Monday, July 28, 2008

Why might teak be a good investment?

To see why teak might be a good investment have a look here at the Allasso Group website. Whilst they focus on teak plantations in Belize, their report gives a good background. Then have a look at their projections.

Now combine a teak investment with a development land investment in the "hottest real estate market on the face of the planet" (CNBC Europe) and ask yourself what you get?

To see more have a look at our website or just e mail us or give us a call on +353 1 272 4184.

What do the financial magazines say about tropical hardwood investments?

"Timber investors are barking up the right tree" in the July 7, 2006 issue of Moneyweek says:

"The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation predicts world consumption of industrial wood will rise 60% over the next 25 years"

"trees have never heard of the Nasdaq bubble… and they don’t know what a War on Terror is"

"over the past century the price of wood has averaged an annual increase of 6%"

The Economist
"Timber as a growing asset class" in the February 5, 2007 edition of the Economist says:

"Average annual returns on timber . . . have outstripped those from leading global stock indices, property, oil and gold for the past decade."

". . . modern investors are putting money into trees to reap benefits in the nearer term."

"A growing number of individuals, endowments and pension funds are including timber as a 'hard asset' in their portfolios."

"As 'green' awareness rises around the world, timber looks more attractive than ever."

Smart Money Magazine
"Timber!" in the November 2001 issue of Smart Money Magazine notes:

"The track record of early investors - and a slew of recent academic research - indicate that timber is a near perfect asset."

"As trees get larger, their value increases."

" . . . research indicates that real prices for timber have steadily risen for more than 100 years - better performance than any other commodity . . ."

Bloomberg Wealth Manager
"The Growth in Trees, Timber's New Place in the Diversified Portfolio" in the December 2001 / January 2002 issue of the Bloomberg Wealth Manager says:

"Individual investors have begun exploring timber more aggressively as a source of almost assured growth in tumultuous times."

"How can investors be so certain of returns? 'One key factor that drives the investment is biological: trees grow.'"

". . . compared with oil and gold, for example, whose value can be affected by new finds, 'we know where all the world's forests are.'"

"Indeed, as an asset class, timber - a renewable resource with constant product demand - stands out as a remarkably stable investment."

"Clients inclined toward socially responsible investing will find even more to like in timber . . . Forests take greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere as they grow and replenish the earth's supply of oxygen."

"Timber's qualifications as a solid investment are too impressive to dismiss."

And so the question arises if "timber is the near perfect asset" what is tropical hardwood on development land in the "hottest real estate market on the face of the planet" (CNBC Europe)?

To answer that question why not have a look on our website or e mail us or give us a call on +353 1 272 4184

Friday, July 25, 2008

Will recession in the US hurt Costa Rican tourism?

Will recesson hurt Costa Rican tourism? Not according to recent figures.

Costa Rica pages reports:

"When the U.S. economy began showing signs of weakness, many speculated as to whether American tourism to Costa Rica would also begin to decline. However, in news that reassures as much as it delights all that are involved in Costa Rican tourism, statistics show that not only have visits to the country not decreased, but they have actually increased in the past year."

To read the full story just click here

More on Costa Rica

Want to see more about Costa Rica, just click on this youtube link here.

The music is cheesy but the scenery is great, enjoy.

Then have a look at our website and find out how you can invest in an environmentally friendly, ethically responsible investment in Costa Rica and make a great returna.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Can land investment be sexy?

Costa Rica is sexy and sustainable, its official! Not only home to one of the world sexiest beaches (Playa Tamarindo) according to Conde Nast's, Costa Rica recently ranked fifth behind Norway, Sweden and Switzerland in a ranking of environmental excellence. Being one of the top ten nations in The 2008 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) conducted by US universities Yale and Columbia which surveys 149 countries around the world is a great achievement for Costa Rica. Eco-friendly investment is a growing trend and a reason why projects such as the Pacifico do Dos estate, should prove to be a shrewd overseas property move in the years to come.

