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So you thought land banking was dead?

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Clitheroekid
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So you thought land banking was dead?

#87083

Postby Clitheroekid » October 10th, 2017, 12:48 am

Unfortunately, it's simply moved to Dubai. In my travels through the internet I came across this outfit selling some delightful plots of land at Wraysbury, near Windsor - http://www.heraldland.net/uk-land/windsor-2/

Under the FAQ's they say:

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE LAND TO BE ALLOCATED?

On average we expect it to take approximately 5 years. However this is dependent on the particular site.


Well that's excellent news. As it appears to have been on the market for about 4 years now perhaps the fortunate investors can look forward to getting planning permission as early as next year!

And I'm delighted that the fact that the land is in the Green Belt and also in a category 3 flood plain doesn't appear to have presented any obstacles.

You can tell what a great opportunity it is by looking at the very impressive title deeds - no boring old Land Registry official copies here - http://www.heraldland.net/title-deed-information/

As the good notary says in his beautifully beribboned Certificate, "full faith may be given to them", so in W1A speak that's all good then.

However, I'm not sure that the answer to another FAQ is strictly accurate:

CAN I SELL MY PLOT?

Yes, you have the freehold title to the land and you can sell to anyone once you have completed on the purchase of the plot.


I think the answer should be:

Yes, provided you can find someone even more gullible and stupid than you are.

What I do find rather nauseating is that these scamsters are in bed with Berkeley Group, a company in which I suspect many Fools hold shares - http://www.heraldland.net/herald-land-a ... ley-group/

I don't own any shares in BKG, but if I did I'd be questioning why my company was happy to be openly associated with a bunch of desert rats like this.

Alaric
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87085

Postby Alaric » October 10th, 2017, 1:46 am

I had formed an impression that land banking was in part marketed to those outside the UK who thought that lack of planning permission was not something that an inducement in the right place wouldn't cure.

Any holders of Berkeley Group wishing to cause problems at the AGM now have an issue to question the Company about.

Lootman
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87087

Postby Lootman » October 10th, 2017, 3:48 am

I am not sure what point you are trying to make here. I have vast respect for your legal knowledge - are you suggesting that some aspect of this offer is illegal?

Or are you merely suggesting to an investing community that it is somehow unethical to invest in land? The same investing community that has, presumably, a focus on investing in assets, of which land is surely one? What is the basis of your objection, given that historical returns have been good?

And yes, I hold shares in Berkeley, at least partly because of their asset base.

Clitheroekid
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87201

Postby Clitheroekid » October 10th, 2017, 3:01 pm

Lootman wrote:I am not sure what point you are trying to make here. I have vast respect for your legal knowledge - are you suggesting that some aspect of this offer is illegal?

Or are you merely suggesting to an investing community that it is somehow unethical to invest in land? The same investing community that has, presumably, a focus on investing in assets, of which land is surely one? What is the basis of your objection, given that historical returns have been good?

Have you never heard of land banking? There's a brief summary here - https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/land-b ... ment-scams

Many such companies have been compulsorily wound up by the government, and many (though not enough) of their directors have gone to jail.

Consequently, the basis of my objection is that naive and gullible people are being induced to buy land that is effectively worthless. As I assume the majority of Herald's prospective customers live overseas they probably have little or no knowledge of the planning system in the UK.

The content of the website gives the impression that with a little effort any land can be `re-zoned' for residential development. This is nothing short of a lie. The vast majority of the land involved in these scams is agricultural land and will never (at least not in our lifetime) be anything other than agricultural land.

Agricultural land might be worth £10,000 an acre. Residential development land would be worth around £1m per acre. It's this difference that land banking companies tempt their victims with. A `plot' in the middle of a field of agricultural land has virtually no value at all, as hundreds of victims of these scams have discovered.

DiamondEcho
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87287

Postby DiamondEcho » October 10th, 2017, 10:01 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:Unfortunately, it's simply moved to Dubai. In my travels through the internet I came across this outfit selling some delightful plots of land at Wraysbury, near Windsor


When I lived in SE Asia, and was out and about down at the suburban town/shopping centre it was quite common to be approached by local property agents poshed up in shirt/tie, unusual locally due to the climate, representing UK property companies selling off-plan land or land-plots in the UK.

Brownfield land under the Heathrow flight-path? 'Prime London price rise 300% in 20 year, sure win!!!'
Green-belt land with 'planning potential sure massive profit!!' totally par for the course. The promises were hilarious. This is not just SE Asia, being accosted similarly in China is common too. I've heard it said it's such off-plan Asian speculators who via deposits provide the working capital for developments to get going.

- Wraysbury. Happen to have been there for SCUBA dive training at Wraysbury Lakes. Quite surreal doing say a simulated rescue dive there and waving to the almost unimaginably low altitude aircraft coming in to land...

