Author: <span>CapitalStackers</span>


CapitalStackers is now inviting investors to participate in a prestigious development of eight highly desirable detached houses in a deal which is expected to yield up to 17% annualised returns with attractive LTV ratios. Click here to download a fact sheet.

The development is only a short walk from the 18th century market town of Malpas, Cheshire – a friendly village community within commuting distance of Chester and Wrexham, and close to the Ofsted outstanding Bishop Heber High School..

A number of listed buildings dotted around the immediate area (including the Grade 1 Church of Saint Oswald), lend the site a rare traditional charm. And since the developer has in-house design capability, each of the homes can be partially bespoke to the purchaser’s requirements which has sparked early interest from buyers with plots already being reserved off-plan.

The Gross Development Value of the scheme is £5.1m, with Royal Bank of Scotland providing the senior funding of £1.58m.

This leaves plenty of room for CapitalStackers investors in this triple layer deal, with target returns pegged at between 10.3% and 16.9% per annum over an anticipated investment term of 22 months and with corresponding Loan to Value ratios of 55% to 73%. CapitalStackers investors will be secured by second charge behind RBS on the development site supplemented by a first charge on some additional property.plot-3-drawings

The development will naturally appeal to a broad spectrum of investors, from conservatively positioned pension funds to those with a higher risk-and-reward appetite, so early involvement is recommended. The minimum investment is £5,000.

For more details, visit or watch the Orchard House Properties 3D Video here.

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The Oakapple Group – a Leeds development company – has begun converting the former 4 star Balmoral Hotel in Harrogate into 14 luxury apartments, with the help of funding raised by P2P lending platform CapitalStackers.

The 1image-living-space2,500 sq ft landmark Victorian building on Franklin Mount is being sensitively converted into one and two bedroom elegant apartments ranging from 600 to 1300 sq ft. Completion is scheduled for September 2017 and residents will enjoy on-site parking and original architectural features. The property was built around 1890 as three Victorian villas, converted into a guest house in 1981 and became the Balmoral Hotel in 1984. Oakapple received planning consent in June 2016.

For the developer, the funding solution allowed more effective use of equity. CapitalStackers introduced the senior debt from Hampshire Trust Bank of circa £2.3m and raised the additional £515,000 required within a week of posting the deal. The developer anticipates selling for in excess of £4m.

image-bathroomSteve Robson of CapitalStackers comments, “We are delighted to be playing a significant role in the sensitive conversion of such an imposing and historical building within the centre of Harrogate. Investors will look forward to receiving returns pegged at between 11% to 15.5% per annum within the next 14 months”.

CapitalStackers matches investors direct with developers seeking finance on specific projects. The company aims to plug the funding gap between typical bank debt and the developer’s equity. Investors typically receive double digit returns up to 20%.

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If you were going to invest your life savings, your pension, your inheritance, you’d want to know it was relatively safe wouldn’t you?

Before you took the plunge, you would hope to weigh up the balance of risk versus return and make an educated and informed decision about where and with whom you invest? Do you play safe and potentially get a lower return or do you take a higher risk and reap the financial benefits faster?

This concept isn’t new of course – for centuries, people have taken perceived risks with their money. Some have struck gold, others have had their fingers burnt. And most have harvested returns somewhere in between!

In 2016, how do you make an informed choice and how important is transparency in this process?

We at CapitalStackers believe it is more important now than it has ever been. Investors are becoming more and more sophisticated and quite rightly, they demand transparency, whether investing £5,000 or £1 million.

Technology has also had a huge impact on the way people invest. Investors have direct and easy access to investor platforms and they should also have direct and easy access to any information necessary to weigh up risk and return. No matter how much you wish to invest, with whom or how experienced you are, transparency allows you to make a properly informed choice.

P2P lending and alternative finance companies are revolutionising the traditional banking and lending industries. According to the FCA, £2.7bn was invested on regulated crowdfunding platforms in 2015, up from £500m in 2013. But with change, often comes competition and uncertainty. Over the last few months there have been widespread calls for tougher regulation and control. Concerns predominantly focus on whether consumers understand the risk they are taking, especially those who are less experienced or knowledgeable.

There is also some confusion over the differences between the ‘pooled’ lending approach and direct peer-to-peer lending such as that arranged by CapitalStackers.  With pooled lending, investors are provided with only part of the picture such as headline risk parameters and no detailed financial information about any of the borrowers or the deals. The upside is that risk is often spread across the loan whole portfolio, but investors are entirely dependent on the platform’s management.

