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Land in Canada just the ticket for one shrewd Irish investor

6th August 2008 Print
With the once profitable Irish property market now in decline, James Whelan a plastering contractor originally from Tipperary took the shrewd move to invest in land classified for development in Nova Scotia, Canada. By investing earlier this year in land already earmarked to become an exclusive lifestyle resort he is looking to achieve up to 300% profit within three to five years. One might say that he has the ‘luck of the Irish’ about him!

James said, “Having already purchased three investment properties in Bulgaria during the boom period, I was eager to invest again, however the recent credit crunch has affected many overseas property markets and most of the emerging markets I looked into gave me either cause for concern or the profit potential was extremely limited. Then I happened upon Landcorp International’s opportunity to buy into development land at Forest Lakes Country Club, Nova Scotia, Canada, marketed in Ireland by their sole Irish agent, Ann Collins Property. Not only did this tick all of the boxes but it far surpassed any investment opportunity that I had seen before.

Land experiences its greatest increase in value once it achieves planning permission so it not affected by the ups and downs of the property market because nothing is built on it.

Landcorp’s business model is very unique yet simple, from my point of view. I bought pre-development land at Forest Lakes Country Club providing additional development capital for the development company. Once planning permission is achieved for the site, then both the development company and I will make excellent returns on the investment. In this way the costs, risk and the profits are shared by both me and the development company.

I was also attracted by the strong economic growth and wealth of Canada which has the second largest oil deposits in the world. Taking that information into consideration and understanding Landcorp’s business model, I felt comfortable investing in Forest Lakes and I think is an excellent alternative to the falling property markets in Europe.

By investing before final planning permission has been granted, I have in effect secured the best possible price per acre. Once planning is authorised I am then in the enviable position of either exiting with my profits or swopping my investment into building plots and building property. At this stage there will obviously be a temptation to cut and run and to realise the significant capital appreciation that I have made, however I am far more inclined to then develop my land to accrue additional profits once the properties have been built. To date, no other overseas investments that I have looked into come remotely close to the potential profits that I am likely to see here.”

James has purchased his acreage through in conjunction with the developer Terra Firma ( who has recently released a limited amount of land from this 1000+ acre site in order to raise additional development capital for what will become one of Nova Scotia’s premier resorts - ‘Forest Lakes Country Club’.

Tonny Neilsen, Managing Director of Landcorp International said, “Forest Lakes Country Club will be a luxury lifestyle resort comprising of apartments, townhouses and villas boasting numerous facilities such as an 18-hole golf course and a luxury boutique hotel all set within beautiful countryside. Just two hours from New York, one and a half hours from Boston and under 6 hours from London, it is perfectly located to enjoy year round tourism. At a time when other overseas markets are struggling, Canada has remained strong. It is therefore no wonder that the recent approach from the Canadian government to entice more skilled workers has proved so popular. Canada is one market to keep an eye on!”

Half acres of land are currently available from just £17,750 and potential returns are expected to be as much as 100 – 150% once planning permission is achieved with the opportunity to exit the investment in 2010 or soon after. For a limited period, quarter acres are available at £8,875.

This opportunity qualifies for SIPP inclusion thus avoiding UK Capital Gains Tax as well as offering tax relief on contributions.

For more information, visit