Property Crowdfunding Investment or Buy to Let?

As the UK Government sweeps in with more and more tax changes on the buy-to-let sector, property crowdfunding investment becomes an increasingly attractive option.

Jeremy McGivern, founder of Mercury Homesearch, has stated that he thinks that property crowdfunding investment is likely to represent the biggest change within the housing market over the next few years.

However, along with his comments, McGivern issued a strong warning that the rise of property crowdfunding investment could have a ‘catastrophic’ outcome. Whilst the general consensus is that the rise of the property crowdfunding industry is a positive development, in that it democratises property investment, McGivern thinks that allowing a wide range of people to access the previously out-of-reach property market could lead to irresponsible investment, as people fail to understand the risks involved.

Lee Grandin, of peer-to-peer lending platform Lend2Landlord, surprisingly concurred: “Any mechanism such as a P2P platform that engages a funder that is not able to make a sound decision on whether to lend its money is a total disaster.”

He went on to make the point that “…risky investment should be limited by your net worth but Brexit clearly shows you can’t dictate what people should or shouldn’t do so that is unlikely to ever happen.

“There is only ever one message you can ever say and it must be said clearly and concisely: Your capital is at risk; you could lose all your money.”

But are they right about property crowdfunding investment?

Whilst Grandin and McGivern do have a point about the risks of getting into P2P lending or property crowdfunding investment without adequate understanding of the risks involved, we would argue that the vast majority of investors are intelligent and informed individuals.

In order to pass the registration process, at The House Crowd for example, prospective investors must pass a test. They must show they understand what property crowdfunding involves, as well as its risks, before they are allowed to continue. Furthermore, FCA regulation holds property crowdfunding platforms to strict controls that must be legally adhered to. Investors must be ‘clearly and concisely’ (as Grandin puts it) aware of the risks, and we aim to do this at every opportunity.

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Perhaps McGivern and Grandin underestimate investors in property crowdfunding. We certainly see a wide range of benefits to the property crowdfunding and P2P lending model. At a time when the buy-to-let market is increasingly strangled off, at the same time as the number of renters continues to grow, the model provides a much-needed solution.

Of course, being absolutely aware of the risks, and exploring all avenues for investment before deciding on property crowdfunding is vital. Investing money is a serious matter, and not one that most people take lightly. And nor should you.

We continue to be fully in favour of the democratising force of property crowdfunding, and the continued flow of movement it gives the property market. In the North West in particular, increasing levels of property crowdfunding go hand in hand with the wealth of regeneration that is building a bright future for the region. There continues to be a real problem with shortage of affordable homes, and property crowdfunding might just be one of the solutions to that.

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Property News Round-up 25/10/16

Property News All The Latest Updates

 

Hi guys and welcome to our property news round-up, as usual we give you a quick snapshot of the latest goings-on in the property world. This week we start by looking at property rentals will outstrip property sales in 2017 to focusing on planning approvals in the Northern Powerhouse and London. Missed our last blog news round-ups? If so, catch up here.

 

Property Rentals Will Outstrip Property Sales in 2017

Property Money

Forecasts have suggested that 2017 might be the first year in eight decades where property rentals will outstrip property sales.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, mentioned in a recent Guardian article : “As some would-be buyers and sellers sit on their hands, Brexit-induced uncertainty has continued to boost the rental market … September saw record activity, with increasing numbers of lets agreed and tenants choosing to renew their contracts. On current trends 2017 could be the first time since the 1930s that more homes are let than sold.”

A sobering thought – homeownership levels had fallen to their lowest levels in 30 years at the start of 2016, although recent figures from mortgage lenders showed a pick-up in the number of loans taken out for house purchases, the number of homes for sale remains near a record low and prices are rising. Recent events such as Brexit uncertainty as well as a lack of supply has also contributed to the dip.

Being able to get onto the property ladder is becoming even more difficult for first time buyers with prices going up steadily.

However, that’s only the beginning.The 3% stamp duty surcharge that the government introduced back in April has led to a boom in buy-to-let purchase, the ramifications have led to a bigger amount of rental properties available to tenants.

The rental market has grown at such a rapid rate that the property industry needs to start focusing on offering the right kind of property for an array of people from millennials to retirees. Many commentators have mentioned that the industry needs to move away from traditional small portfolio landlords renting out their old home to a more professional approach offering tenants the best value and services available.

 

UK Rents Growing Fastest in Manchester

Manchester Property

Rental rates have risen by 7.1% in the north-west city over the last 12 months, as more investors turn to Manchester in search of the highest yields. (Select Property Group, October 2016)

The Northern Powerhouse city was named last year by HSBC as the city with the highest yields in the country. A recent report from Countrywide outlines that rents in the UK are now rising the fastest in Manchester.

