Performance Statistics – Jan 2017

Below you will see our summary figures from the dividend, interest & capital payments made in January 2017.

January ’17

Projects paid out against = 22

Total value of dividends and interest paid = £82,695.41

Total value of capital repaid = £373,000 (1 x development capital)

Total number of investors paid = 542

2017

Projects paid out against = 22

Total value of dividends and interest paid = £82,695.41

Total value of capital repaid = £373,000 (1 x development capital)

Total number of investors paid = 542

Cumulative (from January 2013)

Project paid out against = 456

Total value of dividends and interest paid = £1,218,320.41

Total value of capital repaid = £5,378,720.00

Total number of investors paid = 9,040

 

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Manchester Property Market Growth at 12 Year High

Manchester Property Market Growth at 12 Year High

Latest figures released by the Hometrack Index show Manchester property market growth to have hit a 12 year high in 2016. This gives the city the second highest rate of price growth in the UK, next to Bristol.

A rise of 8.9% year-on-year for Manchester was reported, with experts predicting that the city will overtake Bristol for pole position by the end of the first quarter of 2017. The figures for Manchester exceed the average year-on-year increase across the UK, which came in at 7.7%.

Strong market fundamentals, particularly a significant supply/demand imbalance in Manchester, keep pressure on prices high. Despite the same supply/demand imbalance in the capital however, London dropped to seventh place for price growth in 2016.

Strong Market Fundamentals Keep Manchester Property Market Growth Thriving

Manchester’s vibrant rental market is also thriving, with demand continuing to grow. This, of course, makes it a dream opportunity for buy-to-let investors. Indeed, the city was recently named the UK’s buy-to-let hotspot by HSBC. This is all despite the massive challenges faced by buy-to-let investors following the government’s attacks on landlords.

The growing popularity of property crowdfunding is helping prospective buy-to-let investors push back against these attacks, providing a welcome haven for those keen to benefit from a steady stream of secured rental income.

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Rental growth here is 13 times that of London, driven by the growing population of young renters, flocking to the city for studying and career opportunities. Manchester boasts 60% more 25-29 year olds than the UK average, placing it within the country’s fastest growing demand for short term lets.

Massive Investment In Manchester Fuelling Property Market Growth

Success is also compounded by the government’s whopping £7 billion investment in Manchester. Determination to develop a world-class infrastructure in the city will attract further billions of worldwide investment over the coming years, which is already evident as overseas investors hone in on the investment opportunities offered here.  

Over 100,000 students across Manchester’s four main higher education institutions give it the highest student population in Europe.

70,000 of these are not in student halls of residences, meaning they are renting privately within the city. This makes it prime territory for PBSA (Purpose Built Student Accommodation) investment.

Across the board, from the UK-leading purchase market, to the thriving private rental and student markets, right through to commercial investments, Manchester is winning. As growth in the city’s property market continues at an unprecedented pace, with huge investment fuelling projected growth for years to come, we remain confident in the continued promise that our city offers investors.

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Apache Capital Partners Fund 466 Private Rental Sector Homes in Manchester

Apache Capital Partners Fund 466 Private Rental Sector Homes in Manchester

Property investment management firm, Apache Capital Partners, has teamed with Moda Living to secure senior debt financing of £85m, secured on the Angel Gardens development in Manchester city centre. The development will create 466 private rental sector homes in Manchester.

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank has agreed to a four-year term funding contract for the construction period of the development, which will convert to an investment loan for the rest of the term. The development is set to cost a total of £153m. Completion of the project is set for 2020.

The premium private rental sector apartments will stand 34 storeys tall, making it one of the tallest residential towers built outside London since the 2008 crash. Covering 520,000 sq ft, the Angel Gardens development forms part of the NOMA redevelopment project, regenerating a 20-acre site opposite Manchester’s Victoria station.

Angel Gardens and Beyond…

Angel Gardens, however, is not the only private rental sector delivered by the joint venture between Apache and Moda Living. It will be the first of many private rental sector developments created by the venture. In the pipeline is a total of 5,000 new private rental sector homes across eight cities across the UK, including London and the south east.

Johnny Caddick, managing director at Moda Living, believes the project will “set new expectations for rental housing in Manchester and throughout the UK”.

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Private Rental Sector Homes in Manchester: On Trend

Investing in property in Manchester is becoming a real trend for high profile investors. And the private rental sector is hot property, considering the vast increase in those seeking rental accommodation. It is mainly the young professionals, who are flocking to the city for its huge career opportunities, that make up the bulk of renters in the city. Angel Gardens will be ideally placed for the many employed in the NOMA area, as well as those commuting into Manchester Victoria.

