HMOs: Targeting Young Professionals in Shared Accommodation

Specialist commercial lender, Shawbrook Bank, has released a report highlighting HMO Investment Growth as a result of the increasing popularity of shared accommodation.

Young professionals, as you may already be aware, are focusing more on the rental sector. Of course, this is partially down to high house prices. However, the report notes that this demographic are sticking to the rental sector, and shared accommodation in particular, due to the capacity for higher levels of disposable income.

A further survey undertaken by Spareroom.co.uk, which studied 10,000 tenants living in shared accommodation, found over 70% of participants to be under the age of 30, with over 50% identifying as ‘single’.

The combined factors of high house prices and desirability of higher disposable income is compounded by the importance of social life to this group. The Millennial generation is one where friends and fun are key to life satisfaction. It’s no wonder then that living with a group of friends is the accommodation choice for young professionals and recent graduates.

HMO Investment Growth Fuels Landlord Interest

From the property investor’s point of view, HMOs, therefore, are becoming an increasingly popular choice of investment. Compared to other buy-to-let investments, HMOs yield an average of 10% per annum. This compares favourably compared with the 6-7% rental yield to be expected from standard buy-to-lets and blocks of flats on a single freehold title.

With HMO Investment Growth fast coming under the radar of landlords, competition is stiff. As such, investors seeking to cash in on these high rental yields are increasingly finding ways to set their property apart from the rest.

Higher spec HMO properties are springing up, particularly in the popular urban centres favoured by shared accommodation-loving young professionals. Included wifi, flat screen TVs in communal areas of the property, high quality fixtures and fittings, and other features perceived as appealing to their desired tenants, are outlays investors are prepared to make in order to reel in those 10% yields.

Shawbrook’s report concludes with these words:

“Demand for this asset class is on a consistent upward trend… with the supply/demand challenges across the UK housing landscape, and the resulting importance of the Private Rented Sector, HMO property is and will remain an essential and affordable source”.

That being said, local authorities are quickly catching on. Licensing schemes for HMOs are being considered and implemented in some areas, which will limit the number of such properties available in particular districts. As such, anyone considering HMO investment will need to look into this before deciding on their purchase.

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10 Key Facts About Property Crowdfunding and P2P Lending

Whether you’re a seasoned investor, or are just getting started in the world of property investment, property crowdfunding should already be on your radar. Allowing yourself the opportunity to build a diverse portfolio of properties with a significantly lower outlay (not to mention a lot less work!) is shaping up to be the investor’s model of choice.

The buy-to-let market seems to be on the rise, particularly in cities like Manchester where rental yields are the highest in the country. However, becoming the landlord of a buy-to-let property comes with a range of challenges that you might not fancy. From dealing with tenants, who can sometimes be problematic, to maintaining the property and dealing with management company fees.

That’s probably the main reason that aspiring investors are turning to crowdfunding and P2P lending as a way to get on the property ladder. You can create a diversified portfolio and cash in on potentially lucrative returns for less than the cost of investing in whole properties, and without the additional costs associated with it.

If you’re new to crowdfunding, then you might have some questions. No problem! At The House Crowd, we’re always here to keep you in the loop. So, with that in mind, we’ve put together ten key facts about the world of property crowdfunding and P2P lending in Real Estate! You can thank us later.


  1. In 2015, Real Estate and Housing was the leading sector in the alternative finance market.
  1. Equity and debt-based funding for Real Estate Alternative Finance amounted to nearly £700 million in 2015. That far surpassed any other industry.
  1. Equity crowdfunding in property investment means that pooled investment from a number of individuals comes together to fund the purchase of a property development.

A management company then purchases the property, once the full amount has been raised, and each of those who have invested receives a proportion of rental income corresponding to the value of their investment.

  1. Over 600 developments in both commercial and residential property were financed through P2P real estate lending last year.
  1. At present, it’s not possible to use P2P real estate lending to finance your own personal residential mortgage.
  1. The House Crowd was formed in 2012, and was the first property crowdfunding investment company in the UK.
  1. By using the new Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA), any returns you receive from your crowdfunding or P2P lending will be tax-free, up to the amount of £15,240 (at time of writing).
  1. The Government are totally behind the Real Estate Alternative Finance sector. Tax incentives, such as the EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) and SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme), are all part of Government backing that’s helping the industry to grow.
  1. The IFISA is a real winner for the Real Estate Alternative Finance industry. P2P Real Estate lending platforms expect over 50% in transactional growth this year, as a result of the IFISA’s launch in April 2016, and over 30% for the property crowdfunding sector.
  1. Whilst there is often a lack of support for investors in the case of a property crowdfunding platform going bust (this form of investment is not covered by the FSCS), at The House Crowd you’d still continue to own your proportion of the property, and would get together with the other investors to decide what to do. You’d collectively decide to either sell the property, or get someone else to manage it.

