There is a post here promoting Jardin Smith. I often respond to these posts but amazingly my responses get held for review while the pro JSI posts get posted.
So from this point forward I will respond here and link to the original article of concern.
Points made in article:-
Check out UK-based raw land investment options by Jardin Smith International. Jardin Smith International is a land investment company that buys greenbelt land in the UK, cuts it up into small plots and sells it to investors.
So far so good. An actual line of truth .
Now, here’s the catch – UK land that lies in greenbelt area cannot be used for residential purposes unless and until the government rezones it (marks it okay for residential purposes). In normal circumstances, this factor may put people off. However, Jardin Smith retains 25% of the land as its own investment so that people buying the land are reassured that it will perform some acts that will help get the land rezoned.
Note the linking between a negative fact and an incorrect positive opinion. Standard Land Banking behaviour. . JSI may or may not hold 25% of the land. A fact is they make margins of up to 10,000% on the land they sell so they can throw the 25% away if they want and still make a huge profit. They have not got any land re-zoned to date and the one site they made a speculative attempt on was roundly and completely rejected
One thing that I like about the company is that they were candid enough to inform me that the rezoning permission would take 5 to 10 years. So, if you are looking to make a quick buck, this is not it. This is the kind of honest and blunt advice that is appreciated. Once the permission comes in, the land price spirals and can go up to 10 times the purchase price! 10 times appreciation in 10 years makes for a return of 100% per year!
Not true. Or to put it another way complete bullshit. Greenbelt land cannot be developed without a change in local policy. At least two of the local authority areas where JSI hold land have made public statements that they will not look at developing any greenbelt land for a minimum of 20 years. Others say they have no plans to change policy in the forseeable future. Fact: If the land cannot be developed and you decide to sell on the open market you will most likely lose 90%-100% of your investment.
The reps at Jardin Smith convinced me that with cities getting crowded and houses getting cramped in UK cities, people were looking to move to the outskirts. They showed me statistics related to affordable housing leaving me with no doubt that the government is not doing enough to create more affordable homes and that sooner or later, the government will start marking greenbelt land as fit for residential use. Jardin was of the opinion that the 2012 Olympics will give a boost to the UK real estate market.
What does the 2012 olympics have to do with the UK real estate market ? 80% of the UK is undeveloped. To avoid urban sprawl there are greenbelt protection policies. This is what keeps house prices high in cities . If those policies were relaxed and people can build anywhere then house prices will collapse. If the land cant be developed you lose. If the government gets rid of greenbelt policy you lose because now the builders can build anywhere.
Their land price statistics also convinced me about the investment potential. They wanted a 10% upfront (credit card swipe would have worked) and I was happy to know that UOB cardholders could pay the balance in interest-free 12 month installments. Well, though I am convinced about the investment potential and the people, I am yet to decide. Can someone help? Thanks.
My opinion is you are working for JSI. My opinion this is a lousy investment. My opinion you will lose most or all of your money if you hold this investment.
My unapproved response below
Some UK land can be developed. Just not the land being offered by companies like Profitable Plots and Jardin Smith in Singapore. This is protected or green belt land. Greenbelt land has a very low value in the UK. It can only be used for agriculture or recreation. If it could be developed local UK developers would snap it up and hold it. Local UK residents know this, or can check with the local authority very easily. So these companies buy this land cheaply and sell in places like Singapore at very high profit by suggesting that it may be suitable for development in the near future. If you are checking on investment sites or blogs you are not doing your dutiful checking. Check with the UK FSA, UK Land Registry, UK Local Authority or the UK police and press. The UK has launched a prosecution this year against a large land banking company offering green belt land under misleading circumstances. Hopefully the same thing will happen in Singapore soon.