The pristine paradise of Costa Rica has it all, white beaches, an endless parade of wildlife, fine diving, good food and with low property prices, it has been attracting US baby boomers in search of la pura vida, a relaxed, comfortable, and affordable lifestyle in a beautiful and welcoming country. The migration of US retirees has sparked a boom in second home resort properties and

Irish-based Costa Rica Invest has recently launched the Di Pacifico Dos estate, on the back of the sold out Finca Cobano, whose 34 building lots have been snapped by a range of UK and international investors. Situated in Costa Rica's Mid Pacific region, the estate di Pacifico Dos is located to the north of the Puntarenas province and sits just above Puntarenas city roughly translated as ‘Sandy Point' which overlooks the Gulf of Nicoya. The 'estate di Pacifico Dos concept will offer investors the best of both worlds - a dual functioning real estate investment in an idyllic location, in the country which practically invented ecotourism.Surrounded by islands, a stone throw from the beautiful beaches of the Pacific Ocean and close to unspoilt nature reserves, Di Pacifico Dos is located only 94 km from Costa Rica's new international airport hub, Liberia and 1 hours drive from the capital San José.Finca di Pacifico Dos offers investors the opportunity to purchase building plots in the estate di Pacifico Dos and benefit not only from the increases in land but also the hardwood teak.

Finca di Pacifico Dos is only a few kilometres away from the Pacific Ocean and the building plots vary in size from approximately 1,000 to 10,000 square meters and are planted with 11, 14 or 18 year old Teak, Melina or Pochote trees with either sea views, river views or bordering the Pan American highway.Plot prices start from € 6,45 M2 and the 10,000 square meters plots are ideally suited for re-division into smaller building plots, after the final felling of the trees (in approximately 6 years).

The price of your building plot includes central water source and transfer tax, topographical work, registering in the Land Registry, placement of border markers, supply of electricity to the main entrance, renovation of existing roads and construction of new roads where needed.An investment in estate di Pacifico Dos, gives you ownership of a beautifully located plot of land with good growth potential because the prices of real estate in Costa Rica are considerably lower.

As foreigners are allowed to own land directly, rather than through the bank-trust leases required in some Mexican property deals, you rest assured that no-one is going to expropriate your property, land will be transferred to you by notary deed.For the past decade or so, Costa Rica has been on the "must do" list for travellers who want to experience a guilt-free (but still occasionally luxurious) vacation. It has become home to a growing number of eco-resorts and is widely touted as an ideal early sun destination as the perfect spring getaway.

Costa Rica's enjoys added appeal as a hurricane-free country due its situation north of the equator ensuring your investment remains low risk.Costa Rica has the advantages of an active tourism board and this year surpassed three times the world average in tourism growth, according to a June index released by the World Tourism Organization (WTO). Costa Rica has a reputation as peaceful and environmentally friendly nation and also has the longest tradition of democracy in Latin America. In the last few years, it has been transformed by a collection of hotels and real estate developments aimed at America's affluent baby boomers and now American buyers as well as their European counterparts are being drawn to the cheap prices for oceanfront real estate on previously undeveloped land.

According to La Nacion, the estate di Pacifico Dos is located in one of 3 regions where the real estate prices are showing the greatest increases. In 2007 the value of property in this area increased by 40%!

For more details on estate di Pacifico Dos click here to request a brochure or call +353 1 272 4184 to speak to a project advisor.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why are teak prices rising?

Teak prices are rising because of increased demand (largely from the emerging economies of India and China) and decreased supply (only 3% of the worlds teak production comes from plantation sources with the rest from natural forests and world opinion is thankfully against the continued logging of natural forests.

Mr. H. S. Anantha Padmanabha, produced a very interesting International Teak Market Rerport for a proposed Australian teak plantation in which he mentions:

In India, teak harvesting in natural forests was banned in 1982 and in 1997 the
Supreme Court of India ordered further restrictions on the felling of timber of any kind
in the natural forests of India.

In the early 1980’s the total size of the teak market in India was 7.5 million m3 per
year. All teak logs now consumed in India are now imported. Total teak log imports
into India in the past 12 months were approximately 2.5 million m3, with 60% of total
teak imports coming from countries in West Africa.