Also, if you want to exit from your investment term early, The House Crowd will help you find a buyer for your shares (in which case, you’ll get back what you invested, plus your dividend payment), or you are free to find your own buyer (and make a private arrangement regarding the financials).


These are some of the key aspects of the property crowdfunding and P2P alternative finance market for Real Estate. These should give you some idea of what the sector looks like, and help you decide whether this form of investment is right for you. Of course, as with any investment, you’ll have to take a good look at your risk tolerance, as there are risks involved.

If you want to learn more about the sector within which The House Crowd works, take a look at our in-depth report into the industry here.

The Latest Crowdfunding News – 2/6/16

The Latest Crowdfunding News

 

Hi guys and welcome to our first crowdfunding blog post of the month. As usual, we will be travelling around the world for the latest crowdfunding updates. Our journey starts in the capital and we take a look at digital challenger bank Tandem who smashed their crowdfunding target in minutes to ending our journey in the Åland Islands. Missed our last crowdfunding updates? If so, catch up here.

 

Tandem Smashes Crowdfunding Target In Minutes

Crowdfunding News Tandem

Digital challenger bankTandem smashed its crowdfunding target in minutes. The London based company raised £1m in just 20 minutes via crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

Due to the high demand from investors to get involved with this London Fintech company, Seedrs experienced a glitch on their site. Another digital challenger bank, Mondo experienced something similar when it raised £1 million in just 96 seconds!

Tandem revealed ahead of their crowdfunding campaign that it has so far raised £22m from high profile investors such as eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and several Silicon Valley venture capital firms.

The surge in investor interest in challenger banks just goes to show how people still have a distrust of high street banks and are seeking an alternative. A fintech revolution could be upon us.

The EU Referendum & The Property Market: What We (Don’t) Know

It seems that everywhere you turn at the moment, someone is talking about the EU referendum. Feelings are running high on both sides, and yet it feels like there’s very little in the way of straight-up, unspun facts.

We’ve set out on a quest to try and pin down some objective answers. After all, there’s an awful lot of discussion of how a potential exit from Europe will affect the property market. So, we thought it only right that we should try and clear things up for you guys.

However, with our crystal ball sadly out of order, we’re sorry to say that we’re none the wiser. Turns out, no one really knows for sure what will happen if we leave Europe, nor even how things are likely to go if we stay. That’s not to say a little guesswork couldn’t be beneficial… Frazer has offered a ‘Referendum Martini’ to the person with the most accurate prediction when we review the impact of the referendum in twelve months’ time.

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So, how do you like yours? Shaken, not stirred? On the rocks? We’re afraid straight-up seems to be off the menu right now.

A poll back in November by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner identified Founder of MoneySavingExpert, Martin Lewis, as the most trusted voice in the EU debate. So, let’s see what he has to say.

Property News Round-up 8/6/16

Property News All The Latest Updates

 

Hi guys and welcome to another property news round-up this week we start off by focusing on the EU referendum and look at whether house prices will go down if we have a Brexit vote. We end our round-up in France for the Euros and take a look at the winners and losers of the tournament if it was based on property. Missed our last property news round-up? If so, catch up here.

 

Will Property Prices Go Down If There’s Brexit?

Property News Brexit

With less than three weeks to go until we cast our votes at our local polling stations on whether we should leave or stay in the European Union, one question that stands out in the property industry is whether property prices will go down if we leave.

So will it? Well, not exactly. Recent stats from National Statistics indicate that house prices are still rising fast. They increased at a rate of 9 per cent a year in the year to March 2016.Prices are predicted to increase by roughly a further 10 per cent by the end of 2018.

In addition the treasury have mentioned that the Brexit would bring about an increase in the general cost of borrowing across the economy. This, in turn, would crush demand for housing and lead to fewer transactions. (The Independent, June 2016). This would therefore have a negative effect on price growth. Some analysts have even said that leaving the EU would also have a negative effect on foreign investment – this causes problems for the top end of property investments in London and the ramifications would lead to reduced investments.

But we all want cheaper homes right? Some have argued that we should welcome lower prices because that will help make homes more affordable, especially for first time buyers. Pro-Brexit Tory Lead of the House of CommonsChris Grayling, has tried to expand on this topic, and mentioned that staying in Europe will make it even harder for young people to buy a house due to immigration from the Continent which, he claims, is driving up domestic demand for housing (as mentioned in a recent article by The Independent).

YO! Homes Launch Luxury Flats in Manchester

Exciting news has broken this week for the Manchester property market. Simon Woodroffe, founder of the YO! Company behind popular sushi chain, YO! Sushi, has announced plans to launch a 24 apartment block of space-saving luxury flats in Manchester, in the up-and-coming New Islington area.

These innovative new apartments are designed with urban-living in mind, and are likely to prove a real hit with young professionals looking for an affordable purchase that meets all their needs. And if one of these needs is futuristic, space-saving home that’s bound to impress, then a YO! Home is sure to do that!

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Working in collaboration with Glenn Howells Architects and SIG Building Systems, the YO! Homes being created in New Islington feature some seriously innovative ideas.

