Traditional Property Investment versus Property Crowdfunding

Traditional Property Investment versus Property Crowdfunding

Property crowdfunding and traditional property investment have some significant differences. The main difference is to be found in the ease of management.

Whilst those who favour traditional property investment value the sense of control associated with full ownership of a property, along with the costs and time involved in maintaining their investment, others simply do not have the time, nor the resources, to keep up with the demands of a property.

There are also additional financial implications to consider, and we will go into these in this article.

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Responsibility

Property crowdfunding eliminates many of the responsibilities involved with traditional property investment. An investor wishing to create a properly diversified portfolio of properties will invest large sums on a smaller range of properties, and will be responsible for everything from biological disruptions (by infestation of plant or animal life), to managing tenants and weathering void periods on a rental property. With a crowdfunded property investment, none of these aspects apply, as they are taken care of by a third party.

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Furthermore, the due diligence, prequalification and vetting of an investment property are all handled by the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), the company behind the purchase property.

If, on the other hand, you have the skills and experience necessary to avoid mistakes and handle the investment on your own, then traditional property investment is a lucrative and engaging way to grow your money. That being said, you will need substantially more money in the first place in order to make your first investment purchase, which is not something that all those wishing to invest in property have to hand.

Fees and Costs

There’s also the matter of fees. A traditional property investor will have to contend with solicitors’ fees, mortgage broker fees, loan arrangement fees, and surveyor charges, for example. With property crowdfunding, these fees are included within the overall cost required to sell the property, as listed on the crowdfunding platform’s website.

It’s also worth learning from the mistakes many property investors made ahead of the 2008 property crash. Many found that their mortgage lenders had allowed them to leverage at a rate that exceeded their affordability. The banks then revalued people’s assets, leading to a swathe of repossessions, subsequent catastrophic loss, and bankruptcies.

Checking the small print and getting legal advice when investing with the traditional property investment model is wise. Then again, none of this applies to property crowdfunding.

This is, of course, a worst-case scenario for traditional property investors. It is, nonetheless, one that still bears some weight. If mortgage rates rise, those who have invested with a mortgage may find themselves out of pocket. Buy-to-let investors should take the obvious step of making sure that their monthly rental income covers, at the very least, their mortgage repayments. However, they may also benefit from factoring in potential mortgage rate rises.

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Buy-to-let landlords have also been hit by changes in Government legislation that have removed the ability for these landlords to deduct interest from profits from their tax liability, which can prove a further obstacle to ensuring the profitability of their investment. Again, there are no such risks with property crowdfunding.

Challenges and Rewards

Whilst there are challenges involved with investing in property in the traditional manner, there are also a great many rewards. First of all, rather than earning a percentage of returns based on your initial investment sum (as with crowdfunding), once all outgoings (such as loans and legal fees, for example) have been taken into account, an outright property investor will earn a potentially much higher return.

There is, however, a downside to this. Where a traditional investor leverages a lot of cash, the risks to the investment are increased dramatically. Should the investment value fall, they could stand to lose a very significant amount. Whilst risk is, of course, not negated with property crowdfunding, no mortgage is necessary.

Selling Your Investment

Another benefit of traditional property investment is the control over when to sell the investment. If you are able to sell at a profit, and as quickly as you require, then the power resides within your hands. Property crowdfunding, on the other hand, requires a majority vote from all shareholders if you wish to sell before the end of the investment term.

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To Conclude

Property investment, whether traditional or crowdfunded, has long been a profitable investment choice. Whilst both forms of investment carry risk, there are significant pros and cons on both sides, which potential investors need to factor into their investment decision.

Weighing up which type of property investment is right for your particular needs is key to ensuring that you are confident in where you have placed your money. At the end of the day, however, whichever path to property investment you choose, there is potential for great returns.

Property Crowdfunding: Is It The Right Investment For Me?

Property Crowdfunding: Is It The Right Investment For Me?

Property crowdfunding is becoming an ever-more popular way for people to invest in property, often with significantly less money than investing the traditional way. However, before you jump in, it’s a good idea to assess whether this is the right investment choice for you and your circumstances.