Even though India has established significant areas of teak plantations, as a
consequence of native teak logging bans in Asia, the Indian teak market was forced to
find alternative teak supplies. For the past 15 years the Indian teak market has
imported teak logs from plantations grown in African countries, including Nigeria,
Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast and Ghana. It is now widely recognized within the teak
industry that the supply of teak logs from Africa will be totally exhausted in the next 5
years. As a response, the Indian teak market is now importing young plantation teak
logs (ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old) from Central and South America, including
Panama, Costa Rica, Columbia and Brazil.

Thailand banned teak harvesting in natural forests in 1989.

Myanmar (formerly known as Burma)
Myanmar is the only country in the world now supplying teak from natural forests.

Even though Indonesia has large teak plantations, there is a total ban on exporting
teak logs. Teak logs in Indonesia are entirely supplied to domestic industries, such as
furniture manufacturers and is then exported as finished furniture products.

Due to the dramatic decrease in teak supply from natural forests and the increasing
demand for teak timber, the future of teak production can only come from new teak

"Over the last 30 years, teak log prices have increased at an average rate of
8.3% per annum compounded. The basis for the sharp increase is due to
rapidly declining supply and rising demand. Teak log prices in the past 12
months have risen 15% in the premium log categories."

In India and elsewhere, the natural forests of teak alone will not be able to meet the
current and future demand for teak.

Demand for teak in the past 10 years has risen. Supply in the past 10 years has
rapidly declined and is forecasted to decline at an even more rapid rate. It is widely
believed that the supply of teak into India from West Africa (from which 60% of India’s
current imports originate will be completely at an end in 5 years time). In other words,
the supply from West Africa of 1.5 million m3 per annum of teak (60% of 2.5 million
m3 per annum of Indian imports of teak each year) will cease fully in only 5 years time.
Teak prices in the past 15 years have risen at more than 7% per annum compounded.
Teak prices in the past 12 months have risen 15% in the premium log categories.

Illegal felling of teak in West Africa and Indonesia and other countries is on the rise, a
clear indication of rapidly rising prices and rapidly falling supply.

Only 22 years ago (1982), the domestic Indian market consumed more than 7.5
million m3 of teak per annum (3 times more than it does today).

Due to chronic over harvesting around the world, illegal felling and only a small
sustainable teak plantation industry (ie. That occurring in Australia, Brazil and Costa
Rica), that Indian domestic consumption figure has fallen to only 2.5 million m3 per

To download the full report just click here.

Then have a look at our website and have a look at our teak backed development land opportunities.

More information on timber investments

Nuwire Investor published an interesting article on investing in timber and although primarily focussed on USA timber investment it does provide some very relevant information. YOu can see the article here

Once you have had a look at number 3. on their list why not have a look at our website and contact us by e mail, through the website or just give us a call on +353 1 272 4184.

Our investment in Costa Rica combines the security of teak with upside of the development land.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Is there really a recession?

Is there really a recesion? Well the media certainly tells us there is and how should you invest in recessionary times?

Nuwireinvestor has published an article on the "Top 5 Recession Investments" which you can see here

Have a look at number 2! Then have a look at our website here, then contact us, on +353 1 272 4184 or by e mail.

Where can I find out more detail about teak as an investment

The internet is a great source of information and to keep up to date with trends in wolrd teak prices the Tropical Timber Market report is issued free to subscribers. To subscribe just go International Tropical Timber Organization website at: click on publications and then on Market Information Service, fill in your details and you are now subscribed to receive free access to the archive of previous reports and also to receive a copy by e mail every two weeks.

Have a look at our website or and see how commodity backed land investment in the "hottest real estate market on the planet" (CNBC Europe can Grow Your Wealth Naturally.

Alternately just give us a call on +353 1 272 4184 or drop us an e mail

Friday, July 11, 2008

Finca Cobano / Finca Pacifico 1


Regarding the s.a. registration of the 2 Fincas, we recently received a notification from our law office we still have to wait for the signature of the local notary public. We expect to have these documents sent to the Netherlands this month. As soon as we have them in our possession, we will send you the details.

