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News: Snowy Lapland is 'hot property'

Mon, 10 Sep 07

Prudent property investors are following Santa Claus and looking towards Lapland this Christmas as the place to achieve glowing profits to see them through to spring 08, according to specialist property portal, Landlord.co.uk (http://www.landlord.co.uk)...

Tim Warrington of Landlord.co.uk provides his expert analysis on the opportunities that exist in Lapland. He comments: “For the investor with imagination, Lapland is a ‘hot property’. Neighbouring Finland’s economy is booming and the Finns love nothing better than a skiing holiday in sunny climes.

This creates an increasingly strong demand for log cabin-type accommodation to attract domestic tourists - and also to cater for winter sports enthusiasts from the UK and US, who are turning up in greater droves.

“In Lapland, snow is guaranteed all winter long, causing a migration from the French and Italian ski slopes where the fall can be variable. In winter 2006/2007, the reliability of Lapland’s ‘white stuff’ brought about a 33% plus increase in visitors, and this figure is expected to rise pro rata for winter 07/08.

“As well as the skiing crowd, Lapland is popular with winter holidaymakers from Europe, and especially from the UK. Many families want to make Christmas special for the kids by taking them to see Santa prepare for the annual sleigh ride in his natural habitat – his Lapland grotto.

All year round venue

Mr Warrington continued: “Summer tourism is also on the rise in Lapland thanks to a whole host of activities on offer, from salmon fishing to white water rafting.

“Whatever the season, Lapland is becoming an all-round venue for holidays and is therefore an excellent choice for UK property investors who are looking for a more stable opportunity than, say, the Eastern Bloc countries that were so popular last year.

“Those who have already bought property in Lapland are seeing, in their first years, a return on investment of tens of thousands of Euros, with no sign of demand waning. Space for growth seems to be unlimited, at least for the time being. The early birds really will get the worm in this case!”

He adds: “Buying as near as possible to town centres will make investing in Lapland an almost certain gold mine. The towns to look at are Levi and Yllas, as these skiing villages are extremely popular with tourists. Donald Trump has announced a 300 million Euro investment in Levi, with 100 million Euro of his own money pledged to this deal, and he is unlikely to be wrong! Meanwhile, cabins in the Yllas region have increased in value by 22% in 2006/2007.”

The ‘next big thing’

Mr Warrington concludes: “With UK interest rate rises and property prices looking like they may stall and start to drop, the overseas buy to let market in countries such as Lapland is the ‘next big thing’.

“Overseas buy to let is different to the UK model as you’re letting to holidaymakers, not tenants, so the hassle of six month assured short hold tenancies is avoided. Instead, rentals are done on a weekly basis.

“As with any property investment, it’s vital to do your homework as to who will rent the overseas property, were you can advertise for holiday lets, and whether your mortgage will be in Sterling or the foreign currency. When you’re armed with knowledge, there’s money to be made in Lapland this Christmas –now that really is something to be festive about!”

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