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What Do You Want To Achieve?

The first question to ask yourself when considering property crowdfunding is what you wish to achieve from your investment.

If you are looking for an investment that requires less ongoing attention than owning a property for either development or rental, or you personally have more faith in the property market than the stock market, then it could be right for you. Nonetheless, plenty of investors in property welcome the sense of control that owning a property outright brings.

Though there is more additional financial outlay involved in the purchase and maintenance of a property owned this way, some people would rather be involved in all aspects of their investment than leave it to another party.

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What Experience in Property Investment Do You Have?

This follows on to the second question you need to ask. How experienced are you as a property investor?

If you’ve been a full-time, outright property investor for some time, and have access to the bank funding required to own and develop a property yourself, then property crowdfunding may be less appealing.

For those who know how the market works, and perhaps already have all the necessary contacts they need for the properties they invest in, benefitting from more of the profits (after paying off loans), as opposed to their share percentage, may be a more attractive investment option.

If none of this applies to you, then take a look at your circumstances.

What Are Your Circumstances?

For novice or less experienced investors, or those who have less access to bank funding, then property crowdfunding can offer an opportunity to invest in property that is unavailable through other means. For those who are interested in the prospect of weathering the risks of property investment, rather than earning scarcely any interest on their savings accounts, again, property crowdfunding may offer an alternative path.

Whenever you consider an investment, whichever form this may take, you need to ensure that you are covered in the event that the investment takes a turn for the worst. You should only ever invest what you can afford, so make sure your calculations are correct, and you won’t cause yourself financial harm if, for any reason, the value of your investment falls.

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To Conclude

As a final note, if you decide to invest in property crowdfunding, there is further investigation to be undertaken. You will need to choose the right crowdfunding platform. It is very important to do your research, and to only settle on the platform that meets all your needs and requirements. Make sure they are regulated by the FCA, that they have a good reputation, and that their customer service and complaints procedures meet your standards.

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Entrusting your money with any investment vehicle is a decision that should never be made lightly. Ensuring that you are confident with all aspects of the investment is crucial, including the issue of risk. Property crowdfunding is no different to most other investment types, in that there is always a risk of loss. Knowing everything you can, and choosing the right investment for you, is the key to investing happily, smartly, and – hopefully – profitably.

 

2017 Property Market Forecast

Is Buy to Let Dead?

The buy to let market in the UK really gained traction in 1996, with the opening of the mortgage market. This made property investment accessible to millions who had been previously prevented from seeking better returns through property, as opposed to the pitiful rates provided by their institutional pensions.

It proved immensely popular, and many people found the idea of property as a way to provide a retirement income preferable to putting their money in a traditional pension. However, over the last two years, these people have been ruthlessly stabbed in the back by the government who have crippled the ability of small landlords to make any sort of profit.

Not only has there been an increasing amount of red tape and financial burden placed upon landlords in recent years, but George Osbourne saw fit to increase stamp duty and, in an astonishingly cynical move, he decreed that landlords should be treated differently than every other type of UK business and would not be able to offset loan interest payments against revenue.

What this means for the large majority of landlords who have mortgages and do not operate under a limited company structure, is that they will incur heavy losses and could potentially be forced into bankruptcy, as their increased tax bill exceeds their rental income. What’s worse is that research indicates only a small percentage of landlords are aware of this cataclysmic change and the effect it will have.

It seems clear to me that the traditional way of investing in buy to let property that has thrived over the last 20 years is, as far as most people are concerned, no longer an option. Property, however, is destined to remain the nation’s favourite asset class but the types of property, and the way people invest in it need to change.

We, at The House Crowd, find the Government’s attack on, and lack of concern for small landlords, utterly reprehensible, but fortunately, we are in a position to help. Crowdfunding and peer to peer secured lending, have emerged as very popular ways people can build their wealth through property. Given the legal and tax changes, they now seem set to replace traditional buy to let as the best and perhaps the only way, ordinary investors can still benefit from direct property investment.