In order to begin the construction of roads, it was necessary to build a bridge over the river. The municipal council informed us that the municipality would build this bridge. After waiting a long period we were notified that due to a lack of funds, this bridge would be built only in December 2008. Therefore, we have decided to build the bridge ourselves and bear the costs. It will be made of culverts with a 1.2-metre cross-section. In the meantime, Masterplan s.a. (under Swiss management) has already begun with the construction. It is now summer and the river has dried up to a small stream. See photos.

A detour road was laid especially for the construction of the bridge.
Swiss Quality: Pipes that will be dug in at the front and back of the bridge, under the road surface for draining rainwater.

Cement bags are standing ready for constructing the dam wall.
As soon as these work activities are completed, the work will continue with road construction on Finca Cobano and di Pacifico 1.

Once the road construction scheme is completed, the price of the parcels on Finca di Pacifico 1 (24 parcels with a sea view on 80 hectares of nature area) will increase by around 40,000 UDS.
The land prices around Cobano are currently increasing very quickly.A great influence on the increasing prices is a large commercial project whcih is planned on the asphalt road, right next to the side road to the Finca.

The Masterplan s.a. engineer on location
Equipment is standing ready for work. Now, in the dry period, the river is a murmuring stream while in the rain season the water level can rise by 1.40 metres in a short time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jos Van Veen

Jos Van Veen the developer of Di Pacifico Dos is now on his 10th development in Costa Rica and has a great track record earning money for his investors with many reinvesting in Jos's subsequent developments.

Jos's development history speaks for itself 4 teak planations - Dos Manos 1, Dos Manos 2, Dos Manos 3, Dos Manos 4. Two vannilla plantations Dos Manos 1 and Dos Manos 2. Two villa site developments Di Pacifico Uno and Finca Cobana. One development land with teak La Palma. Beach Condominiums - Terra Mar (currently under construction) and finally the jewel in the crown Di Pacifico Dos development land with teak.

To see more of some of Jos's previous developments just click here


Finca di Pacifico Dos

The sales price was increased at the end of last year from €5.20 to €5.80 per m2, a price increase of nearly 12% within 6 months. Voorboom Vastgoed, Jos Van Veen the developer's own company will retain a part of the property for project development. A topographer is busy surveying the road scheme and on the 14 January 2008, the widening and improvement of the existing roads began. The pre-sale prices shall finished on that date and as of the 1st of April 2008, the price will rise to €6.45 per m/2. There is currently approximately 40% of this property still for sale.
Some of the maintenance team

Maintenance and thinning

In recent months a team of 46 employees carried out maintenance work on this plantation. From the point of view of forestry, the plantation is in an excellent state. The maintenance costs in 2007 are calculated into your purchase price, but you will have to bear these costs yourself in 2008. We selected a professional forestry company, Mantenimiento Forestales s.a. (translated: Forest Maintenance s.a.), managed by Humberto Camareno. Mantenimiento Forestales s.a. shall shortly send you an invoice for maintenance. Maintenance costs are around 61.00 USD per 1,000 m/2. You are obliged to maintain your parcel, but you are free to choose your maintenance company. However, if a company is hired for one or several parcels, your maintenance costs will ultimately be greater.

Some of the thinned trees

Forest thinning

Just before we bought this property, the Melina parcels were already thinned. Currently, thinning is taking place on the teak parcels of Finca di Pacifico Dos. The Pochote parcels are subjected only to trimming maintenance. The amount of thinning applied is always determined by measuring the trees on the site. On the better grounds, however, thinning could run up to 66% of the original forest of 1,100 trees per hectare. Therefore, on these spots 365 trees per hectare will remain and these are allowed to grow until they are economically ripe for felling.

Cross sections of thinned teak

The trees selected for the thinning process are always the worst - the most crooked or thin trees, or affected by termites (holes in the trunk) or have wind-broken branches. The selection is made by an expert who marks the trees designated for felling with red paint. The number of trees cleared per area is counted, as well as the number of trees that remain. Trimming is also carried out (up to a height of 6 metre).