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An Introduction to Investing Through Property Crowdfunding

An Introduction to Investing Through Property Crowdfunding

Traditionally, only those with access to large amounts of capital have been able to invest in the lucrative world of property. Managing a portfolio is normally time-consuming, business, which becomes increasingly more burdensome as the investor’s portfolio becomes larger.

However, in the last few years, a new method of property investment has emerged which has effectively democratised the entire investment process, allowing more people than ever to benefit from the financial gains that property investment can offer.

Property crowdfunding started to take off in 2012, and is now worth billions of dollars a year worldwide. The value of the industry currently doubles every two months, and is set to be worth $250bn by 2020.

The growth of the property crowdfunding industry has been catalysed, in part, by the relaxation of regulations over the last few years. The Government has identified the industry as being hugely beneficial to the economy, and has also begun investing in crowdfunding itself. Institutional investment is also coming into play at an increasing rate, and high net worth investors, attracted by the simplicity of the process, and the returns available, are also investing through property crowdfunding.

But why is investing in property crowdfunding proving so popular?

Offering the chance to build a diverse portfolio without all the legwork involved in traditional property investment models, and with the opportunity for significant gains, it’s no surprise that investing in property crowdfunding has grown exponentially in the last few years.

What’s more, as interest rates on savings continue to crawl along the seabed, and returns from both rental and sales continue to rise, more and more people are waking up to crowdfunding as a simple way to grow their money.

How Does It Work?

Property crowdfunding encompasses both equity investments and debt based investment (also known as peer to peer secured lending).

The concept itself is relatively simple.

Equity investments involve a group of people pooling their cash to buy a property as shareholders through a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ (SPV). The SPV is a limited company, set up solely for the purchase of that property. The SPV handles all the work, fees and maintenance of the property, whilst the shareholders receive their proportion of the rental yields, and/or share of capital gains when the property is sold.

People can invest even very small sums in buying shares in the property. On some platforms, this is as low as £50, but the typical minimum is between £500 and £1000. One of the advantages of property crowdfunding is that you can spread your available capital over a number of different properties across the crowdfunding platform, to mitigate risk.

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Getting started is a very quick and easy process. You simply register on your chosen website – it is an FCA requirement that only registered and accredited investors may participate, and, once registered, you simply select the properties you wish to invest in.

Debt based investments again involve pooling resources, in this instance, to make micro loans through the platform to a third party borrower. The loan as a whole is secured against the borrower’s property and the platform appoints an agent to act on behalf of lenders and take any necessary enforcement action. These types of investment are usually short term (up to 12 months, and pay a fixed rate of interest with no capital growth).

Where Did It Start?

The House Crowd is the longest-established property crowdfunding platform. It began trading in 2012 and offers both debt and equity investments. Since then, other companies have followed in their footsteps, such as Property Moose in 2013, and Property Partner and Crowdlords in 2014. The industry continues to expand, with several new platforms emerging each year.

Is It Regulated?

Property crowdfunding firms are all regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which ensures that platforms are managed properly, and that risks are made completely clear to investors. As with any investment, there is risk to capital – but it’s worth comparing this risk against other investment classes, and seeing how property crowdfunding stacks up.

Before investing through property crowdfunding platforms, it is very important to do your research. Every regulated platform should have the FCA authorisation number clearly visible on their website. If you can’t find these details, you should steer clear as they are not operating legally.

Is It The Right Choice For Me?

As with any investment, you need to take into account your personal circumstances to establish whether it is the right one for you.

You can find out more about establishing whether property crowdfunding is the right investment for you here.

Ask yourself what you wish to achieve. Investors with a lot of professional experience and access to bank funding, may find the model less appealing than novices.

If, on the other hand, you don’t have a deposit available, or aren’t able to get a mortgage, then investing through property crowdfunding could be an ideal way for you to access this asset class. And, given the government’s recent attacks on landlords, which has severely undermined the profitability and viability of buy-to-let investing for individual investors, it may well be that crowdfunding remains the only sensible option available for most.

Risk

The same principles that apply to other forms of property investment also apply to crowdfunding. You should be aware that capital growth profits are speculative, and investing in properties that produce a healthy cash flow is the more sensible approach.

