Prospects for Property Investors After Bank of England Clampdown on Buy to Lets

Some recent changes are already hitting landlords hard, others will soon. Here we look at the available options in what for many buy to let investors are troubling times.

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Crowd Funded Property Investment: 10 Reasons Why It Is Right For You

For the part-time landlord, those who have a property or two to rent out but don’t see it as their full-time job, these are worrying times.

This group, accounting for roughly 70% of all landlords, faces a squeeze on profits and a ramping up of admin.

And with house prices rising and competition for quality properties high, just finding an investment opportunity within budget is a challenge in itself.

But out of difficult times spring new opportunities.

Crowd funded property investment is an increasingly popular choice. Here’s why it might be right for you

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What Tax Benefits Are Available From Investing In Property?

Recent announcements relating to changes in Stamp Duty and how tax is calculated on rental properties have been anything but encouraging for landlords and anyone thinking of investing in property.

However, what tax breaks exist for property owners. Continue reading “What Tax Benefits Are Available From Investing In Property?”

The House Crowd shortlisted at National Business Awards 2014

National Business Awards logo

We are proud to announce The House Crowd is one of just 10 companies across the UK that has caught the attention of judges and has been shortlisted in the New Business of the Year Award category for the highly prestigious National Business Awards 2014!

It is recognition of us democratising the property market through crowdfunding – revolutionising how would-be investors, particularly those with smaller budgets can invest.

Judges were impressed with our disruptive and pioneering spirit, opening up a much-loved but notoriously difficult-to-enter market. The House Crowd’s strong customer service and general impact on the North West property market was also noted.

Our MD, Frazer Fearnhead said: As a start-up with big ambitions, it’s fantastic to be recognised on a national level. The House Crowd is part of a whole internet revolution that is giving power back to the people and creating a global community that can interact with each other, cut out big institutions and join forces for the common good. 67 % of our investors felt cut of from property investment before they found The House Crowd.

On a regional level, we are helping some of Greater Manchester’s “forgotten” communities to re-establish themselves. Breathing new life into old properties can have a dramatic effect on local communities as a whole, bringing in new people and ideas, and helping to create a new sense of pride in an area.

On a global level, we are trailblazers – creating a unique, innovative and ground-breaking concept, now emulated in several different countries.

The House Crowd has succeeded in injecting people power in to the once elitist UK property market and in turn, has brought property to the general population.

The winner will be revealed at the National Business Awards gala dinner held on 11 November in London.  Fingers crossed.

Affordable UK property investment despite rising house prices?

House prices are racing ahead once more, and not just in London as recent – figures show increases are now spreading across the country.

The latest reports from Halifax and Nationwide put annual house price inflation at 8.7% and 9.5%, RICS has said as shortage in supply of quality homes for sale is pushing prices up making it even harder to access UK property investment.

RICs forecasts the average UK house price will rise by 6% a year for the next 5 years, increasing by a total of 35% by 2020.

If you are looking for to get your foot on the housing ladder and take advantage of the market, prior to the further rise in houses prices but haven’t got the money for a large deposit then don’t miss out.

With the power of crowd funding, you can invest through The House Crowd with just £1000, click here to find out how.

UK property crowd funding future looks bright

As the UK economy recovers, interest in property development is also recuperating. Thankfully however, the opportunities are now open to all with the concept of property crowd funding becoming increasingly popular in the UK, started by The House Crowd in 2012.

It is flattering for us that there are now around 5 property crowd funding websites dealing with buy-to-let residential property, each offering a slightly different business model but based around the same concept that the crowd funding company acts as the central point between the owner, developer, landlord, letting agent and a number of individual investors wanting to buy property as part of the crowd.

The House Crowd, and some of the other UK online platforms are looking at commercial property for crowd funded investment, already being done in the US. Traditionally seen as more risky, obviously more expensive and therefore unattainable, crowd funding is making this accessible and offering higher returns.

A major reason for the rise in people following The House Crowd suit, is the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) new regulatory rules on internet crowd funding which came into effect on 1 April 2014, in summary, ensuring that platforms must be fair and not misleading; risks should be highlighted; systems must be in place to separate the crowd’s money from the platform’s – all of which we do here at The House Crowd.

So, to be part of the bright future, why not invest with the first property crowd funding company – to find out how, click here.

Slimmer yields for landlords in 2014? Not for our investors…

According to ARLA, the average yield across the country has fallen to around 5.5%. A journalist recently put this point to me and asked (somewhat sceptically) how we could offer much higher yields.

I responded that average returns are just that.  They represent what an average investor buying an average property in an average area could expect to achieve.

That statistic encompasses properties where yields are 1% and properties where they are 14% or more.  We research areas where the average yield is higher and then cherry-pick the best deals in that area to maximise yields.

The criticism is akin to saying “Usain Bolt claims to be able to run 100m is 9.69 seconds but how can that be when our research shows the average time to complete 100m is 14.8 seconds.”

In short, we are not your average investment company.

Having said that, we are susceptible to market conditions as is everyone and as house prices increase at a higher rate than rents, it is inevitable that yields will decrease.

So, does that mean we will not be able to offer our clients such attractive returns?


It simply means we have to adapt. We are experienced in many areas of property investment, are extremely flexible and already have plans in place to ensure that we can still offer you very attractive returns whatever the market conditions.

The new areas we are moving into and the new business model we are launching next month will enable us to continue to deliver well above average returns.

Across the pond

Great to see the concept of property investing and crowd funding is spreading and has taken off in a big way in the States. Realty Mogul in the US recently raised $9M to fund its expansion and an old school friend of mine and Suhail’s has raised $2M in his first six months with his US crowd funding property website:

Congratulations Carlo – well done.

The Misery That Banks Cause

Following on from the reports in the press last week about Chris and Denise Tudor-Whelan, I have coincidentally met five separate people recently who have been ruined by the banks for no good reason.

These people once had very successful solid property businesses – all of them worth tens of millions and all of them keeping up payments on the loans they had secured against the properties.  And yet these people were all destroyed by the small print in their loan documents; three of them being made bankrupt and two still fighting to avoid it.

What most people do not know is that the small print in their mortgage documents allows the banks to call in the loans if the borrower breaches the “Loan To Value Covenants”.

Essentially, what this means is the banks can have your property portfolio valued periodically by a surveyor (of their choosing) and if that surveyor decides the value has dropped below a certain threshold the bank can call in the loan immediately or massively increase the interest rate because of the perceived extra risk, thus making the investment unsustainable. They are allowed to do this even if you have never missed a payment.

There is little doubt in my mind, after speaking with these people that some if not all the banks have actively pursued a policy of using this small print to destroy property investment businesses and seize their assets at a vastly reduced level.

Yes it’s immoral, unethical and corrupt, but what can be done about it? There is certainly a groundswell of public opinion against the bankers. And the internet abounds with the self proclaimed “free men movement” seeking to remove themselves from the shackles of HMRC and the “banksters”. They have some interesting arguments and I would love for them to be successful. Unfortunately the whole system is stacked against them so it is incredibly unlikely.

To my mind the best solution is to avoid using banks wherever you can. Give them as little power over your life as possible. Its why we set up The House Crowd so you have the choice of dealing with an ethical, transparent and fair organisation that will also give you a much better return on your money.

Read more about the Tudor Whelan’s story

Read more about the how the banks operate illegally and cheat people out of their homes

Read Cartmel Butlers Report to the Parliamentary Select Committee on how banks sell on the benefit of your mortgages to privately owned offshore companies but then seek to reclaim the debt from you and repossess your property (even though you no longer owe them the money).