At the height of the real estate boom people bought properties left and right, some in places you would never believe would have any future value; especially rice paddies in rural areas that normally cost $.25-.35 per square meter.
So this one man whom I know was one of those people. Of course, he had a little money to spend to begin with, true to the maxim: ‘To make money you need money.’
He bought lots all over the place in 2005; one of those was a rice paddy of 3 ha near the Vietnamese border. The price he paid was $30,000, so $1/m2; already an inflated price at that time. Now guess what? Yep, he sold it in December – are you sitting down? - for an unbelievable $1.0 million. Who would pay such a ridiculously high price for a rice paddy? It turns out that the area is up for development due to a widening of the road to Vietnam (it is not road number 1) and an upgrading of the border crossing to a major entry/exit point to/from Vietnam. I don’t know who the buyers were but perhaps they want to build a casino on the lot; if not that, then definitely something that will recover the investment in rather short a time, otherwise it wouldn’t make any sense economically.
Now you people out there who always believe that the spoils of the rich were gained in a shady manner, how is that for a profit? I can just hear people say, ‘Sure, he is probably a big shot in the government and/or well-connected.’ This guy just happens to be a private businessman, nothing else; no special political affiliations. The way I see it this is pure capitalism at work, nothing more nothing less.