Loading the containers

This week the first 2 containers were loaded with teak trunks, each container with around 217 trunk sections. Each trunk section is measured according to length and the mid-circumference.
These thin trunks (diameter 40-60 cm) do not have a high monetary value yet: around 2,800 USD per container. There are also a few containers with larger cross-section and these generate approx. 3,800 USD. From this amount it is necessary to deduct the costs of monitoring, selection, felling, trimming, lugging to the loading area and loading to containers. This is 900 – 1,100 USD per container.

A very rough estimate is that we will obtain around 20 containers with a profit of around 38,000 USD. Part of this revenue, the thinning of parcels that are already sold, will be deposited in a bank account that will be opened in the name of an Association of Owners, an entity that we plan to establish. This association shall take care of a division of the surplus revenue among the legal owners.

Notarial transfer and land registration

We regularly receive questions as to why these often take more than a year. As soon as we buy property (Finca), a process of development starts. Often the property already has existing roads, but new ones have to be constructed to provide access to the plots. The first step is clearing the grounds of overgrowth so that topographers can survey the area. A team of two topographers and their assistants are busy for approximately two months properly surveying an area of approximately 400 hectares. The precise surface area of each plot is measured and provided with boundary poles. The scheme for roadwork is also mapped out and altitude measurements are made. Using these altitude measurements, a road construction engineer begins to calculate how many cubic metres of earth moving will be necessary. This has to be reported to the authorities.

Usually three to four months following the submission of data (master plan and earth moving) the green light is given for starting the work activities. Realising a roads scheme for approx. 400 hectares (4 Km x 1 Km) takes about three months. Once this is done, the topographer can take the drawings to the Land Registry office and submit an official request. It takes 2 additional months until each plot is recorded individually in the registry. Afterwards the notary public comes to the Netherlands for the official transfer. Upon returning to Costa Rica, the notary public reports who the new owner of the parcel is. After approx. two months you can log into the Costa Rica Land Registry and see your name at the registration number of your plot. Your waiting period has its financial rewards. By the time all these handling procedures are settled, you are past the parceling-out phase of the development area, including construction and accessibility of roads. By then the value of your parcel has risen by around 40%, disregarding the usual value increase that differs from region to region. A waiting period for the land registration is not intentional, but is due to all the procedures required.

Monday, July 7, 2008

More information on Costa Rica

More on Costa Rica:

Costa Rica is the oldest democracy in Central and South America with the Pacific Ocean to the West and Caribbean to the East.

Costa Rica shares Central America with Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize

It was the first country in the world to constitutionally abolish it’s army and is an American protectorate.

The economy has been growing at 7% pa, with major inward investment via big multinationals such as Hewlett Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Abbott Laboratories, Merck Sharpe and Dome

The population is 4 million, of which 96% are literate – the highest in the Americas, with more teachers than police

5% of the worlds biodiversity can be found in Costa Rica, and NASA described it as having the best climate in the world – with average temperatures of 25-30 degrees

The country is ranked 5th – 2008 Environmental Performance Index with over 25% of Costa Rica declared a protected nature reserve

There is a $1.9 billion pa tourism industry, with many American celebrities choosing Costa Rica for their pad – such as Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lisa Marie Presley.

Growth in Land Prices over last 7 years

Tamarindo: 48%
Located in the North-West of the Pacific Coast, this hotspot for celebrities has lots of stand-alone exotic villas dotted along the coast

Tambor: 79%
South of Tamarindo, but still on the North-West Pacific Coast touching the Gulf of Nicoya, Tambour is probably the second most popular tourist destination in Costa Rica

La Palma: 25%
Located near the East side of the Gulf of Nicoya but slightly inland, this area is very similar to our project, thus more comparable.

Would you like to see more baout our investements? Just have a look at or or drop us an e mail or just give us a call on +353 1 272 4184

Some more information on our investment opportunity

Have you ever said to yourself “I wish I’d invested back then instead of sitting on the fence”?