At a national level, the rate of growth in the 12 months to September 2016 was 2.2% (last year it was at 2.8%). However,in Manchester, the rent growth rose by 7.1%, more than any other city in the UK. In addition, it’s also worth noting, of the 20 largest cities in the UK, the five which recorded the largest rental rate rises were in the north and Scotland, including York, Glasgow and Liverpool.

In contrast, the south paints a different picture, for example, London and Cambridge had the highest proportion of landlords cutting monthly rates in the last year.

Both domestic and international investors are turning to Manchester to find a property asset that can deliver a strong and sustainable income.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide (who we mentioned in the previous news item) mentioned that there’s a different type of two speed rental market that’s emerging, with falling stock and growing demand driving rental growth in many northern cities at a higher rate than those in the south.

 

Reasons Why Build-To-Rent is The Future of Rented Living

build to rent

This news item links with the first – in a nutshell, a new sector and product that’s on the horizon and one that syncs very well with a tenant’s lifestyle and eliminates compromise – I’m of course referring to build-to-rent.

So why is build to rent the future of renting? Firstly, build-to-rent has been constructed with today’s end-user in mind. Ideal amenities such as gyms and communal cinema rooms in the same building. Locations in the city centre close to friends and employment hubs are ideal for the likes of millennials.

A key point about build to rent that it creates a community. Having these build-to-rent apartments slap bang in the city attracts people with similar jobs and interests, with friendships and an array of activities, tenants will want to rent for a longer period.

To simply put it, it just makes sense. Tenants want it, the government agrees with the build-to-rent idea, and investors too want a slice of the share too.

Demand for rental accommodation has increased by over 17k per month over the last decade, as more people move away from homeownership and turn to the private rented sector instead. As mentioned in the first news item, with property rentals looking to outstrip property sales next year, build-to-rent is more than likely to become the number one rental product in the UK. It’s therefore an investment opportunity that cannot be ignored.

 

A Brief Look At China’s Passion For Foreign Property

China P2P

Many real-estate agents and property experts in east Asia believe a new wave of investment is just getting under way, as mainland investors develop a taste for international real estate, including postcodes up and down the UK. (The Guardian, September 2016)

When it comes to buying property, Chinese investors look at four main motivations: investment, lifestyle, emigration and education. Many seek a foothold in the UK and hope their children will go on to study at university.

In addition, cities such as London are seen as a secure place to store money that investors want to move out of China, to guard against the devaluation of the Yuan. It’s known that people in mainland China want to get their money out. They therefore use cities such as London as a safe-haven to store their hard earned cash.

However, it’s not just London, investment is now heading north and Chinese investors and hungry to invest in the likes of Manchester and Liverpool.

Manchester for example has had a lot of interest from China when president Xi Jinping visited the city last year to lend his support to George Osborne’s “northern powerhouse” project during his first state visit to the UK.

Since 2014, Chinese investors have been rushing to buy houses in the UK, the high rental yields and stable property prices have been key driving factors.

Also, the UK is very attractive to Chinese property investors because it does not have the high duties that have been introduced in countries such as Canada and Australia for foreign buyers.

Property industry commentators argue that foreign investment from countries such as China is helping to transform urban centres around the globe, they mention that it’s the only way to finance affordable new homes in cities such as London.

They also see foreign investment beneficial for helping to create jobs, improve infrastructure, and in general making the quality of life better.

However, London mayor Sadiq Khan has warned against the capital’s homes being used “as gold bricks for investment”, and has spoken out over how some new developments are given to foreign investors before locals.

Khan mentioned back in May that he sees no point in building homes in the capital if they are bought by investors from the Middle East and Asia.

He stressed that he didn’t want homes being left empty. He emphasized that he doesn’t want London to be the world’s capital for money laundering and wants to give first dibs to people who live in the capital.

 

Northern Powerhouse Outstrips London for Planning Decisions

northern powerhouse

New research shows that local planning authorities in the Northern Powerhouse deliver 22% more planning decisions per resident than those in Greater London.

Research published by the British Property Federation and GL Hearn revealed that 25 boroughs in the Northern Powerhouse made 11 major planning application decisions per 100,000 residents in comparison to nine decisions per 100,000 residents in the Greater London area.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: ‘It is really encouraging to see the North live up to its ‘powerhouse’ moniker, and to be powering ahead with its development pipeline. The development industry has an important part to play in ensuring growth across the country, and it is good to see that there is lots of activity in the North West. (LocalGov, October 2016)

What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen property stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

 

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Buy To Let Obstacles Fail to Deter Investors

There have been a lot of buy to let obstacles this year. Hikes in stamp duty, reductions in tax relief, tightening of mortgage lending criteria, and, of course, Brexit. And yet, landlords have pushed back, undeterred.