If you want a longer-term investment, secured with the ownership of real bricks and mortar, we have a steady stream of properties with assured rental – thus removing many of the risks and variables associated with property investment. These properties also produce a very decent return – a gross yield of 9.5% which should produce a net return to investors of at least 5.5% after all fees and costs. Investors will also benefit from any capital growth on sale.

So whilst buy to let may not be completely dead, it will really only be viable, after April 2017, when the tax changes take effect, via a company structure and payment of large deposits or through crowdfunding platforms.

What Will Replace Buy to Let?

Buy to let may have been killed off but the PRS (Private Rental Sector) has grown apace over the last few years, with property funds and other institutional investors pouring money into the sector. PRS, for those unfamiliar with the term, generally refers to purpose built blocks owned by institutions – generally with a high standard of communal facilities designed to attract and keep tenants long term.

The government is also now throwing its support behind PRS and the build-to-rent sector with large urban developments being financed by institutional funds and managed by large companies to cater for Generation Rent. For example, the government has announced that £45 million of its new £3 billion Home Building Fund will go towards kick-starting a deal involving 2,000 new build-to-rent homes. This includes 995 new purpose built units in Manchester, currently the city with the UK’s highest yields. Combined with the recent attacks on buy to let, it is likely that this will consolidate build-to-rent as the future of rented living and property investment in Britain.

Given the scale of the developments, and the money required to finance them, it is clearly not something readily accessible to individual investors. And, here again, is where crowdfunding comes into its own.

The House Crowd is ideally placed to help those people who are seeking a lower risk, longer term investment with build-to-rent. We are currently financing the building of over 100 units in the Manchester area and, whilst most have been built to sell, we will be introducing build-to-rent developments shortly with the intention of providing our investors with the ability to earn a steady annual return with the upside of long-term capital growth. Being a part owner of larger developments will also help mitigate risk.

We are, in effect, giving the individual investor, the opportunity to benefit from the growth of the build-to-rent sector and earn returns on par with institutional investors.

Best Places to Invest In 2017

It will come as no surprise to learn that I think Greater Manchester is the best place to invest, and I am not the only one, as many pieces of research forecast the same.

It’s not difficult to see why – Manchester offers the ideal combination of high yields and decent capital growth, something that London cannot. Predictions are that rents will increase by 5% in 2017, with capital appreciation to reach 4-5%.

The city has benefited from successive governments’ attempts to invest more money outside of London. Thousands of overseas students now come to Manchester each year, and it has fast established itself as an international talent pool with a booming rental population.

Manchester’s reputation as a property hotspot was recently reaffirmed by research from Lambert Smith Hampton, which revealed that 68% of property investors see it as the best place to invest.

I also see Stockport, in Greater Manchester, as a particularly strong area and think it should be at the top of the list for any investor hoping to achieve strong, consistent returns through property. Seven miles south-east of Manchester city centre and eight miles from Manchester Airport, the commuter town boasts direct rail services to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and London. With a £42 million transport interchange under construction and £1 billion being invested across retail, residential and commercial sectors over the next five years, Stockport is establishing itself as a regional business hub.

Over the past year, property prices in Stockport have increased by 15.9%, and 1,100 new homes will be built over the next five years to cope with increasing demand. Properties in the area offer investors strong, consistent yields – a safer bet than relying on speculative capital growth.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/timetable-1bn-regeneration-stockport-revealed-12292326

Reasons to Invest With The House Crowd in 2017

  • Specialists in Greater Manchester property – forecast by many experts to be the best area to invest
  • We offer traditional high yielding properties with assured rental
  • With over 100 new build properties either completed or in development, we are committed (in our own small way) to helping build the houses Britain needs
  • We are ideally placed to capitalise on both build to sell and the build to rent sector – which, backed by the government, is believed to be the future of the rental market
  • We enable access to individuals to participate in large scale developments investments with security and returns on par with those institutional funds receive
  • Choice: we offer
    • Short-term fixed-rate debt investments for those who want high returns and liquidity,
    • Longer term equity investments where investors share in both income and capital growth
  • No borrowing on property purchases means lower level of risk and less vulnerability to fluctuations in interest rates
  • Crowdfunding provides perhaps the only viable option for most people to continue to invest in property

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The UK Housing Crisis: Supply and Demand

The UK Housing Crisis: Supply and Demand

2016 has been full of shaky times for the UK property market. However, there have been no actual signs of prices dropping, despite the Brexit naysayers’ warnings. Negative headlines about the UK housing crisis are still milling about, but there is one aspect of the property market in particular which is promising to keep the market afloat. That aspect is the continuing lack of supply.