One of the major risks associated with cash flow positive properties is that of damage or non-payment of rent. As such, you should always factor this in as an eventuality that may affect your yields. As mentioned above, however, if you have a well-diversified portfolio, with your capital spread over several properties, any losses due to one bad tenant will be more bearable than if you had all your eggs in one basket.

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At the end of the day, it all comes down to your risk tolerance. You do lose a large amount of leverage by investing through property crowdfunding, and you will only benefit proportionately from the property’s capital growth but, at the same time, having no borrowing means significantly less risk as there are no mortgage payments and no danger of the property being repossessed (as shareholders own it outright).

If making crowdfunded debt-based investment, (aka peer to peer lending) you need to know what would happen if the borrower defaults and does not repay the loan. You should ask questions about how your investment would be protected, what happens in the event of a default – how easy is it to take control of the secured property? – and how much equity is available to enable you to recover your money should the worst happen. Unless there is sufficient equity in the property, you could risk losing some or all of your money.

If you opt for debt-based investments, your investment will be secured by a legal charge. A critical matter to consider is at what LTV the loan is made. If, for example, a loan is made at ‘75% LTV’, it means that you will be at risk of losing some of your capital if the borrower defaults, the property has to be seized, and is sold for less than 75% of its current valuation.

Debt investments are generally considered to be lower risk than equity investments, as lenders are always paid out before shareholders, however, you do not get the potential upside of capital growth.

What About If I Want Out of My Investment?

If you need a liquid asset, then property is not the best choice.

Investing through property crowdfunding facilitates liquidity to some degree as it may be easier to sell shares in a property than the whole property. However, there is never any guarantee that you will be able to find a buyer, and, if you cannot do so, you will have to wait until the property is sold.

Some platforms will help you to find a buyer after the expiry of a minimum term, but you should check the small print before you invest. If you’re looking for a short term investment, P2P secured lending may be the better option.

To Conclude

We hope that this has offered you some valuable insight into getting started investing through property crowdfunding. Of course, you should know everything about the ins and outs of any investment before you part with your money, and we are fully committed to helping you know all you need to.

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If you have any questions, you can always get in touch with us and we will be very happy to fill you in.

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 nature of managing the investment.

Whilst those who favour traditional property investment value the sense of control associated with full ownership of a property, there are significant costs and time commitments involved in maintaining their investment, Property crowdfunding on the other hand is to a very large extent a passive investment with thord parties managing everything on your behalf. So if you do not have the time, nor the resources, to keep up with the demands of building a property portfolio it can be a very attractive option.

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 purchased 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 will probably be a lucrative 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.

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 by at least 130% and should factor in potential mortgage rate rises.

Find out more about our current property investment options.

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, which usually buys properties for cash with no or minimal borrowing.

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 could 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 is in your hands. Property crowdfunding, on the other hand, usually 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 to place 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.

You can view our current property investment options here.

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.

You can find out more by registering here.

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 you could be the sort of person who would benefit from property crowdfunding, depending 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.

 

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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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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Property News Round-up 16/12/15

Property News – All The Latest Updates

Hi guys and welcome to another fortnightly edition of our property news round-up. As usual we take a look at an array of stories from the property industry, today we look at Yorkshire and the Northern Powerhouse to looking at some Christmas decorated homes (just don’t let Dave come round and put your decorations up – you’ll see why!), if you’ve been extremely busy like ourselves, they’ll hopefully give you some inspiration for when you do finally get round to putting your Christmas lights up!

 

Yorkshire Earns Its Place In The Northern Powerhouse

yorkshire northern powerhouse

In the past year the north of England has had a 30 per cent increase in construction and whilst Manchester and both Liverpool dominate, Yorkshire and Humberside are catching up with their north western rivals.

George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse vision to give major northern cities their very own powers when it comes to planning, housing, transport, and policing, deals have already been discussed and agreed upon for Greater Manchester, Sheffield, and the North East.

However, when it comes to property, many analysts have stated that Yorkshire property growth is linked to simply supplying the housing that people want. Government schemes such as Help To Buy is one major factor that is helping to flourish “Gods Own County” when it comes to property, particularly for families who are starting out.

The county has definitely attracted people from the south, particularly from the capital, end of the day it’s no secret that you get more for your money up north compared with what you would get in the south. As the Examiner mention, the cash you part with for a two-bedroom flat in west London would get you a 10 bedroom, Grade II listed, detached house with three acres of land in Lindley, Huddersfield.

In addition, the vibrant and beautiful Yorkshire countryside and huge investment opportunities in retail, technology, and research plus its rich culture (which we mentioned about in a previous blog post).

