Escapeartist would like to introduce its readers to the beautiful country of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Vanuatu is an emerging growth destination, which is now in the process of opening up to the rest of the World. Several factors make Vanuatu an ideal place to visit and invest in a Vanuatu real estate investment. And in our interview with a prominent Vanuatu businessman I think you will see why Escapeartist has selected Vanuatu as one of the best destinations in the world for your retirement, business activities and investments.
We interviewed Richard Butler who has over 35 years of real estate development experience in Australia and New Zealand. Mr. Butler’s first visit to Vanuatu was in February 2008, just prior to the beginning of the current global credit crisis. He was marketing and selling luxury resort and residential developments for $1-3 million for two and three-bedroom luxury apartments on the Queensland coast of Australia and he knew the end was near.
“The result of the these million dollar prices for concrete boxes had placed an enormous price increase of 20 to 25% per annum over 50 to 60 months. It has been said in recent Property Reports that any growth of 4 x 20% is heading for leveling in demand.”
Richard Butler reports; “I could see the beginning of the tightening of credit market and the plateau of property values throughout Australia and New Zealand, which is now confirmed through the media to the general public in Australia. It had all the same signs as the credit crunch of the 1980’s.”
“I decided seek out and identify property developments to market that were going provide a faster recovery and higher return for my clients.”
The two major driving factors that led Richard to Vanuatu were:
1 . The increase in property values in Australia was making the affordability and finance of these property developments difficult to sustain not only for the customer, but the developer as well.
2. The incredible amount of Federal Government and State and local Government red tape that was driving the price of the developments sky high.
Vanuatu is an emerging growth Nation which has gone unnoticed until now. The Republic of Vanuatu, recently passed The Strata Title Act in 2005, which has been a major game changer. Before the act passed you had to be a native of The Republic of Vanuatu to own land in Vanuatu. The Strata Title Act is a very important key that opened up the market for international property investors in Vanuatu. Now foreigners can own land in this beautiful paradise.
Here are three reasons to seriously consider investing in Vanuatu:
1. The introduction of the new Strata Title Act in 2005 was recommended by the World Trade Organisation. The passing of The Strata Title Act is part of the first steps for Vanuatu to open up and increase its’ major income earning industry which is Tourism. In Vanuatu Tourism amounts to 75% of the country’s GDP. The balance is cattle, timber and seafood which cover the remaining 25%.
When Mr. Butler heard about the passing of the Strata Act he and another Director Mr. Keith Waewick made a beeline to Vanuatu to meet with a Solicitor that drafted the act to find out the ‘inside’ details. The Solicitor, Robert Herd is now on the board of advisors for Mr. Butler’s developments. As in any country, it is good to know the right people…who know.
2. Virgin airlines introduced Virgin Blue (cheap flights) to Australia and New Zealand and then opened flights to the Pacific Islands which provided up access and increased tourism to Vanuatu. This opened up the opportunity for inexpensive holidays that Mr. Butler calls ‘Pacific Paradise’. He fell in love with Vanuatu on the first day, as most people do when meeting the natural beauty of the Vanuatu Paradise.
3. The relaxed lifestyle. In 2008 Mr. Butler’s first experience, other than the fantastic staff friendly cabin crew in flight direct from Sydney, was being entertained at Vila Airport by five Vanuatu native men in a string band, using an empty tea chest with pole and a string being plucked as their base. Flowered shirts and head bands and around their necks were flowered leis’ (garlands). He states, “their singing was in perfect harmony and I recognised the song, It was the classic hit ‘Pearly Shells”.
“He was then driven with Robert Herd, The Strata Title Solicitor, to Breakas Resort at Pango Beach, where he was introduced to George Winslett, a male version, of the famous bloody Mary of Tahiti. Mr. Winslett, the developer and owner of Breakas Beachfront Resort. He described the beachfront buildings as ‘upmarket tribal bungalows’, stretched along 1.5 km of beach front.
This beachfront Development has now grown to 49 one-bedroom beachfront Vanuatu bungalows and 17 three-bedroom beach front Bungalows, which show high occupancy and are rented between $270 a night for the one-bedroom fares (local name for the Bungalow), to as high as $1,350 a night for the three-bedroom Bungalows. Upon arrival at Breakas he was immediately ushered past the ‘horizon pool’ and beach front restaurant, down to a one-bedroom beach front fare…. “we settled in and headed to the Bar for a welcome cocktail”.
The rest is history – Please request our Investors Guide to Vanuatu and hear the rest of Mr. Butler’s story and how you can participate in this paradise.