Direct lending such as that arranged by CapitalStackers means absolute transparency and decision making independent of the platform management. Investors choose both the deal and the loan amount – and they have access to detailed information on the specific risk and returns.

Recent press headlines airing concerns with the alternative investment sector, such as those made by Lord Turner, are only a generalisation and don’t reflect the diversity within the P2P market. There is a vast difference between investing in a tech start-up through an equity crowdfunding platform and secured lending against bricks and mortar, for example. At CapitalStackers, we only arrange loans to experienced developers, many of whom have already raised part of the funding requirement through a mainstream bank and gone through their independent due diligence process, as well as our own stringent checks. No investment is without risk, but those made through CapitalStackers are carefully analysed, managed and transparent.

We have always been open to scrutiny and detailed information is provided to our investors up front providing the same level of clarity on the deal as the bank and the developer have in assessing its viability. This transparency is the foundation upon which CapitalStackers is based and the reason why our investors continue to re-invest.

John Thornley, MD of Fairhurst Estates, has committed funds to a variety of property backed investments over many years in the commercial and residential property sectors. As well as investing directly he now also invests through CapitalStackers. As an expert in this sector he was pleasantly surprised by the amount of detailed financial information provided on the platform. “I literally had no further questions which is unusual. All the information I needed to make an informed decision was provided up front”

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This week we gave our investors a serious cause to celebrate when our residential development in York was completed two months ahead of schedule. Which means the shrewdness of all sixteen P2P investors paid off as they got their investment back within just 8 months and received returns of up to 22.5% per annum.

Foss Place

All the apartments at Foss Place, Foss Island Road in York had already been pre-sold during construction by developer Norstar Limited and the majority of investors, who lent between £5,000 and £1.73 million to the project, have re-invested into another CapitalStackers funded scheme, a residential conversion in the centre of Harrogate.

CapitalStackers’ offering is becoming increasingly popular with astute P2P investors –  the entire funding for Foss Place was completed in just 14 days from CapitalStackers’ engagement to the full loan being drawn down. The company now has in excess of 100 investors on its books and rising – and it’s easy to see why.

The idea is to plug the funding gap between typical bank debt and the developer’s equity – and it’s a win-win deal. Developers get access to the funding that dried up since the banks retrenched and it’s a great way for a wide range of investors to get involved with bigger commercial building projects, from housing to offices – schemes that would otherwise be out of the smaller investor’s reach (except through REITs or unit trusts, which would not allow them the same control over their investment).

CapitalStackers not only gives investors the choice of the development project they help fund but also lets them choose the risk level and associated return. Total financial transparency is maintained and typical returns are between 5% and 20% per annum paid out on completion of the project – usually around 12-24 months later. The minimum lend is just £5,000, and all loans are fully secured on the property being funded, with the extra benefit of high quality due diligence.

The Foss Place project is just another great example of the idea in action. CapitalStackers raised £2.25m loan monies to help Norstar Limited purchase and convert a disused office building into 6 studio and 18 one-bed apartments, with a predicted gross development value of £3.2 million and peak loan to value ratio of 76% including interest. On completion, the development sold out for £3.4m equating to an improved loan-to-value ratio of 71%.  The apartments were priced between £99,000 and £120,000.

Steve Robson of CapitalStackers comments, “We’re delighted to give our investors annualised returns of between 8.5% and 22.5% in just eight months, two months ahead of schedule. We arranged three layers of finance to Norstar: Layer 1 being £1.75m of senior debt; Layer 2 provided £350,000; and Layer 3 a further £150,000, at returns of 8.5%, 15% and 22.5% per annum respectively”.

So for any investors looking for a more appealing investment opportunity, CapitalStackers has surely come of age. There are a number of exciting projects in the pipeline with similar attractive risk and reward profiles. The minimum investment is £5,000 and there’s no upper limit. So why not register now and give your funds a boost over the next 12-24 months?

Press enquiries: Cath Cookson, 07799 713941 or Simon Sinclair 07769 684843.

Find out more at or by calling Steve Robson on 07774 718947.

Investment through CapitalStackers involves lending to property developers and investors. Your capital is at risk. Investments through this and other peer to peer lending platforms are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

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Try our useful free Excel tool to calculate how much you might make from investing in property.

Is Buy-To-Let the ideal investment for you? Is it as good as it used to be?

