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International Investment and Contrasts In Towns

international investment trends

Gary Scott

Last message looked at international investments and distortions in the country. Now here are three really big city distortions.

We saw in an even earlier message that London housing currently sells for over $1,000 a square foot.

The message showed how we looked for international investments in the cheapest listing at

And found a 1-bedroom, first-floor flat of approximately 836 sq. ft. situated in the heart of Mayfair with all the amenities for $935,000 or $1,168 a square foot!

We have also looked at real estate in Old Quito at prices as low as $40 a square foot with views of the colonial cathedral like the one below:

Learn more about real estate distortions in Ecuador

Last week I had lunch with Tom Banks developer of the Jefferson Station condo and retail project in the heart of West Jefferson, North Carolina. His email is

Jefferson Station is a premier multi-use, residential and retail facility that is being developed at the old Thomasville Furniture Plant.

We went to look at the artwork that is going up in the development because The Ashe County Arts Council is coordinating with Tom Banks to include public art as a featured component at the facility.

The artwork makes this a destination for travelers and residents to enjoy public art, shopping and eating; therefore contributing to the downtown business and arts district.

There is a good article about this in the Mountain Times.

After lunch and after viewing the art, Merri and I took a look at the loft condos that are being developed. They are huge with 12 to 24 foot high ceilings and run from 1,100 to 2,800 square feet. Yet they are selling at low prices. The unfinished units are as little as $80 a square foot and about $108 a square foot finished.

This price is low enough but there is an extra distortion in these unfinished condos with 25 foot ceilings. Lofts can be built over half the floor space (you'll still have 12 foot ceilings). For example in the 2,800 square foot models, a half loft increases the square footage to 4,200 square feet. The base price is only $225,000 (plus the cost of putting in the loft) for these huge condos! That pushes the price down into the $55 a square foot range. This is a very low price for really nice condos linked to a major retail center in the middle of a very fast growing town (West Jefferson is expected to double in the next five years). There is more. The condo association has a huge (3,000 square foot) meeting room, an equally large exercise room and a two acre park.

Then there is more good news that almost assures that the value of these units will rise.

First more big international money is moving into this area. The Mountain Times reported in its March 24, 2005 issue that a former VP and general manager of a huge development near Naples Florida ($100 million a year in real estate sales) has taken over the local Jefferson Landing Golf community.

International Investments in Golf

This golf course is already acclaimed as one of the best mountain courses on the east Coast. Golf Digest Magazine rates it 4.5 out of five stars and says:

"An excellent course and value for a resort ... I recommend it highly ... Mountain gem ... Fun to play, tricky; lots of elevation change ... Most enjoyable mountain course I ever played ... Great accommodations and staff."

There is a second course called Mountain Aire. Triad Golf says at "Mountain Aire Golf Club stands alone as a public access course in a county famous for its hospitality, Fraser firs and rolling mountain terrain. But rest assured, visitors to the West Jefferson layout, which opened as a homemade nine-holer in 1948, will find all of those traits in abundance.

"What you won't find is much semblance of the original layout routed by a committee of community-minded friends and neighbors. Mountain Aire's gradual evolution to its current 18-hole championship length took some time under the direction of owner Mark Hagel, but the end result is a popular public mountain venue easily described as friendly and affordable. And the golf ain't bad either."

International Investments From Japan

Second, The Japanese have arrived! When we put on a seminar at Jefferson Landing two years ago I noticed Japanese eating in the restaurant. The waitress explained that they were there often. Golf is so inexpensive here that they come up when they are on business on the US East Coast.

International Investments in Snow

Third, we have a bit of spice. Some of the windows in the condos at Jefferson Station have been specially designed to look over a new ski resort that is being installed just outside of town on Phoenix Mountain. Having a ski resort opening near by will greatly enhance winter tourism in West Jefferson which formerly did not exist. I have not been able to pin down much about this resort down yet. The Chamber of commerce does not know anything except that they heard rumors. However one developer I talked to said his electrician tested the snow machines this winter. I'll write more on this as events unfold.

Learn more about International Investments and value in Ashe County

So what do you want, city property in London ($1,000 a square foot), Old Quito ($40 a square foot) or West Jefferson (at perhaps $55 a square foot?

You may make money owning property in any of these cities. Yet I believe that the potential in the two low cost areas is more!

Learn more about International Investments and Real Estate Distortions


international investment trends
International Investments and Contrasts In Towns
Gary Scott April 13, 2005
international investment trends


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