With all these factors you can see why Yorkshire has become a crowded marketplace as it continues to compete with Manchester and Liverpool and this one reason why we have had quite a few projects in the region. If you are interested in Yorkshire, feel free to download our South Yorkshire guide.

 

Top Of The League – Manchester A Top Choice For Investors

manchester investment

Since 2010 no other place in the country has generated higher yields for property investors than the north-west city. (Select Property, December 2015).

Investors have gained annual average returns of 6.02%, compared to just 4.79% in London according to data which was generated from lending firm LendInvest.

2015 has been a great year for the city as it has cemented its place as the Northern Powerhouse leader to being named as the UK’s number one city for property investment by HSBC.

Last month a survey which was conducted by accounting firm RSM found that the north-west is the second highest UK region for overseas investment. With a vast amount of investment being poured into the Northern Powerhouse leader as well as having a huge demand for rented spaces, investors have been quick to snap up assets in the city ahead of a predicted growth curve.

 

Is The London Property Market Going To Crash?

London Property Crash

So what’s happening in the capital? To cut a long story short there’s simply too much supply and not enough demand. According to The Independent,  in the last financial quarter alone, 6,000 new apartments were finished, each costing more than £600,000. Currently there are 41,000 homes and flats under construction or being topped out in London priced at north of £1m.

People without children want to live in apartments, these include the  first buyers, buy-to-let investors, and people who’s main home is not in the capital. First-time buyers are therefore being prices out as they simply can’t afford a mortgage or afford to pay a deposit on a house.

In addition, foreign purchases from wealthy Russians and Chinese buyers has started to trickle. Vladimir Putin has put a crackdown on Russian citizens that hold cash overseas meaning that there has been less Russian buyers in London recently. Moving further east, China is also having a corruption purge as mentioned in The Independent.

So what does this all mean for the London property market? According to one property expert, it will take just one single developer not to sell, won’t be able to cover costs, and that’s when the crack will start to happen. He mentions that will be enough to send shockwaves through the market, and bring prices crashing down.

Are you looking for an alternative? If so, we recommend reading our crowdfunding process page to see if property crowdfunding is right for you.

 

Average Property Price Increases to £20,000 in 2015

stamp duty

Figures from Rightmove show that the average selling price for a home in December was £289,452, an increase of around £20,000 from the average house price a year ago. (Which, December, 2015).

The property portal mentioned that the seasonal 1.1% dip in property prices this month is the lowest December fall they have seen since 2006.

They have predicted that prices will reach new records next year and expects new seller asking prices to rise by 6% as the demand in excess of suitable supply continues.

As a result of prices remaining high in London, highly-skilled workers may look for other options and move to more affordable cities such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Leeds.

 

Decorated Christmas Homes – Let it Glow Let it Glow Let it Glow!

christmas lights UK

If you’re like me and leave your Christmas decorations to the last minute and if you are a big fan of Christmas lights you might want to take a look at some of the most Christmas decorated homes in the UK.

If you’re looking at decking up your front with fairy lights we think the 9th example is quite a good one to go for. If you like to go nuts with your lights and Christmas decorations how about the first example?

We’d love to see your creativity, feel free to tweet us your decorated home @TheHouseCrowd.

I hope you can do a better job than me! This is what it would look like if I was left in charge…

christmas decoration fail

 

Image Sources : Telegraph Heavy

 

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.

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. 

Register Now For More Information

 

Property values can fall. Your capital may be at risk & returns may vary. Read our Risk Warning.

Property News Round-up 3/8/16

Property News All The Latest Updates

 

Hi guys and welcome to our first property news blog of the month! As usual, we will be taking a look at the latest goings-on in the UK property market with five short stories. Today, we start our property news round-up by looking at Generation Y and their renting habits to focusing on Aegon’s research on homeowners and pensions. Missed our last round-up? If so, catch up here.

Millennials Like The Flexibility & Freedom of Renting

Millennials Property

Recently, a study confirmed something that most 18 to 30-year-olds already know: they can’t buy houses and also something we are familiar here at The House crowd from conducting our own research. As The Independent’s Thea De Gallier points out : “Millennials are abandoning their dreams of home ownership,” declared a damning report that revealed home ownership in the UK has fallen to 63.8 per cent (for context, it was 70.8 per cent in 2003).”

So why is it so hard for millennials like myself to become a property owner? Firstly, the average house price in this country is just over £200,000, (almost 10 times the average wage!) Secondly other regions are playing catch-up with London’s astronomical prices which has left us no choice but to rent.