For the past few years, the BTL sector has been booming, propelled by an annual 5.6% rise in property values, with yields at 5% to 6% and base rates at a record low of 0.5%. It’s been good business for banks, too, with the market now accounting for 15% of all UK mortgages.

But fuelled by concerns that the resultant property boom might spiral and flip over into a bust cycle, the Chancellor and the Bank of England have headed off prospective landlords in a pincer movement that sees stamp duty on investment properties increase by 3% and new stress tests for BTL mortgages that raise the bar significantly for borrowing landlords.

In addition, the recent reduction in Capital Gains Tax pointedly excluded landlords – meaning that they’ll now pay 8% more tax than other investors on any increase in the value of their assets.


Landlords say “It won’t affect us”.

Still, it has to be said that most BTL investors remain unmoved by this perceived persecution. A recent YouGov poll of 1,000 landlords (commissioned by Aldermore Bank) suggested that more than half expected it to have no effect on them whatsoever.

And of course, for the majority, it won’t. 87% profess no intention of buying any more properties, and among those who are actively building a property portfolio (assuming they’re sensibly viewing them as long-term investments), even the pain of the extra stamp duty will be assuaged when spread over a decade or two.

Nevertheless, while 70% expected the number of tenants to rise over the next 5 years, a third felt the value of the BTL market would fall in the next 12 months.


So how much can you realistically expect to make?

All of which suggests that, while BTL will remain a valued part of the investment portfolio for years to come, newcomers to the market should take a very prudent long term view of their own prospects.

To this end, we felt it might be helpful to create this useful free Excel BTL Calculator to help you project what a BTL investment could earn you in a variety of circumstances. It allows you to project best and worst case scenarios, play with the variables and paint yourself a very clear picture of how things will likely pan out.


A simple example

Let’s say you have £100,000 to invest into a modest flat costing you perhaps £275,000, and generating a gross yield of, say, 6%.  Immediately you will be out of pocket by almost £15,700 having shelled out for stamp duty, legal fees and mortgage costs.

After mortgage interest (let’s assume you secure a mortgage at 2.99%) and other costs (don’t forget to budget for void periods), your net income would be £4,598 – giving you a net yield of 4.6%, all of which is clawing back your upfront costs over the first three and a half years.  Taking into account selling costs and assuming no capital growth, you would lose money if you sold before four and a half years were up.

Of course, this is only an example. Feel free to put in your own numbers and test different scenarios.

For instance, you could extrapolate scenarios like the property lying vacant for a couple of months, increasing or reducing the capital growth rate – or you could see how it would look if you decided to bypass an agent and do a lot of the management work yourself, if you have the time.  You might also like to see what impact the Bank of England’s new stress tests might have.  The example shows that a hike in rates to 5.5% would only leave you slightly underwater but any other additional costs, such as a longer void, would require you to put your hand deeper into your pocket.

The calculator allows you to plot out all these eventualities and draw your own conclusions – so play around with it and see how BTL works for you.


What are the alternatives?

If you decide BTL isn’t right for you at the moment, but you still want the comfort of property backed investment, it’s worth considering Peer to Peer property lending.

Since the banks tightened up, property developers typically find themselves with a piece of land, perhaps 20% equity of their own and a promise from a bank to lend 50-60% of their project cost.

In between those two figures, there’s a golden gap that needs filling – and it’s being increasingly filled by peer-to-peer investors., for instance, works with banks and developers to fill this funding gap, giving investors the option to choose different developments – from office blocks to housing developments – and different risk and reward profiles.

Instead of sinking your £100,000 into a single property and taking on the headache of managing it yourself (or at least managing the agent), you could spread your cash across several different ones.  You can even lend against residential property through your pension fund and get the returns tax free.


How much could you make from P2P property lending?

The returns you get can vary from 5% for a let investment property to figures in the high teens if you lend on a development and where you have an appetite for a higher return against a higher risk (up to around 75% of the property value).

If this seems a strikingly large return for an investment, consider the experience of CapitalStackers investors who are currently lending against a residential development in York.  Those with the lowest risk (less than 60% of the property value) are earning 8.5% which compares favourably with the example in the BTL Calculator irrespective of the differing risk profiles.  Investors taking the most risk, sitting at 76% of value, are earning in excess of 20%. Since the developers have already sunk cash equity into the project which will make a profit, the investors benefit from a fairly deep cushion against possible downturns. Their returns take into account the fact that the property securing their lending is a development which at the time they committed had yet to be built out and sold (which, at the time of writing, it is and has).  The developers take care of the whole process and will be making quite a tidy sum from it themselves, so they’re more than happy to reward those plugging the gap that the banks used to fill.