Within a space no larger than a one-bedroom flat, a YO! Home squeezes in enough features to fill a two-bedroom house. Sounds impossible, right?

Well, not when you learn how they do it!

According to documents submitted with the planning application, “The design centres upon a kit of moving parts, which draw on the mechanics of stage scenery, transforming a small space into a much larger home. The use of multipurpose furniture, cleverly crafted moving elements and a carefully considered design of space helps create a flexible home that transforms the way we live.”

Supply and Demand in the Manchester Property Market

Home.co.uk reports that the number of homes for sale in Manchester has fallen by 70% since 2008.

In January 2008, there were a total of 13,334 homes on the Manchester property market, and yet latest figures from June 2016 are just 3,960. Two bedroom properties, in particular, have decreased 75% from 5,522 to 1,363.

The figures in Manchester echo the national drop in supply, with a 51% fall in properties on the market in England and Wales over the last eight years, down from 855,585 in April 2008 to 415,038 in April 2016.

So what does this mean for investors?

Well, for those looking to scoop a property investment in Manchester, it’s best news for the buy-to-let sector. As the city continues to demonstrate a shortage of supply, its popularity for property investment is steadily increasing.

What is FCA Regulation and Why is it Important in Alternative Finance?

A question put to us most days is whether The House Crowd is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority?

The short answer is yes…

…but it is important to understand why this matters so much.

If you want to learn more you can refer to the exact wording dealing with our permissions in the footer of our website or the emails you receive from us. Or, you know, just read them below:

In respect of Equity Investments, The House Crowd Limited (FRN 711355) is an appointed representative of Prosper Capital LLP (FRN 453007) (“Prosper”). Prosper is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Neither the House Crowd Limited, Prosper nor any of their affiliates or group companies provides any advice or recommendations in relation to this document.  If you have any doubt about the suitability of any investment marketed by The House Crowd Limited, or you require financial advice, you should seek a personal recommendation from an appropriately qualified financial advisor that does give advice.

In respect of Peer to Peer investments, The House Crowd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under interim permission number 665205 to conduct peer to peer lending activity in the UK.

Investments are only available to certain specified persons who are sufficiently sophisticated to understand the risks. Investments in property and unlisted shares carry risk and you may not receive the anticipated returns and your capital may be at risk.

The Latest P2P News – 20/6/16

P2P News – All The Latest Updates

 

Hi guys welcome to another edition of our P2P news blog. This week we start our news update by looking at the alternative finance challenges in mainstream lending for the SME market to focusing on the protection that P2P investors need. Missed our very first P2P round-up? If so, click here.

 

One In Six SME Owners Seeking Finance Say They Have Been Turned Down By A Mainstream Lender

SMEs P2P

Leading specialist lenderAmicus conducted a study recently and found out that one in six (16%) SME owners seeking finance say they have been turned down by a mainstream lender (such as a high street bank).

Nearly a third of SME owners stated in the research that their inability to secure finance terms with a mainstream lender meant they had lost out on a business deal or investment opportunity. Because of this, SMEs have gained an interest in alternative finance – including forms such as property finance, crowdsourcing, invoice finance, asset finance and P2P lending.

Just over half of the SME owners that took part in the research believe that the huge amount of flexibility that alternative finance offers, is more appealing for SMEs to use, the number is up from 45% in 2015.

The respondents’ views on alternative finance included :- greater ability to lend (46%) was second and longer payment terms (34%) was third. Speed (30%), specialist knowledge of their clients’ industries and challenges (29%) and more compelling payment structures (27%) was ranked fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. (Stats taken from Finextra)

Over half of the respondents said they have already used alternative finance or considered using it.

Image source : Business Europe

Banks Halve Property Development Lending

Alternative finance has officially entered the mainstream.

Peer-to-peer funding platform, Saving Stream, have reported that bank loans to property developers have fallen off to the tune of £17.6bn in the last two years. In April 2014, banks lent £32.5bn, yet in April 2016, this figure was just £14.9bn.

In the meantime, property developers have been looking elsewhere, and finding alternative finance options that meet their needs.

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Whilst risk-averse banks still view property development as a ‘speculative’ investment, and under increasing pressure to de-risk their balance sheets and reduce their debt exposure, peer-to-peer lenders can offer favourable terms for small and medium sized developments.

For bigger property developments, large debt funds are stepping in, freeing up a market that would otherwise stagnate without co-operation from the banks.

property development

That’s not to say that banks don’t want to get involved in lending for property development, it’s just that, since the financial crash of 2008, they’re under such tight regulatory constraints that it’s simply not viable anymore.

It appears that the banking industry’s dominion over the property development lending market may truly be finished.

Now, it’s as – if not more – likely to be debt-fund, high net worth individuals and peer-to-peer lenders on the building site. Whilst ISA interest rates are rock bottom, the chance to make up to 12% returns on a loan secured against property is growing all the more tempting for savers.