The lack of properties for sale has helped to support the market, and to push prices higher. That’s before we even take the undersupply of newbuilds into consideration. This undersupply has been going on for decades, whilst successive governments have sought to garner good feeling among voters with artificial support of property prices. There is no end to this situation in sight at the moment.

There was a small fall in prices after the Brexit vote, reigniting hysteria over the UK housing crisis. Nonetheless, the UK continues to be a popular target for overseas investors, indeed, there was a surge in overseas interest following the referendum result. Indeed, looking at the state of the pound at present, it’s clear as to why we are gaining attention from overseas.

Along with the lack of supply, we are seeing a growing state of pent-up demand for property in the UK. A scarcity of properties, combined with high competition between buyers, is a recipe for further property price inflation. This, too, will affect the rental market, as more households find themselves priced out of the purchase market than is already the case.

UK Housing Crisis Affects Rental Market

Higher demand for rental accommodation, combined with a reluctance of investors to approach buy-to-let following the stamp duty hikes and other attacks on landlords in 2016, may push rent higher. Great news for investors, and build-to-let in particular; not such good news for tenants – those who feel the brunt of the UK housing crisis hardest.

The answer is new builds. However, we are struggling to meet demand in this area too. Currently, 200,000 new properties are required per year, and we are still falling desperately short of that. The population is growing, and everybody needs to live somewhere. Something, clearly, has got to give.

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Could Property Crowdfunding Help the UK Housing Crisis?

Property crowdfunding may offer a partial solution to this conundrum. Pooled funds being pumped into development of properties, particularly in areas like the in-demand North West, alleviates the buy-to-let problems that outright-ownership landlords are facing, as everything is managed through the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) in which the shareholders’ funds are invested.

Though property prices and rent will not be directly lowered by these developments, it may alleviate a small portion of the supply shortage. After all, every little helps.

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Buying A Repossessed Property

Buying repossessions (or “corporate sales” as agents prefer to call them) can give you access to property at bargain prices. You then renovate it and sell at a decent profit or rent it out and obtain a positive yield. But you need to be aware of the pitfalls so as not to undermine your property investment strategy.

Repossessed properties are generally offered at below market value prices and can be identified with the help of estate agents or found at auction houses. And if you are a cash buyer you will have access to the best bargains. If not then you must at least have funding in place as the seller will need to see proof of funds before even considering an offer.

A property isn’t automatically a bargain just because it’s a reposession. Always establish previous property sale prices and visit the property so you can calculate what you will have to spend before you can resell. Work out the true renovation costs and there may be little margin for profit. Allow 20% contingency on your costs before making an offer.

The bank in possession of the property must seek to obtain the highest price possible and they will never take a property off the market. If they accept your offer, you can still be gazumped at any time up to exchange of contracts. As an investor there is a ceiling to what you can pay and still make a profit so expect to be gazumped because it can and does happen often. The bigger the bargain, the more chance you will lose it. Emphasise to the seller that you need to complete quickly. Make sure you use a solicitor who act fast.

It’s also wise to remember that you will no doubt have utilities bills where supplies may need to be reconnected. And also note that departing owners may leave the property stripped and/or vandalised. This happens frequently with repossessed properties.

Repossession purchases are seldom as easy as people may think. But be careful and know what you are getting into and there are bargains to be had. Get it wrong and you can get in a heap of trouble.