But is renting necessarily a bad thing? Today, Generation Y are known for their fast paced life style and are constantly on the move, renting is surely ideal for them.

Research can back this claim up, for example, Deloitte found out that 44 per cent of millennials want to leave their current jobs in the next two years, in addition, Econsultancy found that 69 per cent of all graduates thought freelancing was a more attractive option than long-term employment. (Stats taken from The Independent)

On the other side of the Atlantic, many commentators have mentioned that millennials simply don’t want to own a property. One source in particular views that millennials are “[thinking] differently about what it means to “own” something”.

I totally agree with the commentator as we are currently living in a sharing economy. Moreover, I completely side with De Gallier’s points in her article that we need a similar renting cap that is used in European cities such as Berlin. It’s fair to say the current system isn’t working for us even though some of us like to rent. We definitely need to seek alternatives – the likes of property crowdfunding could be one of those methods, which you can read more about here.

Why Are Fewer People Purchasing Properties in Greater Manchester?

Property News North West

BBC News reported yesterday that home ownership has fallen more sharply in Greater Manchester than anywhere else in England.

The biggest question on everyone’s lips is why? Financial Analyst Louise Cooper says the issue stems from house cost to wage ratios. She told the BBC that : “The average house price in England in 1986 was £38,000, today it is £226,000,” she said. “Over the same period the average salary has gone up two and half times.”

She adds : “The price of property compared to salaries has gone up hugely. Everyone says it is a London problem. It is not. Manchester is one of the worst.”

Our very own Frazer Fearnhead mentions in the BBC article that Manchester has a large student population and young professionals in the city prefer to rent.

Frazer believes that the Greater Manchester area mirrors the rest of the UK in the fact there are not enough houses being built, fuelling a demand that pushes up prices.

Read more on the issue here.

 

Investors Pull £1.4bn From UK Property Funds in Brexit Month

Brexit

Retail investors withdrew £1.4bn from property funds in June, 6 per cent of the sector’s assets, as the Brexit vote sparked an exodus that forced some of the largest funds to halt trading. (FT.com, August, 2016)

Following to the leave the EU in late June, led to many moving money out of property funds which forced Standard Life’s UK Real Estate fund to suspend redemptions in early July.

Others followed suit, such as Aviva, M&G, Columbia Threadneedle, Henderson and Canada Life.

Senior analyst at the retail investment broker Hargreaves Lansdown, Laith Khalaf, told the FT : “The scale of the exodus from investment funds in June is quite extraordinary, with the Brexit vote eclipsing the financial crisis in terms of putting the frighteners on retail investors in the short term.”

At present, around £15bn of investors’ money remains trapped in suspended funds that lack enough liquid assets to meet redemption requests.

 

UK Construction Crashes At Fastest Pace Since Financial Crisis

UK Construction

Construction output in June has fallen at its fastest pace since the dark days of the financial crisis in 2009 according to a survey by Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (Cips).

Purchasing Managers Index figures indicate that Slower demand has lead to a drop in purchasing activity for the first time in just over three years. The index dropped from 51.2 in May to 46.0 in June, with anything below 50 indicating a contraction, as The Independent’s Ben Chapman reports.

Despite having record house prices, it was revealed that the weakest performing sector was residential construction. In addition, commercial building work was also weak, as new projects did not start to replace those that were coming to completion.

The EU referendum has been linked to the slowdown as there are still many uncertainties. Senior economist at Markit, Tim Moore told The Independent : “Widespread delays to investment decisions and housing market jitters saw the UK construction sector experience its worst month for seven years in June.”

However, David Noble, chief executive officer at Cips mentioned that the only glimmer of light through the brickwork is the rate of decline was not as sharp as that experienced during the previous financial crisis.

A spokesperson for Home Builders Federation said recent figures should not be viewed in isolation and that long term trends for the sector were good.

 

Little Appetite For Using Property As Pension As Research Shows

Property News Landlords

Research conducted by Aegon revealed that majority of homeowners do not want to use their property wealth to fund retirement.

Their study showed 74% of homeowners would only use their home as a “last resort” to provide a retirement income or do not consider their home as a source of retirement income at all. (Professional Adviser, August, 2016)

Moreover, Aegon found out that more than half of the research respondents want to leave their home to their loved ones.

Only 3% of those surveyed said that they would sell their property and move in with family as a means of funding retirement. 21% of homeowners are hoping they can fall back on inheritance to assist them with their retirement plans.

 

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.

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. 

Register Now for more Info