Investors Undeterred By Buy To Let Obstacles

Industry figures released last week show that, rather than being put off by these buy to let obstacles, landlords swept back into the market with gusto in September. Connells Survey & Valuation have released figures also showing a strong and successful September, with buy-to-let valuations rising 24% on August’s figures. Rightmove, too, have revealed a 30% jump in buy-to-let enquiries since May.

Another surprising statistic: in the nine months of 2016, to end of September, more has been lent to landlords than over the same period in 2015. Buy-to-let valuations over 2016 are 0.4% up on 2015.

New rental listings, according to analysis by Rightmove, in the third quarter, were 6% higher than in 2015. Anticipated drop-offs in investor activity affecting tenant choices proved to be unfounded.

From London to the North West

Even in the heady London property market, there was a year-on-year increase in rental listings of 15% over Q1-3 of 2016. As such, these high stock levels on the market led to a drop in asking rents in Q3, down 0.7% on Q2, staying below £2,000 a month. Of course, up in the North West where things are weathering the Brexit storm best, during the same period, rents went up 2%.

In the run up to the changes in stamp duty in April, there was an inevitable rush to close on property purchases in the first quarter of the year. As such, there was a significant drop-off come April, though this may well be down to many property purchases being hastened through before April’s changes hit.

Since then, things have really bounced back. One feature of the recovery seems to be a trend for investors knocking sellers down on asking prices to take into account those stamp duty charges.

Planning Pays Off

For those investors who have factored in those tax and policy changes to their financial planning, there are still strong returns on the cards in the property market. Especially when compared to the dismal performance of savings, bonds and equities, the long term ongoing shortage of social housing and a dearth of house building, is making property an increasingly attractive investment option.

Alistair Hargreaves, from John Charcol mortgage brokers, says:

“I can’t see Government rescinding the tax changes they’ve announced and I don’t see the Bank of England making it any easier for lenders. But that said, the flipside is that lenders are having to innovate to get business and there are still lots of competitive options available for landlords.”

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In addition, Mr. Charcol mentioned that despite tighter lending criteria, there are some innovative buy-to-let mortgage options available. Moreover, he recommended that in most cases landlords should consider longer term fixed rates or lifetime variables which remove some of the uncertainty for their finances.

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Government Promises Investment in UK Property Development

Good News as Government Promises Heavy Investment in UK Property Development

The UK Government has recently announced plans to invest billions of pounds into the creation of new residential UK property development.

UK Property Finance, one of the UK’s leading Development Finance firms, is understandably excited by the news:

“With the Treasury itself providing serious financial support for those in the property development sector,” they state. “It seems that the disconcerting issue of the lack of affordable housing across the UK is finally being taken seriously by those in power.”

The investment plan is expected to assist in the creation of 225,000 new homes across the country, with at least 15,000 anticipated to be ready and habitable by 2020. There’ll be, it seems, a £3bn injection to the Home Builders’ fund, with a further £2bn going directly to residential property developments on public land.

Insufficient Funds for UK Property Development?

However, despite this news, there are plenty of voices in the property development sector who don’t believe the figures to be sufficient to overcome the extent of the housing crisis.

“Although the amount of suggested investment is significant,” UK Property Finance goes on to say. “It still seems to fall short.”

Whilst these steps by the Government are, of course, a step in the right direction, the extent of development simply does not match the volume of population expansion. This is particularly the case for affordable housing, as increasing numbers of people are priced out of the property purchase market altogether.

Without sufficient Government backing, some affordable financial backing tailored to the needs of each development is necessary.

Enter Property Crowdfunding!

Property crowdfunding and peer-to-peer secured lending may just be the answer. Allowing investors to build a diverse portfolio of property investments across a range of property types, as well as smaller financial input requirements, the alternative finance sector is promising. A more diverse variety of investors, from high net worth to private individuals can get together to fund development projects that will help towards providing some of that much needed new housing stock.

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Despite numerous setbacks, from Brexit to tightening on mortgage lending, the UK property market seems to be remaining buoyant, with optimistic reports for the future.

The property crowdfunding and peer-to-peer secured lending market is one of the major players making a significant difference in keeping the property market moving in the UK. It’s this kind of innovation, as well as the perseverance in the face of challenging times, that is key to building a successful future for the UK property market, and the economy at large.

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Why Foreign and Domestic Investors Love Manchester

It’s no secret that the Manchester property market is the centre of attention for property investors both here and abroad. In fact, it’s all across the news. Perhaps that’s part of what’s driving this attention: more and more investors are wising up to the possibility of great ROI in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

Money From Abroad Fuels Manchester Property Market

There is no signs that the flood of cash flowing into the Manchester property market, nor the city’s economy at large, is likely to slow any time soon. Manchester is now the largest economic area outside London: £56bn of gross value added. Germany alone is set to spend £200m in the city before the year is out, fuelled in no small part by the drop in the value of the pound against the euro.