 

A New Way To Invest In Property

Another great deal from The House Crowd. We’ve just launched our new peer to peer lending product designed to allow investors to invest in UK HMO’s, or houses of multiple occupancy, and receive great rewards.
The investment pays 7.5% net on the amount lent to one of the SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles) that buy a specific, traditional property which will then be converted to a HMO generating a high yield. This enables us to pay our investors a 7.5% return whilst generating a decent profit margin.
Loans to the SPV are ultimately secured against the value of the property. There is no other debt on the property so lenders will have first call on monies when the property is sold.
The minimum Investment is £5k and investors have the opportunity to request their capital back at any time after 18 months on 3 months notice. Find out more.
This latest innovation is nothing new for the House Crowd, who have  already blazed a trail for new ways to invest in property by virtue of being the world’s first crowdfunded property investment vehicle.

Avoid The Pitfalls When Buying Property At Auction

Unless you are a seasoned auction attendee, you’re bound to feel nervous when visiting a property auction. They can be very busy and austere places indeed. And the amounts of money concerned also contribute to make the whole ordeal pretty scary. We all worry that we may end up accidentally bidding and ending up buying a multi-million pound property that we can’t afford. Needless to say that doesn’t really happen!

Everyone knows you can pick up some great bargains at property auctions, but you can easily end up losing money unless you are careful. Here are some tips for making the best of your property auction experience.

1. Do Plenty of Research

Of the many auction companies around the UK, some deal only with local property whilst others offer properties nationwide. Some only offer commercial properties, some residential, some both. And certain auction houses are strong in particular locations and for particular types of property.  Find out beforehand which deal in the types of properties you want to buy.

2. Find out how it all works

Before you start bidding, make sure you know how everything works. Check out the catalogue carefully and in plenty of time and do full due diligence on the properties you fancy including going through legal packs, viewing the property and setting a maximum price you will pay. Speak to the auctioneer if you have any questions and make sure you are confident about the auction process.

3. Understand the Legals

Before you bid, always ask a legally qualified person to review the legal pack. There can be all manner of legally binding conditions and restrictions attached to a property such as covenants and you must be aware of all of these.

4. Setting your limit

There is lots of info online to allow you to see what similar properties have sold for in the same area. Or ask a local estate agent for guidance. Once you know what you need to bid as a maximum, get it in your head and stick to it. Whatever happens, never bid above the limit you have set.

5. Don’t Buy Unseen.

If you can’t see the property before the auction, be suspicious. There may be valid reasons why a viewing may not be possible, for example if the property is tenanted, but there are obviously things that may also be hidden in this way. If you really want a certain property, ignore what the seller says, pluck up the courage and go and knock on the door and ask questions.

6. Before And After An Auction

Remember that there are opportunities to pick up a bargain either before or after the auction and you are at liberty to make an offer at any point. When properties have failed to reach their reserve price, seller expectations may have been modified so it can be a good time to make an offer. They’ll also be saving the cost and hassle of going through the action process another time.

So make sure you do your homework. If you are careful and don’t get carried away, there are some real bargains out there. But remember the old adage. If something looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t what it seems.

2013 Boom in Residential Development Projects

More good signs in the housing sector as the value of private residential property development projects is showing a double digit year on year increase. The number of projects starting on site is up 15.2% compared with the same period in 2012.

The figures from construction industry analysts Glenigan indicate that the UK construction sector has seen a rise of almost 1.9% in new build projects commencing in the three months to May 2013. And these improvements are firmly led by growth in the private housing sector.

Gains have been focused in London and the South East, but increased activity in Yorkshire and the South West in April are further signs of a recovery. And a number of £100m+ private housing projects will give those behind the Government’s Help to Buy and NewBuy schemes further cause for positivity.

Affordable Housing Issues

The Department for Work and Pensions has released a report highlighting the potentially negative impact Article 4 Directions on the growth of affordable housing.

The report findings suggests that the introduction of the Article 4 Directions have restricted planning permissions for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and obstructed the provision of affordable housing in the private rented sector. The report also suggests that property investors and buy to let landlords are reluctant to develop their HMO/multi-let portfolios due to the impact of Article 4 planning restrictions in some areas.

The RLA have previously voiced opinions to scrap Article 4 Direction and is now set to consult with the government on the findings of the report and will strive to look into what this will mean for local councils and landlords.