Price of a Dream
Owning a piece of paradise, a piece of land in Bali where you can spend your holiday season and permanent annual income guarantee plus capital gain increase is a dream of many people; but the price of this dream, like the price of oil, has badly inflated in recent years.
“Own a piece of paradise” is the magic mantra of Bali property business, which enjoy its impressive growth amidst the slow recovery of tourism to regain its dominant position in the island of God. Take a look at the arid Bukit are in South Bali that is transformed from unwanted land to an area with most expensive land price in the island, not to mention at the beaches of Seminyak and Canggu area with rows of villas surrounding the greatly diminishing paddy field. More and more land is converted into villas, hotels and condominium despite the cry of many NGOs on the land ownership in Bali, which Balinese own less land than investors or foreigners; but with skyscraping price offered for a piece of paradise more and more Balinese sell or lease their land.
I will not talk on how expensive the land is or the mind-boggling land ownership policy in Indonesia but rather the diminishing value of paradise-ness of the high-priced land. Let us analyze this case, a couple from US bought a piece of land with rice-field view in Canggu area. They built their nice little villa there with the perfect view of rice fields from their front yard, unfortunately, as the land in Bali is sold as lemonade in the summer, six month later another villa was built right in front of our happy American couple’s villa, transforming the rice field view to backyard-of-new-villa view. The rice field view that creates a sense of paradise was gone with the emergence of surrounding villas. With the rapid property development in Bali the easiest way for our American couple to maintain their rice field view is to own all the surrounding rice fields.
Yes, city planning, area planning, or anything to do with arrangement of the building is a strange concept for Bali’s government, especially in the area with rapid growth such as Seminyak, Canggu, Bukit, etc where so many interests of so many parties involved. With lack of city planning the victims are the buyers of the land, the community and most of all, the environment.
The environment suffers with the disappearance of rice fields, forest, and bush. The high price of the land is not just paid highly by the buyer but also by nature. The price of the dream becomes more and more expensive day by day.