Okay, so you might forego any capital uplift from owning the property outright but you are also well shielded from capital depreciation by the borrower’s equity and profit margin.  Essentially, it’s possible to make better returns for a lower and better spread of risk with someone else looking after your interests.  What’s more, you don’t have to tie up your cash for so long and nor do you need to take on a mortgage.


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How is stock market volatility affecting its value?

For decades, the UK stock market was seen as the standard way to make a steady return. Right up until the mid 1990s (October 1987’s Black Monday notwithstanding).

Since then, however, it’s been a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. With falls that make Black Monday look like a grey Tuesday.

So if your pension is invested in it (in common with the vast majority of the British public), then it could be costing you thousands of pounds right now. Which could, of course, seriously affect your cumulative total when you come to retire.

Because early suggestions show that 2016 is shaping up to be a bad year for British pension holders. In fact, some pensions funds may actually be falling in value.

This is largely due to China’s internal economic struggles having a knock-on effect on the rest of the world.

The graph below shows how much the FTSE has changed since 1984. If you’ve been following recent performance, heart in mouth, worried about the possibility of the next tumble, then isn’t it worth considering less capricious ways to invest your money?


How safe is your pension fund right now?


Start reviewing your pension before March 2016

Last year, we saw some serious changes to the way pensions work here in the UK. The most notable of which is the right to draw your full pension fund from the age of 55 – with 25% being tax-free.

However, not all of the changes will benefit all of us. In fact, with the government keen to squeeze us for every last penny, it’s widely expected that further changes will be announced in the March 2016 budget. Changes that are unlikely to make pensions any more attractive.

Let’s look at two of the most detrimental revisions from the 2015 budget:

  • Reducing the maximum that can be held in pensions without being liable for tax
  • Slashing the amount that can be saved in a pension for those who pay the highest tax

These two changes alone ought to be enough to make you take stock. Are your pensions really working as hard as they can?

So if you’re:

  • Frustrated watching your fund constantly rise and fall with the markets
  • Unable to predict what it may or may not be worth in the future
  • Unsure whether or not it will provide you with the retirement income you need

Then you should be seriously considering alternatives.

As part of your pension review, you should find out how it’s been performing over the last few years. If you find it’s not growing at least 5% (and realistically, a good deal more than that), you should seriously think about transferring to a SIPP – a pension plan that puts you in full control.


Swap to a SIPP

A SIPP is a self-invested pension plan, which enables you to select and manage how your pension is invested.

A SIPP enables you to place your pension through more innovative investment vehicles, such as the peer-to-peer property lending platform, CapitalStackers.


Why should you invest your pension through CapitalStackers?

Because CapitalStackers is focused entirely on real estate. The people and businesses you lend to on this platform will only ever be experienced property investors or property developers – and your funds are secured on their property assets.

What’s more, far from being an alternative to bank finance, it actually enables developers and investors to work with the banks, building on their support, so that investors can lend directly to pre-vetted borrowers and create a mutually-beneficial solution.

Now, although investing with CapitalStackers isn’t without risk, it does make understanding risk clear and simple, with no-nonsense, straight talking presentations that give you all the information you need. And it gives you the means to monitor your investments. You can even choose your preferred management team, location, property type and level of risk. And, if necessary, you can choose to exit your investment through our marketplace.

Best of all, by investing through your pension fund you don’t have to pay tax on the interest your CapitalStackers investment generates.


Final thoughts

So, whatever your stage of life, you should seriously consider investing through CapitalStackers via a SIPP. Where else can you choose your own risk and reward, and earn a tax-free return of between 5% and 20%? Click here if you want to know more.



CapitalStackers – the P2P property development lending platform – has raised a £2.25m loan to fund the purchase and development of a 24-unit residential block in York.

The entire funding was completed in just 14 days from engagement to the full loan being raised, and the development by Norstar Limited is projected to have a Gross Development Value of £3.2m.  Investor returns are pegged at between 8.5% and 23% p.a.

Steve Robson of CapitalStackers commented:

“This is a huge milestone in our development and singles us out from the competition as being able to perform swiftly and professionally when circumstances dictate.  Working closely with our investors and professional advisers to deliver the whole package within an incredibly tight timescale is a fantastic achievement.”

