Investing in stone has been, and still is, an excellent investment, especially in London and the South East of the country, where many people buy detached houses without seeing them (especially those buying from abroad). In fact, many people buy in advance, before construction (at that time you usually get 5-10% off) and sell before the house is finished, this is back to back sales, where you can make a profit without actually paying for the property. In recent years, these purchases have far outstripped the stock market and all savings schemes in terms of profitability, and provided both an increase in capital and income (if you rent). A kind of rule that has emerged from observations in past years shows that a house doubles its value every seven years and in some parts of the country every three to four years, without you having to make any specific alterations or improvements. In some areas investors have dramatically increased prices - in the early 2000s two thirds of the houses that were bought in London were bought to invest! By autumn 2004 the market was stable or falling and many small investors were trying to sell, even though the big investors were still buying.

Deciding to invest

A real estate investment must be considered on a medium or long term basis, i.e. a minimum of 5 years and preferably a period of 10 to 25 years. Keep in mind that a property is not always 'as safe as house' and these investments can be risky in the short to medium term - unless you get a good discount or a quick rise in price. When you buy a property you need to get a good discount so that if there is a problem you can sell the house quickly. Also consider income tax if you rent, income tax and capital gains tax if you sell a second home or investment property. There are several types of investment property. Your home is an investment (and should be considered as such in addition to a place to live). It will give you a rent-free home and you may even make a profit by selling it. In the last 10 - 20 years climbing the property ladder, has made tens of thousands of millionaires, just by playing well and winning. Tip: For those who want to live in a house for a fairly long time, buying will be cheaper as well as being an investment! Remember that it is important to keep an eye on the resale potential of a house since you never know what tomorrow will bring. Will it be easy to sell at the time - if it is, it's an excellent investment. If you think you've made a big profit on your home, it may be hard to realize unless you decide to move to a different area or move to a smaller one. Of course, if you buy a property other than for your own use (which is not your main home), you will be in a better position to make a good return on your investment.