Nonetheless, it’s not just Brexit that’s got Germany investing in Manchester. The Amazon distribution hub, a 280,000 square foot are at Manchester City Airport, was purchased for £35m by German investors Hansainvest, for instance.

So, why Manchester? Well, there’s all the rabid regeneration that’s transforming the city in so many ways. But it’s also the state of London’s property market.

Manchester’s Winning Property Prices

Knight Frank have recently released research findings demonstrating that London’s property prices are now so stupendously high, they’re starting to hit an affordability ceiling that threatens to smother the capital’s market altogether. As such, investors are looking elsewhere, and Manchester is where they’re feasting their eyes.

It’s a city that’s experiencing the strongest house price growth of any city in the UK. It’s been voted the most liveable city in the UK by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Scale. Its student population is the largest in the UK, with student accommodating offering excellent ROI.

Student Property in Manchester

Student property is one of the investments tipped to be unshaken by Brexit. Demand for purpose-built units for this demographic are in chronic undersupply, meaning any rental development of this kind will be snapped up without hesitation by student tenants. The King’s Court development on Hyde Road, for example, offers a huge 8% net income guaranteed over five years: no development risk (as it’s already developed), and immediate income up for grabs.

The Manchester Property Market Rules, OK?

We’ve covered the subject of the Manchester property market boom, and corresponding regeneration, almost weekly over the last few months. And believe us, it’s not just because of our vested interest in the city: this is simply news that’s completely dominating the property investment space.

Compounding evidence that Manchester is pretty much the best place to invest in the UK right now is everywhere, with property experts across the board extolling the virtues of the Northern Powerhouse, and its strong potential for excellent returns for those willing to place their money here.

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The Latest P2P News – 12/10/16

P2P News – All The Latest Updates

 

Hi guys and welcome to our October P2P news blog round-up. As usual, we’ll be taking a look at the latest goings-on in the P2P world and today we start our round-up and look at the proposed regulations that peer-to-peer lenders would like to see in place to giving you some of our very own P2P tips! Missed our previous round-ups? If so, catch up here.

Peer-To-Peer Lenders Want Tougher Regulations

P2P News

Peer-to-peer lenders have said there is an “urgent” need for tougher regulation of their own sector to ensure that consumers understand the risks they are exposed to, thus avoiding a future backlash if investments fail to perform. (FT.com, October 2016)

Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA)’s Robert Pettigrew stressed that investors need to realise that peer-to-peer lending products in no shape or form resemble anything equivalent to the guarantees represented by a bank deposit.

The P2PFA mentioned that advertisements from lenders suggesting that peer-to-peer loans were similar to a bank or savings deposit with instant access were “unhelpful”. Eight of the P2PFA members who control a large majority of the UK market are requesting that the regulator sets out stricter guidelines on how loans are marketed to consumers, as well as setting out common standards for declaring bad debts.

Back in February, Lord Adair Turner (who will feature in our third P2P news story) — former chair of the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority — told a journalist that, over the next decade, peer-to-peer loans could be the source of losses that “make the worst bankers look like absolute lending geniuses”.

The P2PFA have admitted that they would welcome the development of new rules to “protect not exclude” retail investors, they claim that peer-to-peer lenders have introduced beneficial competition and choice into the investment and borrowing markets respectively.

There has been this fear by some that P2P is confusing in understanding the differences between the concept and also equity crowdfunding.

However, as mentioned in our previous P2P news round-up, the P2PFA stated that there was no evidence to suggest that consumers are currently underestimating the risks associated with peer-to-peer lending as different platforms have adopted a variety of approaches to ensure a high level of consumer understanding. Top industry lenders recommend that investors should require financial advice if they are unsure about the investing process.

Image source : Investopedia

Chinese P2P: Loans More Than Doubled in September

China P2P

Chinese P2P loans more than doubled to a record high at the end of September, despite the on-going challenges that the Chinese authorities face in regulating the exponentially growing sector.According to the official Xinhua news agency, P2P loans surged 153.5 percent to 956 billion yuan ($143 billion).

What’s particularly interesting from the data is that more than a month after China’s banking regulator used aggressive measures to restrain the P2P sector, warning that almost half of the 4,000-odd online lending platforms were seen as problematic.

So how has The Red Dragon been able to sustain P2P growth during problematic times? Many people moving from rural areas have a difficult time getting the loans they need because there is perception that they are not credit-worthy, because of this, there has been a surge in demand for P2P lending products and services. The government has taken steps to clean up the industry after a series of scandals (such as the Ezubao scandal which springs to mind).

