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Best Investment in the Land
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Land Ownership Offers Unmatched Return on Investment in Today’s Economy

November 11, 2008 (KANSAS CITY, MO) - For the millions of Americans who have become unsettled by recent Wall Street losses, identifying solid alternatives for current and future investment has become a popular topic of conversation. The answer is literally right under their feet.  By planting money in land, investors have the opportunity to take advantage of the high yield returns offered by the steady
growth of land values in recent years.

A recent index from United Country Real Estate, the nation’s expert in recreational and rural real estate, reveals that since 2006, general non-urban land values have increased by more than 27 percent.  Based on United Country’s closed land sales data, the national price per acre average increased from $1,691 in 2006 to $2,142 in 2008. When compared to the nearly 35 percent decrease on Wall Street since 2006, land investment has become an even more attractive option when it comes to diversifying the allocation
of investment funds.

The following scenario illustrates this principle. Imagine that in 2006, two people each had $100,000.  Investor No. 1 placed his money in the stock market and Investor No. 2 used his funds to purchase recreational land. Today, on average, Investor No. 1 would have seen his investment decrease to $65,000, while Investor No. 2 would have seen his investment value grow to $127,000.

 “What makes land an even more attractive investment is that unlike Wall Street investments, land
can actually be used and enjoyed for recreational purposes such as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, vacationing or as a source of additional income by purchasing cropland or hunting leases that allows
them to receive cash rents,” said Dan Duffy, chief executive officer of United Country Real Estate.

According to Michael Landreth, president of the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI), “Land is one thing
we won’t be making more of. That’s precisely the reason land has historically been a great long-term investment. Now, with recent land value increases in many parts of the country, land has become a
viable short-term investment as well. The two most active categories of land in the market today
seem to be farm land and recreational properties.”

And it appears that investors are looking at and purchasing more rural properties.  Buyer traffic on the United Country web site, www.UnitedCountry.com, indicates that purchase interest has increased in recent months.  Data through the third quarter of 2008 reveals that the site’s visitor sessions per month were up 13 percent versus third quarter 2007. Additionally, the site’s average session length rose by
11 percent, to an average of 23 minutes, during the same period. According to www.Compete.com, an independent web traffic analytics company, UnitedCountry.com leads the real estate industry in session length, edging out their closest competition in the category by a margin of more than 30 percent. 

“These statistics indicate more than just web traffic,” Duffy said. “Our web site visitors are largely comprised of very knowledgeable and experienced buyers, so seeing a jump in our web statistics is a great indicator that buyers are showing increasing interest in the types of properties listed by our offices and that they recognize this is an excellent time to consider investing in real estate. This growth in web traffic is also showing up in our sales, with United Country’s October sales surpassing the previous two months as well as October 2007 sales figures.”

About United Country

United Country Real Estate is the only national real estate franchise system specializing in properties in and around the small cities and towns of America. Based in Kansas City, Mo., the company has been an innovator in real estate marketing since 1925. United Country supports more than 675 offices nationwide with a unique, comprehensive marketing program that includes one of the leading web sites in the real estate market (www.unitedcountry.com), proprietary real estate catalogs, an extensive buyer database and national advertising of properties to over 90 million homes a week. United Country has been named as a Top 25 Franchise by the Wall Street Journal and among Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500®. In January 2007, the company introduced United Country Auction Services, becoming the nation’s
largest integrated network of traditional real estate agents and real estate auctioneers.

2820 NW Barry Road, Kansas City, MO 64154
816-420-6200  www.unitedcountry.com

Members of the media needing information on United Country or our marketplace, contact
Angela Smith, Public Relations & Social Media Manager
Phone: 816.620.6241 or Email: asmith@unitedcountry.com
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