Foreign investors are interested in purchasing land in Neðri-Dalur, South Iceland, Vísir reports. The land measures 12 squared kilometers (4.6 squared miles) in size and the asking price is ISK 1.2 billion (USD 11.4 million, EUR 9.6 million). The lot is located next to the popular tourist site Geysir in the Haukadalur valley.
“They are mostly looking at the location of the land and that there is hot water,” says realtor Böðvar Sigurbjörnsson, who is representing the landowners through the real estate company Stakfell. The land has some geothermal water that can be utilized and tests indicate there is more underground.
“The investors intend to build up a tourism-related business and the hot water will play a substantial part in that,” adds Böðvar. The land area is large and in addition to geothermal water, contains a cold water spring with salmon and trout, as well as Bjarnafell mountain. Geysir, virtually next door, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
The eight landowners, who are brothers, plan to keep a small strip of land for their own cabins.
Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, chairman of the Progressive Party has requested a meeting of the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee to address the investors’ interest in the area and receive information on how the supervision of land purchases by foreign parties is carried out. Lilja told Vísir that it is important for parliamentarians to get an overview of land acquisition by foreigners in Iceland and analyze the government’s lack of action in this regard. She points to ownership and property usage laws which include safeguards against land acquisition by foreign parties.
In 2011 Huang Nubo, a Chinese businessman, attempted to purchase the farms Grimsstaðir á fjöllum and Grímstunga in Northeast Iceland, an area that covers of 300 square kilometers (118 square miles). The purchase was eventually stopped by the Icelandic authorities. Nubo had told local media of his plans to build a hotel and golf course on the land. British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe purchased the land in December of last year and is said to have no plans of development for the area.