 

Lord Turner Changes His Tune on P2P Lending

lord turner p2p

As briefly mentioned in the first story, one of the industry’s most well-known critics of peer-to-peer lending, Lord Adair Turner, has changed of his tune, he is now suggesting that the sector could potentially prevent a future credit crunch.

During a recent speech, Lord Turner was complimentary of the industry, he even suggested that online peer-to-peer lenders could perform credit underwriting.

In addition, he predicts that P2P lending could even act as a “spare tyre to the credit system, making credit crunches less likely.”

In contrast, he still stood by his comments that he made back in February about P2P causing losses, but understood that this loss would only make up a small part of the sector.

Image source : Business Insider

 

P2PFA Releases Major Research on Economics of P2P Lending

p2p research

The P2PFA has released a commissioned study on the economics of the peer to peer lending market in the UK. The independent assessment, provided by the economic consulting firm of Oxera, analysed the risks, costs and benefits of peer-to-peer lending and provided an objective account of how P2P business models work. (Crowdfund Insider, October 2016)

The research primarily focused on the eight-member platforms of the P2PFA – which are known for their high standards of transparency and operation – the P2PFA members comprise over seventy-five per cent of the UK market.

Oxera’s Reinder van Dijk, sees P2P lending as a “real innovation” bringing benefits to both borrowers and investors.

Some key takeaways from the research was that P2P lending has created additional competition and choice in the market for loans and investment, in addition, it provides alternatives for retail investors, opening up access to risk-and-return from an asset class of consumer and business loans with net returns of between 4%-8%.

Moreover, P2P lending does not create systemic risk, and platforms are well-placed to weather a downturn in the credit cycle – borrower defaults would need to increase at least threefold to reduce average interest rates to investors below zero.

It was also revealed that the majority of investors have a good understanding of the associated risks involved.

You can read the full report below.

UK P2PFA 2016.09.30 – Oxera Report – The Economics of P2P Lending by CrowdfundInsider on Scribd

 

Basic P2P Tips

p2p tips

To end this month’s round-up, we thought we would share some basic P2P tips to help you on your way to getting started with peer to peer investments.

Our first P2P tip of the day is to diversify – just like with a stock market portfolio diversifying is key, with P2P lending, you should further diversify by spreading investments across multiple platforms. End of the day, the more you diversify, the less likely you’ll be to lose money on your investment.

Our second tip is to do your research. As Francis Bacon once said knowledge is power. Read the reviews on each platform you consider before getting involved. In addition, ask fellow investors of their experiences. It’s worth noting that not all lending platforms are the same, so make sure you’ve researched how they conduct their business and study their procedures for screening borrowers, as well as learning how they deal with late payments and defaults.

Finally, make sure you re-invest! The last thing you want is to have a static investment, DO take advantage of the compounding yields to be gained by continual reinvestment of returns into new loans.

Looking for more tips? It’s a bit of luck we’re a generous bunch at The House Crowd, view our 7 Top Tips for Investing in P2P Lending here.

 

What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen P2P stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

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Investing in Wilmslow

The town of Wilmslow is situated within the prestigious Golden Triangle of Cheshire towns and villages. Along with Prestbury, Alderley Edge, Hale, Altrincham and Bowdon, properties in Wilmslow are highly sought after, and some of the highest priced in the UK, outside of London.

Other than being a favourite of footballers and celebrities, there are many other factors that make Wilmslow a prime property hotspot. The main factor is its ideal location, but the benefits of living in Wilmslow are numerous.

Wilmslow Transport Network

Wilmslow is situated just three miles from Manchester Airport, and ten miles south of Manchester city centre. This makes it an excellent location for commuters to the city, and for those working at the airport, which is currently undergoing massive regeneration, creating many new jobs.

Of course, Wilmslow’s closeness to Manchester Airport is also attractive to those who travel internationally for work and pleasure.

Transport will play a major role to anybody considering Wilmslow to set up home. Most commuters into the city rely on public transport, particularly rail services. Wilmslow railway station is situated 12 miles south of Manchester Piccadilly station, on the Crewe to Manchester line, as little as 15 minutes away.

Manchester airport, too, is just minutes away by train. Bus routes are well served for easy access to surrounding towns and villages, however there is little point taking the bus into the city when the rail service is so quick.

Its proximity to the vibrant city of Manchester is a major draw, but Wilmslow is also set within stunning English countryside, offering residents the best of both worlds: combined city and country life.

Countryside Living in Wilmslow

There are beautiful countryside walks to be enjoyed all along the River Bollin, running from the centre of Wilmslow itself to Twinnies Bridge. There’s the chance to wander through picturesque parkland, footpaths and woodland trails, home to a profusion of rare flora and fauna.

