Scott Picken, CEO of International Property Solutions (IPS) believes a paradigm shift is occurring: 8 years ago, people would only invest in property in their own neighbourhood. Now, investors are starting to seek the best investments globally. IPS was created 5 years ago to facilitate international investments and provide an end-to-end solution to ensure that investors can invest with confidence!

Friday, January 30, 2009

2009 – A year to be creative!

Scott Picken, CEO IPS, Jan 09

I have been asked to try and understand the property market in 2009, an interesting task! At the end of 2008, we spoke of the challenges of 2008 and the exciting opportunities which were before us in 2009. The global community has undergone a paradigm shift where what was common practice has changed, and global markets, banks, companies and individuals are coming to terms with the new era of doing business in amongst this uncertainty. The Chinese only have one word for ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’, ‘wēijī’ and I firmly believe that if one can see through the short term situation, focus on fundamentals and act on these principles, they will find that the genuine value they invested in this year, will provide the opportunity to set themselves up for life! To achieve this though, you will have to be creative to overcome the obstacles.

The year begins with allot of hope and possibly the biggest example of the impossible becoming possible with Barrack Obama being sworn in as the 44th American President. He has completely challenged normality and won and now USA and the global environment rest on his shoulders in the hope that he can resurrect the global economy. He won buy being creative, by changing the way things were done, by communicating through the new technology mediums and most importantly by reaching the hearts and minds of the people on the street. He won by thinking out of the box and turning the crisis into his biggest opportunity!

In the South African market, many people have been hesitant about property in the last 18 months. However there is now real value, rents are rising and interest rates are coming down. South Africa has been slow in reducing interest rates and this can be seen by Australia. Since September 08 they have reduced their interest rates by 30% and it has had a marked affect on the market, with momentum really starting to come back into the market. I believe South Africa is 6 months behind and the expected rate cut in February and March, will begin to stimulate the market like in Australia. The biggest challenge in any market is calling the bottom of the market. I personally believe you can only ever call the bottom in hindsight and that you need to evaluate every opportunity, based on its potential. The second biggest challenge you currently have at the moment is you can find a ‘no brainer’ of an investment and still battle to get finance. It will be a time to get creative! Keep your eye open for some of the first investments opportunities for 2009.

However to start with, get your momentum going; watch this great video to help you achieve the most of your potential in 2009! – click here.

I finish with a saying my mother gave me at the end of last year, “Rather than worry about the storm, learn to dance in the rain!”

Be creative, have a great 2009 and get started!


Scott Picken

CEO, International Property Solutions (IPS)

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