Investing in land in coastal countries
People - Investing
Saturday, 07 July 2007 11:42

In a dutch magazine named Cash I read an article about investing in land in the Netherlands.

Several professional investors were interviewed in this article. One of the investors said that he would only buy land above NAP, which is about one meter below sea level. He expected that this limit will be an important factor in land prices in the Netherlands in the next couple of years.

For someone outside the Netherlands this may not seem to be remarkable. We all know that the sea level is expected to rise due to global warming. Probably the sea level won't rise much more than a meter during our life but there is a chance that it will rise 5-6 meters in just 20 years.

But in the Netherlands most people live in the western part, which is usually about 3-6 meters below sea level. For example I live in a very densely built area about 5 meters below a nearby river, which is probably at sea level. 

Since the higher grounds are already taken, many new houses are still built at even lower land in the western part of the Netherlands. But if the sea level rises with 5-6 meters in just 20 years our politicians will not be react fast enough deciding on a new coastal defense measures. So many people who have bought a house on low grounds could loose their investment.

I think the same applies to land in other low coastal regions: the price of land well below sea level will go down and the land price above sea level will go up in the next couple of years.