Add - CK: 'The content of the website gives the impression that with a little effort any land can be `re-zoned' for residential development. This is nothing short of a lie. The vast majority of the land involved in these scams is agricultural land and will never (at least not in our lifetime) be anything other than agricultural land.

Yes, this is definitely a line I heard from said agents^. Even had agents trying to sell me graveyard lots in West London, in existing/full cemeteries, that had 'redevelopment potential' for housing...

Clitheroekid
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87297

Postby Clitheroekid » October 10th, 2017, 10:38 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:Even had agents trying to sell me graveyard lots in West London, in existing/full cemeteries, that had 'redevelopment potential' for housing...

It's a dead cert squire! ;)

vrdiver
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87305

Postby vrdiver » October 11th, 2017, 1:13 am

DiamondEcho wrote:
Clitheroekid wrote:In my travels through the internet I came across this outfit selling some delightful plots of land at Wraysbury, near Windsor

- Wraysbury. Happen to have been there for SCUBA dive training at Wraysbury Lakes.

Hope the brochure mentioned the risk that their investment might be underwater for the foreseeable future?

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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87450

Postby Lootman » October 11th, 2017, 1:59 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:Have you never heard of land banking? There's a brief summary here - https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/land-b ... ment-scams

Many such companies have been compulsorily wound up by the government, and many (though not enough) of their directors have gone to jail.

OK, so just to be clear, there is no objection to honest companies that buy undeveloped land and hold it for price appreciation? Nor for honest companies that buy undeveloped land, sub-divide it, and then sell the parcels on to smaller investors?

The objection is that some of the companies that do this are dishonest? And that this is an area where dishonesty has been more prevalent than other investment strategies?

But the principle of buying and holding land as a speculation is sound, except that there are more shady operators in this field than others?

Alaric
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87467

Postby Alaric » October 11th, 2017, 2:28 pm

Lootman wrote:But the principle of buying and holding land as a speculation is sound, except that there are more shady operators in this field than others?


I don't think it's suitable as a retail investment scheme. A developer is going to want to deal with land in wholesale rather than retail quantities.

Many of these schemes were effectively collectives, but didn't observe the disclosure and other regulatory requirements for the marketing of such schemes.

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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87478

Postby vrdiver » October 11th, 2017, 2:56 pm

Over 20 years ago I was interested in self-build and researched a very specific location, which had a field being sold off in plots for house building.

I couldn't afford the asking price as it wouldn't have left me with enough budget to finish the project, so I sighed and moved on.

Looking at the same location in google maps, I see it is still a farmer's field. I guess I had a lucky escape!

BreakoutBoy
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87498

Postby BreakoutBoy » October 11th, 2017, 3:41 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:What I do find rather nauseating is that these scamsters are in bed with Berkeley Group, a company in which I suspect many Fools hold shares - http://www.heraldland.net/herald-land-a ... ley-group/

I don't own any shares in BKG, but if I did I'd be questioning why my company was happy to be openly associated with a bunch of desert rats like this.


Warren Buffet's letters are illuminating on this:

"I tell them that my reputation, Berkshire's reputation, is in their hands. We've got all the money we need. We'd like to make more money but we've got all the money we need. We don't have an ounce of reputation beyond what we need. We can't afford to lose it. We never will trade reputation away for money...... I tell them I don't want anything around the lines. I tell them there's plenty of money to be made in the center of the court. I'm 84. My eyes aren't that good anymore. I can't quite see the lines that well. Just keep it in the center of the court. If they have any questions, call me."

Would prefer not to see BKG involved as a shareholder.

PinkDalek
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#87506

Postby PinkDalek » October 11th, 2017, 4:13 pm

BreakoutBoy wrote:Would prefer not to see BKG involved as a shareholder.


I'd check with Berkeley that the outfit is indeed an authorised agent.

The reason I mention it is a search for Berkeley Group authorised agents doesn't reveal more than one "agent", as far as I can see.

Further, it is not unknown for outfits to make certain claims that do not stand up to close investigation.

Mapfumo
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#90591

Postby Mapfumo » October 25th, 2017, 12:38 pm

PinkDalek wrote:
BreakoutBoy wrote:Would prefer not to see BKG involved as a shareholder.


I'd check with Berkeley that the outfit is indeed an authorised agent.

The reason I mention it is a search for Berkeley Group authorised agents doesn't reveal more than one "agent", as far as I can see.

Further, it is not unknown for outfits to make certain claims that do not stand up to close investigation.


The registration data for the website gives an address of "Downtown Dubai", one of many red flags. I would be fairly sceptical whether Berkeley had any knowledge of their name being used in this way.

Clitheroekid
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Re: So you thought land banking was dead?

#90729

Postby Clitheroekid » October 25th, 2017, 7:08 pm

Mapfumo wrote:I would be fairly sceptical whether Berkeley had any knowledge of their name being used in this way.

They do know, as I emailed them to question whether such an association was desirable - and received no reply.


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