Wilmslow is also home to a wonderful Artisan Market, selling local and ethically-sourced produce. This runs on every third Saturday of the month in the heart of town.

Education in Wilmslow

Wilmslow is well-served in terms of schools, both at primary and secondary level. The private sector, in particular, thrives in the area, which is little surprise given the affluence of the area. Nonetheless, the state sector is extremely well catered for, with many schools gaining ‘Very Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED reports.

Wilmslow Healthcare

For healthcare, there’s the Wilmslow Health Centre as the local GP practice, which also serves nearby Handforth, as well as Alderley Edge and Prestbury. Those looking for private medical treatment look to 52 Alderley Road, a modern private hospital right in the main road out of town.

Wilmslow Rental Market

Data gathered in July 2016 finds that a one-bedroom property in Wilmslow rents for an average of £929 a month, whilst two beds average £1,072.

Wilmslow Rental Market (July 2016) | The House Crowd

Rental properties appeal strongly to the young professional market, those mainly between 26 and 34, often known as Generation Rent. These tenants look for high quality, contemporary apartments within walking distance of Wilmslow town proper, as well as that all-important railway station.

Who Buys In Wilmslow?

Other than the high end of the market, where houses sell for often in excess of £10,000,000, Wilmslow is also popular with young professionals and families. The most highly sought-after commodity in Wilmslow is the three bed semi, with many going for well over the asking price.

Wilmslow Property Market (July 2016) | The House Crowd

However, with increasing employment opportunities in Wilmslow, the town is now attracting a steady stream of young professionals, both single adults and couples, who are drawn to the town, not just for all the above reasons, but also to work with some of the town’s desirable employers.

For those from this demographic wishing to buy, the typical price for two bed apartments is generally around the £250,000 mark.

Employment in Wilmslow

Alderley Edge BioHub

One of the biggest employers currently emerging in Wilmslow is the BioHub at Alderley Park. The hub, created by the BioCity Group, exists to support the growth of successful life science companies. 86,000sq ft of state-of-the-art, world-class labs and commercial office space, filled with emerging pharmaceutical, biotech and life science companies is, of course, a major space for employment of professionals, not just from the sciences, but also office and support staff, Directors, and so on.

Handforth Dean Business Park and Retail Park

Adjacent to the A34 (Wilmslow Road), Handforth Dean is one of the newest office developments in South Manchester. Just across from the Business Park is the highly anticipated Handforth Dean Retail Park, which is on course to open its doors imminently. As well as providing leisure and shopping facilities that local residents are pretty excited about, the shopping centre will also, of course, create a swathe of new jobs.

Imperium Games

Just off Church Street is the international games development studio, Cloud Imperium. Employing a range of professionals in different roles: animation, art, audio, design, engineering, marketing, production, QA, support and UI, it’s a very exciting place for young professionals to work.

TT Games

Another gaming company, TT Games is situated in Emerson Court on the Alderley Road. Its titles are principally for younger gamers, and feature a lot of the Lego brand games. Again, there are many opportunities for digital artists, animators and programmers here at this high profile, BAFTA-winning company.

Venturi

An award-winning IT recruitment specialist, Venturi is another high profile employer in Wilmslow, on both sides. Recruiting IT specialists to lucrative roles in the local area, as well as within its in-house staff, Venturi is another string to the Wilmslow employment opportunities bow.


As the influx of residents into Manchester and Cheshire continues to grow, as a result of vast regeneration across the Northern Powerhouse, we expect to see demand grow even higher across the region.

Whether you’re planning to invest in Wilmslow’s rental sector, or as a development project, it’s absolutely a seller’s market in Wilmslow right now. Having a property in the town is a pretty exciting investment at the moment: it’s a great time to invest in Wilmslow.


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The Latest Crowdfunding News – 6/10/16

The Latest Crowdfunding News

 

Hi guys and welcome to another crowdfunding news edition, as usual, we will be travelling around the UK and around the globe in order to give you a snapshot of the latest goings-on in the crowdfunding world. Today we start our round-up and focus on The FCA and Cambridge University partnership, both have teamed up to review the current state of alternative finance, to ending our round-up in China. Missed our previous blog round-ups? If so, catch up here.

 

FCA & Cambridge University Team Up to Review UK Alternative Finance

hands

The Financial Conduct Authority (The FCA) and the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) have teamed up to assist in the review of the UK alternative finance industry. The joint project will inform the FCA’s ongoing post-implementation review of crowdfunding regulation which is currently in process.

There’s a consensus that the UK is a global leader when it comes to alternative finance regulation.

Moreover, The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance is a global leader in research on disruptive finance. The pair will be working on a program of research that will identify any changes in the nature of the industry,clients’ expectations, plus its overall place in the financial services landscape.

