property markets in various areas and marks them accordingly would be a very good start.

Well we've good news for you, one already exists. Jones, Lang, LaSalle have had a global transparency index for a number of years now. If nothing else it will give you an idea of which countries have a mature and transparent method of transaction property and which ones are likely to be more risky. 

This is the Jones Lang LaSalle bumpf on the list: The 2008 Real Estate Transparency Index is a study of real estate market transparency in 82 markets worldwide.  Started in 1999, the bi-annual study was designed as a strategic tool to help the real estate market better understand the processes involved in and risks of doing real estate business in different countries and cities around the world. It can be used with other international metrics to develop a global investment strategy or  to refine a corporate expansion strategy.

The link to the index is here, you'll have to register with JLL to get access to it but there's no cost involved and the resulting report is well worth a read. For those of you who couldn't be bothered reading it, here is the top ten (the links take you to listings of property for the country on the OC site). 

Tier 1 - Highly Transparent

1. Canada
2. Australia
4. New Zealand
6. Netherlands

Tier II - Transparent

10. Ireland

16. Spain
19. Italy
20. Switzerland
21. South Africa
22. Portugal
25. Poland

Tier III - Semi-Transparent

27. Hungary
32. Dubai
35. Bulgaria
49. China Tier 1 Cities
50. India Tier 1 Cities
51. Croatia

Tier IV - Low Transparency

58. Morocco
59. Egypt
67. Turkey

Sunday 12 October 2008

Let's Party Like it's 1929 - Shares v's Property

Here's something you don't see every day, in fact I'm not sure it's ever been seen before. Perhaps back in 1929, but it's certainly been a rarity since.

The pic attached is of the FTSE (UK) share price index last Friday (October 10th 2008). It is the only time I have ever seen the screen entirely in red. For the uninitiated this means that every single stock in the FTSE was in retreat (prices were going down). If anyone knows if this has ever happened before in living memory we'd love to know, just for the 'table quiz' value it might provide.

Further down the picture indicates the prices going up on the left hand side at the top of the screen, it is completely blank, with the prices going down on the right hand side, where every single FTSE stock was listed.

I guess this highlights just what the stock market can, and cannot, do. It can be a generator of wealth if you're prepared for a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Of course most of us would invest in shares in the presumption that they would, in the main, go upwards. The bloodbath that's been seen over the past few weeks could not have been predicted even six short months ago. But there you go, stock markets can be very difficult things on which to get a handle, even if you're an expert in such things. Let's face it, the experts have probably lost more money than anyone else in this very public flogging that the markets are taking. You can't beat confidence and it is something that is singularly lacking in virtually every share market in the world at the moment. 

If you want stability then it has to be international property, not just any property, but well chosen property at a reasonable price with sustainable rental capability. If you want liquidity (being able to realise your investment quickly), on the other hand, then you'll have to plump for cash or shares. Cash will generally struggle to keep up with inflation in the bank. Of course that bank could go bust, but if you're in Ireland you won't be too worried about that, at least not until the government reveals all of its, more than likely very stringent, bank guarantee criteria. As for shares, well they're a gamble at the best of times so if it's gambling you're after then they might be worth a shot. If you want sustainable returns, however, you'd probably be better off investing in property. 

As they say in Wall Street these days, 'Let's Party Like it's 1929'.  

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Swedish Property Investment - Strong Returns in a Safe & Secure Market

A strong property market that offers safe returns - it's a while since we've heard much about that in the current climate. 

One of the markets which seems to be plodding along, doing its own thing and ignoring everything else going on in the world is Sweden. It is considered by property investors as one of the most safe, secure and transparent property markets in the world, and that takes some doing.

It's funny that you don't hear very much about it but, it is probably because it is difficult to make investing in buildings like banks and restaurants sound like too much fun (that's a picture of a Swedish bank at the bottom of this piece, just to show you how just how boring they can look. We went for a little bit of Swedish coastal magic as the intro picture, a little more alluring I think you'll agree, but not nearly as profitable.) But Swedish commercial property works. It pays the bills and then some. That's all you need from a property investment but it is amazing how difficult it can be to actually achieve this relatively simple objective. 

If you want to get some further information on investing in a newly launched Swedish Property Syndicate then follow this link.

If you've no idea what a syndicate actually is then you should probably click on this link to find out the low down. 

If you want to know a little more about Swedish property investment in general then this link is the one you need. 

Don't say we didn't tell you so. 

Top 5 Overseas Properties

Our blog on the top five articles from the site proved a hugely successful one so we've decided to continue the theme, outlining the five most popular overseas properties on the site over the past month.