CapitalStackers allows a wide range of investors to get involved with large commercial building projects, from housing to offices– schemes that would otherwise be out of their reach except through REITs or unit trusts. The idea is to plug the funding gap between typical bank debt and the developer’s equity. CapitalStackers invites P2P investors to take a stake at a risk and reward level they choose, with typical returns of between 5% and 20% p.a. on completion of the project, around 12-24 months later. With the minimum investment being just £5,000 fully secured on the property being funded and on the back of high quality due diligence, this is proving to be a very popular investment vehicle.

This is the latest in a string of new projects funded by CapitalStackers, who are currently inviting investment in an exciting new residential development in Birmingham. The loan sought is £1.9m and returns will be between 7.7% and 17.2% p.a. over a 15 month term.

The development address is: Foss Place, Foss Islands Road, York, YO31 7UJ.

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CapitalStackers, the exciting new peer-to-peer property lending platform, has lured senior industry figure Sylvia Bowden to join its ranks.

Originally an investment fund manager, then a chartered surveyor running York’s second largest practice, Sylvia rose to prominence after switching to the banking industry and spending more than a decade structuring bank debt for property investments and developments. Her robust, cashflow-led approach to risk assessment and risk management have been the hallmark of her deals and make her a perfect company fit.

CapitalStackers’ Managing Director, Steve Robson, said, “I’m delighted Sylvia is joining us. The appointment affirms CapitalStackers’ growing presence in property finance”.

Sylvia said her decision to join CapitalStackers was driven by “a desire to make a difference”.

“Real estate finance has been in the doldrums for too long and initiatives like CapitalStackers will be the catalyst to get the country building again.  I’m really looking forward to writing new deals” she said.

Nigel Bennett, Chairman, said, “This is another step forward for the company and its plans to improve the funding options for property borrowers and provide attractive secured returns for investors who lend to them. ”

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There are a raft of tax provisions that are going to make individuals who lend money pay less tax, including:

From 6th April 2015 a £5,000 zero % band for basic rate taxpayers.

From 6th April 2016   £1,000 interest tax free for basic rate taxpayers (£500 for higher rate tax payers).

It is anticipated Peer to Peer lending will be allowed to be held in ISAs in the Government’s second 2015 budget next week.

Therefore, there is potential for an extra £6,000 per annum tax free income per individual.

Philip Eagle, Tax Director, Hallidays Limited

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Hundreds of UK property developers with attractive products are crying out for investors to plug the gap left by the banking crisis.

Big deal, you say. But possibly too big.

The hefty sums needed to fund a new factory or office block are simply out of the reach of most investors unless you go through REITs or collectives. But then you lose control and the thrill of involvement.

So for most of us, the grim reality of investing in property is slogging away at small residential stuff, shops and industrial units – with the attendant headaches of borrowing from banks, PGs and management headaches – not to mention the equity risk.

But a new service launches this week that might give you a considerable leg up into the headier heights of property Nirvana.

It’s the brainchild of two experienced former North-West bank managers who specialised for decades in the property industry. It’s called CapitalStackers, and it’s a brilliant solution to the small investor’s dilemma.

Very often, banks will lend 55-65% towards the cost of a viable project, but no more. The developer will obviously have some equity of his own, so it just needs someone to plug the gap between the two.

Obviously, that in itself is too big a leap for most investors. But here’s the clever bit.

Simply put, CapitalStackers “stacks” private funding on top of bank lending in order to reach the level required to finance a property scheme – in other words, it actually works with active banks rather than pushing them out.

Investors can then choose where in the “stack” of finance they’d like to invest – picking their own level of risk and return, which management team they prefer, which projects they’d like to get involved with – and they can even spread their risk at different levels within the same project.

It typically brings in returns of between 5% and 20% – and one of its most attractive features is that the investment is secured against the underlying property assets being financed.

It’s certain to be of interest to people looking to invest through their pension funds at a sensible risk/reward ratio. In addition to the bank’s due diligence process to get the project off the ground in the first place, the CapitalStackers team perform comprehensive risk analysis and ongoing monitoring of your investment.

Which means investors benefit in the following ways: (a) the lending risk analysis process is doubled up; (b) phased funding of ongoing construction is more suited to a bank than individual investors whose cash goes in first and gets an immediate return; (c) senior debt gearing means you can use your cash to access more or larger deals; and, (d) cheaper senior debt enhances the return on your investment.

So for the investor seeking more attractive risk-weighted rewards, this could be the future of property investing.

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