The unique partnership will be primarily looking at what the crowdfunding investor population really looks like and how it is evolving, another research area that they will be investigating is how investors on the platforms understand the risks involved, as well as how they use the information provided to them by fundraisers. In addition, their research will look at the types of investments crowdfunding platforms are competing with for investors’ money, plus how these platforms and investors share the burden of due diligence and whether an expectation gap exists between the two.

 

Santander UK Strikes a Partnership With an Alternative Finance Company

Santander

Santander UK has struck a partnership with an alternative finance company to fund social enterprises in a deal that marks the first tie-up between a large British high-street bank and a crowdfunding site. (FT.com,October 2016)

The banking giant is joining forces with Crowdfunder to provide £200,000 to community projects, charities and enterprises that are focused on social change across the country.

The bank will donate half the funding target of a project once it raises 50 per cent from the public online.

This headline has gained attention because the partnership further closes the gap between mainstream and alternative finance, it also paves the way for closer collaboration between a well known high-street lender and the crowdfunding sector.

Back 2014, Santander UK paired up with Funding Circle referred small business customers looking for loans to the P2P lender when the bank was unable to serve them.

However, the deal with Crowdfunder is different because equity crowdfunding involves raising money from the public who each gain a share in the company.

Managing director of Santander Business Banking, Sue Douthwaite, told the FT : “Our purpose is to help people and businesses prosper and we recognise the important role social enterprises and charities play in helping communities to thrive.

“With the power of the crowd, our £200,000 Changemaker Fund will help bring great ideas to life and enable social enterprises and community ventures to grow.”

Image source : FT.com

Africa : Has Crowdfunding Potential but Regulatory Laws need to Catch Up

Africa Crowdfunding

Last year crowdfunding platforms in Africa raised $32.3 million for various projects, data from the Afrikstart Crowdfunding in Africa report reveals. However, that figure could be much higher over the coming years if governments across the continent developed crowdfunding regulations.

As Nigerian journalist Yomi Kazeem mentions in his article for QZ.com, despite its rising popularity, the most common limitation of crowdfunding across most African countries, is a lack of legal and regulatory framework.

The Afrikstart Crowdfunding in Africa report states : “The absence of regulation limits the expansion of equity-based or debt-based crowdfunding platforms in Africa.”

Therefore, having a lack of regulation in place is likely to deter investors from using online platforms as there is no investor protection in place.

However, despite having regulation limitations, with cost of access to internet dropping in parts of Africa and smartphone penetration deepening, on the plus side, more Africans are taking advantage of crowdfunding platforms to finance projects ranging from start-ups to social causes.

South Africa comes out on top when it comes to crowdfunding, The Rainbow Nation’s platforms have raised $30.8 million, it’s worth noting that $32.3 million was raised by crowdfunding platforms from all over Africa, so it just goes to show how well South Africa is championing the concept.

The country’s dominance in crowdfunding on the continent is not accidental. According to a report, the popularity of crowdfunding in South Africa is down to the country’s “sophisticated business market, a robust and reliable regulatory credit system and supervision.”

Although not 100% perfect, other African countries can learn a lot from South Africa and adopt a more robust crowdfunding strategy.

 

Restaurant Chain “M” Secures £1.2M Just Hours After Seedrs Campaign Debut

M Crowdfunding

Just hours after restaurant chain M launched its equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, the London-based company has successfully secured £1.2 million out of its £1.3 million funding goal. (Crowdfund Insider, October 2016)

Since its launch back in 2014, the chain has received numerous awards such as : Best Use of Technology The Cateys 2016, Best Young Chef UK & Ireland 2016, San Pellegrino Awards, Best for Steak and Seafood, and many more.

For those that invested in the campaign, starting with the investors that put £10k into the campaign, they will receive 25% discount at M until January 2019, a copy of Executive Chef Michael Reid’s M: a 24- Hour Cookbook, free membership of M DEN, our luxury private members lounge plus, 15% off online wine purchases.

The investors that put in between £1,000 – £9,999 will receive a 15% discount at M until January 2019, a copy of Executive Chef Michael Reid’s M: a 24- Hour Cookbook and free membership of M DEN,  their luxury private members lounge.

Lastly, those who invested between £200- £999 get 0% discount at M until January 2019 and a copy of Executive Chef Michael Reid’s M: a 24- Hour Cookbook.

You can read more about the crowdfunding campaign here.

Image source : Crowdfund Insider

Crowdfunding The Great Wall of China

great wall of china crowdfunding

Heritage officials have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for restoration work on the Great Wall of China.

China Radio International has reported that more than 16,000 people have donated online since the campaign started at the end of August, raising almost 300,000 yuan ($45,000; £34,000) so far (stats taken from last month).