The most popular property over the past month has been IP Spain's Acacias Resort in Lanzarote, Ireland's favourite Canarian island. Number two on the list has been removed, it is no longer for sale. The third most popular property on the site is Thurlesman, PJ Broderick's, Peroj apartments in Istria, Croatia. In fourth position comes HomeSwedHome's Manor Home in Ornskoldvik, Sweden for just €79k. In fifth place, and the first placed of our 'For Sale By Owner' properties is a wonderful property in Garajau, Portugal, which featured in our last newsletter. The picture accompanying our blog is a pic of this particular property. Nice, eh?

The eagle eyed among you will notice that most of the top five most popular properties are featured Premium Properties (which means that they rotoate on the homepage, this brings much more traffic than being listed as a standard property). Those that are not have featured in our monthly newsletter, another great way to promote your property. 

If you are an overseas property agent, check out listing your property as a Premium Property, you can be guaranteed it will maximise your exposure on Ireland's favourite Overseas Property Portal. If you would like to have your property featured on our monthly newsletter please contact Tara O'Toole on 00353 (0)86 604 49278 or email

For a selection of property from around the world click here

For a listing of agents selling overseas property click here.

For independent articles on overseas property click here.

For advice on purchasing property overseas click here.

For news on the world of overseas property click here.

For new releases and product updates from agents around the world click here.

For a list of upcoming overseas property exhibitions around the country click here

Friday 3 October 2008

Manhattan - the Mother of all Property Bubbles

Having spent the past week in the US has been extremely interesting to say the least. The timing was fortuitous, witnessing the 9/11 of the financial services industry in the USA and its attempts to paddle its way out of the mire through a 'bailout' that miraculously became an 'investment' in the space of a few short days. 

Some of the tax breaks included in the 'newly revised' bill, in an unabashed attempt to directly target those who voted against it first time around, include 'an exemption on exise for children's wooden practice arrows' (I kid you not, it's all there in black and white) along with sweetners for those who commute by bicycle, TV production writeoffs, commercial fishing incentives and extended writedown periods for motorsports complexes????????? Only in the good old US of A. 

The strange thing, looking at the US market as a whole, is that, despite the fact that there is an impression that the property market here is in dire trouble, no great affect has yet been seen in major metropolitan markets such as Manhattan. If you were to speak with a few estate agents around the city (and I did, although a few cancelled due to the workload the implosion of the financial sector was causing) they would seek to differ with you, as prices haven't been doing much for the past year. But neither have they dropped much - and I suspect they will. Manhattan is still, to the outsider, the mother of all property bubbles. 

Taking the Downtown Loop bus tour (highly recommended if you want to get a feel for the city) we were informed of some ridiculous rental and purchase figures for gentrified portions of the Lower East side (where most of the immigrants landed in the early portion of the last century), even for a basic studio apartment. In the greater scheme of things property markets don't allow that sort of thing to go on forever. It is a cyclical industry and the longer the upswing, the bigger the drop and the longer lasting the pain on the downswing.

While I don't expect that the Manhattan market will return to the nadir of the eighties, when you could hardly give away property on the island, an outsider would have to say that the concept of 'fair value for money' would have to enter the equasion at some stage - and it's a long way away just yet.

For those looking at Manhattan as an investment I would have to say 'steer well clear', the worst may well be about to come. This is a region that has built its reputation on trade, particularly financial trade. The fallout of the financial crisis hasn't yet hit shore, look at it like a hurricane hitting land. The affects of the winds are being felt but it is not until the aftermath the true havoc is unveiled. When the loss of jobs from the mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector hit and the fund and hedge managers that are currently twiddling their thumbs do eventually lose their jobs, there may be more than enough property in the Manhattan market to service everyone who wants it. This should lead to sharp price declines in the future.

To those who feel they are suffering problems in the Manhattan market at the moment you'd have to quote the old Bachman Turner Overdrive lyric 'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet'. 

If you think the above is the rambling of an unqualified hack, then you'd probably be right. But we're not alone in this outlook. Just look at what none other than the eminent economist Robert Schiller has to say on the Manhattan property market. He's gone a lot further than we have by likening the current market as being akin to the cusp of the 'fall of ancient Rome'. Shiller says  "New York will self-destruct if prices don’t come down, it can’t keep going like this." If you have the time Schiller's books "Irrational Exuberance" and "The Subprime Solution" are excellent reads to get your head around global economic instability and the likely outcome down the line. 

If you're looking for some other corroborating evidence then this report, from the Overseas Property Mall, based on a recent Corcoran Report (incedentally one of our intended interviewees which was victim to the increased workload of the economic 'bailout/investment' meltdown this week) should give you some further food for thought.

For a selection of property in the USA click here

For a list of agents selling property in the USA click here.

For independent articles on overseas property click here.

For advice on purchasing in the US click here.

For news on the US property market click here.

For new releases and product updates from US agents click here.

For a selection of property exhibitions featuring American property click here.


Florida Property Links


For a listing of property in Florida click here.

For a listing of Florida Estate Agents click here.

For a listing of Exhibitions showcasing Florida Property click here.