Already extremely popular in other parts of Europe for a few years, this concept is new to Ireland and the UK but it is already gaining a strong reputation here as being one of the shrewd investments still out there in the current economic climate:

  • A 6-8 year investment – an ideal timeframe for investing in Central America

  • Costa Rica is stable economically and politically

  • The commodity teak is already on your land and 12-14 years old, ensuring the return on your initial investment (even if teak prices don’t go up)

  • The trees are fully managed on your behalf, covering thinning through to harvest at 20 years

  • Teak is currently increasing in price by 8.5% pa

  • The World Resources Institute reported that the world demand for wood could double by 2040 – But only 3% is currently being taken from managed plantations… the rest is logged from the last remaining rainforests.

  • Great exit strategy with huge resell market for tourism development for US/Canadian baby boomers reaching retirement, with the double advantage of currency diversification

  • The plots are zoned for development with a central electricity/water source and individual roads

  • Land in Costa Rica is currently increasing in price by more than 20% pa

  • You own the land you buy as it’s freehold

  • There is no capital gains tax to pay in Costa Rica

  • The location of the plots is ideal, between the Pan-American Highway (main road from Canada to South America) and the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, 110km from the capital San Jose

  • If you prefer to hold out before selling the land, you can plant melina trees in place of the teak for a continued 10 year investment

  • Now consider the figures with the below projection example:

    Invest €10,000
    Net profit after 6 yrs = €44,000
    + €10,000 (initial investment) = €54,000 return

    >30% returns pa

    Figures based on:

    1$ = €1.60
    Increase in teak prices: 7% pa
    Increase in land prices: 20% pa

    As of June 2008:
    1$ = €1.54
    Current increase in teak prices: 8.5% pa
    Land price in this area increased by 40% in 2007

    Would you like to see more baout our investements? Just have a look at or or drop us an e mail or just give us a call on +353 1 272 4184

    Sunday, July 6, 2008


    Welcome to the Costa Rica Invest blog.

    We specialise in environmentaly friendly, ethically responsible, high yield investments and our largest current project is Di Pacifico Dos. A teak plantation in Costa Rica which is zoned for future development.

    Our blog is designed to keep our clients, friends and other interested parties up to date on relevant information on Costa Rica and di Pacifico Dos.

    About Di Pacifico Dos:

    Di Pacifico Dos is located close to the Gulf of Nicoya about 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean, on the Pan American highway. The planation is planted with Teak, Pochote and Melina trees. The teak and Melina will be ready for harvesting in 6-8 years and the Pochote will be ready for harvestnig in 4 years. The 400ha planatation has been divided into 710 lots ranging in size from 1000m2 upwards. Each plot is accessible by road and a central water and electricity source is being installed. Zoned for development our investors have a whole range of plans for their land - the majority plan to harvest the teak and then sell the land onwards, some have plans to develop villas on their plots and sell the villas on, some plan to build a villa for their personal use and one has plans for a major "eco-hotel".

    About Teak

    Teak is a tropical hardwood and is traded as a commodity worldwide. Currently less than 3% of the world's teak comes from plantation sources with the balance coming from jungles. Teak has increased in price at an average of 8.5% per year over the past 10 years and world demand for teak is increasing largely driven by demand from India and China. So supply of teak is falling driven largely by world opinion in regard to our natural jungles whilst demand is increasing and of course this leads to further price increases.

    About Costa Rica

    Costa Rica is the oldest democracy in central and South America. The army was constitutionally abolished 50 years ago and it is an American protectorate. 5% of the world's biodivirsity lives in Costa Rica and NASA describes it as having the best climate in the world. It is politically stable with a growing ecomony. With one of the highest literacy rates in the world it has attracted significant inward investment from many of the world's largest mulitnational companies (Intel, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Proctor and Gambel). Because of the safety and stability of the country combined with its incredible biodiversity, beautiul beaches and accessibility from the USA, large numbers of US and Canadian citizens are purchasing holiday homes in Costa Rica. Property prices in the area of Di Pacifico Dos increased by 40% last year alone.

    To see more about what we do just log on to our website or to