Dong Yaohui, who’s in charge of the fundraising effort, mentioned on the BBC website : “By pooling the contribution of every single individual, however small it is, we will be able to form a great wall to protect the Great Wall.”

The funds made will go towards restoring the Xifengkou section, which runs through a reservoir, and all of the project spending will be made public.

 

What Are Your Thoughts?

 

Which of our chosen crowdfunding stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it.

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4 Reasons To Consider Real Estate Investment

New-Build and Off-Plan property investment consultants, YPC Group, have revealed why they think Real Estate investment beats all other forms of investment. In an article for Opp Today, New-Build Specialist David Lines explains why he believes that no other option can rival Real Estate investment.

“When I first started investing in property,” Lines says. “I did so for a number of reasons. These included the fact that property investment is easier to understand.”

However, this was not the only reason Lines gave for his preference for Real Estate investment.

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4 Reasons To Consider Real Estate Investment

  1. Control

When investing in the stock market, Lines says that it felt as though his investment was always in somebody else’s hands. But with Real Estate investment, there is much more control.

Even when handing property management over to a specialist company, Lines says that property investment allowed him to be more in control of the fate of his investment.

  1. Rental Income Dividends

Real Estate investment, Lines says, generates a much higher income than investment in stocks, bonds and cash accounts. He states that his gross rental yields average between 5% and 7%, which is three times the dividend yield to be expected from UK stocks.

  1. Capital Gains

With a global undersupply of homes, property is always in demand. As such, even in financial crises, like the one in the late 2000s, the property market bounces back quickly.

Real Estate investment, Lines states, has “given me a capital gain over the last 20 years that stock market investors can only dream about”.

  1. Gearing

With stock market or government bonds, if you invest £20,000 and the market rises by 10%, you make £2,000.

With Real Estate investment, on the other hand, if you take that £20,000 and use it as a deposit, borrow £80,000 to buy a £100,000 property, a 10% market rise will give you £10,000… a 50% return.


Well, we already know how lucrative Real Estate investment can be. Obviously, as we always say, investments of any kind are never without risk, and Real Estate investment is no different. However, as David Lines and YPC Group has stated, there are some excellent benefits to be gained when you consider this form of investment portfolio.

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The Future of Property Demand in the UK

Sheree Foy, founder of Source Harrogate, has told the Yorkshire Post her predictions for the future of property demand in the UK.

Firstly, she dismissed ideas that Brexit will have a long term effect. On the supply side, she says, not a great deal will change. Demand, however, may be affected. Growth forecasts show reductions over the next two years, and there are rumours amongst financial analysts of a 50-50 chance of recession.

Along with base rate reductions by the Bank of England to a record low of 0.25%, cheaper mortgage rates, and the prospect of further interest rate plummets, property demand may be a bigger issue.

But Foy is less interested in these matters, looking to the longer term.

So what are the big issues around property demand in coming decades?


Property Demand by Demographics

Over the next ten years, we will see a significant rise in the over 65 age group, combined with a dramatic rise in over 85s. One in five people in the UK right now will live to see their 100th birthday, according to the Department of Work and Pensions.

From this, Foy predicts a rise in property demand for bungalows, and other homes suitable for later life living. Foy labels these properties as “rare asset[s] with a guaranteed increase in demand” – and notes that those who plan ahead with their investments to meet this upcoming property demand are set to reap rewards.

Homes with smaller gardens, close to towns, with adapted kitchens and bathrooms, are all winners.

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Property Demand by Location

Over the last ten years, farming has become increasingly more automated, leading to an inward flow to towns, which are more attractive than ever.

On the other hand, public transport is becoming less available, with journey times taking longer and longer. Without a drastic overhaul of the public transport network, property demand in cities and towns could continue to rise.

Nonetheless, Foy is banking on a return to the country facilitated by technology. Better broadband connections and speeds are making home working an increasingly available option for many, whilst the predicted adoption of driverless cars in coming years will also relieve much of the strain of commuting. With this eventuality on the horizon, country living could equally be set to rise in popularity.

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Property Demand By Energy

As we move further away from dependence on huge power stations in favour of multiple source and sustainable energy sources, EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) are set to become crucially important to the desirability of a property.

More locally generated power, from solar powers to wind turbines, are growing in use in domestic settings. Homes with adverse EPCs, Foy states, just aren’t selling like they used to.

To increase the desirability of your property, Foy recommends staying on top of energy efficiency in the home. Replace old boilers, insulate walls and roof spaces, double/triple glaze those windows, and look into home power generation options.

 


Planning ahead for future property demand is a key factor to take into account when investing in property. Choose your weapons wisely, and build a portfolio that will stand the test of time.