It seems that staring at the same four walls every day has forced many of us to contemplate the nature of housing. And human nature being what it is, we’re searching for someone to beat up and blame for the ills of society.

And I’m sorry, Landlords, but right now, it’s you.

Notwithstanding the fact that 20% of the UK population rely on you for a roof over their heads [1], you’re being fingered for “pushing up the cost of housing and creating an affordability crisis for almost everyone else”. [2]

That’s quite a charge. So the rise in house prices was nothing to do with a free market economy that allowed six million more households to buy their own homes since 1980, and the two million more who were helped to do so by housing associations? And the rise in people entering private rented accommodation had nothing to do with the decline of social housing?

Presumably, those 20% would have all bought their own homes if it weren’t for you exploiting them – despite the fact that 12.5% of households still chose to rent privately way back in 1980 – before any encouragement from Mrs Thatcher and all the social changes since. [3]

We’re not saying the decline in social housing is not a problem, of course – we’re just saying it’s not a problem that can fairly be blamed on landlords.

But seriously, if it’s not The Daily Telegraph wishing your demise in an article about COVID-19 precipitating a housing crash, it’s the article’s readers chucking all their furniture on the bonfire.

On 18th April, The Telegraph cranked up the air-raid siren, saying that the 28% of landlords who owned properties outright (and therefore would not qualify from Government-backed mortgage relief) “faced bankruptcy” if tenants were unable to pay rent and that “as many as 80% (of landlords) could be forced to quit the sector”. [4]

This prediction was met with glee by a significant proportion of those commenting on the article – a typical example being, “A massive clear out of the ‘get rich quick’ Buy to Let industry will be one of the many welcome and long overdue effects of the COVID crisis”.

Jeepers! Whose side are they on? Certainly not the side of those families who will have nowhere to live if landlords pull out (which they won’t of course – what kind of investor sells an asset in a sliding market?).

Neither is the Shadow Cabinet too bothered about those families, with Labour demanding a tightening of the coils around landlords in their manifesto [5] and Emily Thornberry screeching that empty houses should be confiscated from their owners [6].

Local activist communities like the London Renters Union and Acorn stirred the pot further by concocting a Renter Manifesto which demanded “Homes to live in, not for profit”, insisting that landlords should sell their properties to local authorities (as opposed to on the open market) and again pinning the blame squarely and unfairly on those who rent out properties rather than the Government which doesn’t build and society as a whole which feels an Englishman’s home is his asset.

The Guardian and The Independent, of course, have been banging this drum for quite a while. Last April, Mike Segalov responded to Government changes to BTL legislation by calling landlords “exploitative and inhumane charlatans” and pointing out that “someone earning minimum wage would find the average private rented home unaffordable [7]. Landlords can point to “the market” to justify charging high rents and feel they aren’t to blame”. Well, thanks for that, Mike – would you mind explaining to us how landlords specifically are to blame, if ordinary homeowners aren’t? Or don’t you want to go there (you didn’t, so I suppose that answers that question).

And back in July, one could imagine George Monbiot wringing  his tear-sodden hands as he typed a piece about tenants “paying landlords to live like kings”, mewling that “the UK has become a paradise for landlords” [8]. He rages that “in the 13 years between 2002 and 2015, average wages for people who rent rose by 2%, but their rents rose by 16%” without a sniff of context. The context, of course, is that housebuilding in this country has always lagged behind population growth, and the period he highlights saw a massive increase of 9.7% coupled with a rising trend of single occupancy due to social changes. This massive increase in demand pushed house prices up 95% over the period that George bewails rents going up 16%. [9]

Why he feels renters should be immune from the market forces that toss the rest of us around, he doesn’t say. In any case, renters in the UK have it better in the UK than they do across Europe and beyond. We have more tenants with subsidised rents per head than in any other country bar Slovenia. [10]

Also worthy of note is the fact that people living in Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland rent, rather than buy, and presumably by choice, judging by the above chart.

Quite why the heavyweights of “social justice” are queueing up to give Mrs Miggins a kicking it’s equally hard to fathom. Of course, painting landlords as the Robber Barons de nos jours is a populist way of stirring up class hatreds and hastening their comrades to the barricades.

However, it’s simply a spiteful campaign of emotional propaganda, by grown-ups who should know better. It wants us to believe that all renters are poor and all landlords are rich. And when we see the reality it starts to look a bit silly.

There are many reasons why people rent – high-level job relocations, postings, marriage breakups, not just through lack of choice – and let’s not forget that most private landlords are just ordinary folks who got stuck with their mum’s old end terrace, or moved in with a second spouse and kept the old place on “just in case”.

Even those who kept buying and built up a string of rental homes to keep them in their retirement are hardly grinding the faces of the poor into the dirt, for the most part. Yes, they’re using property to make profit – but profit is simply another word for “income”, and why is that somehow worse than using any other means to make an income? Why is it different to making money from selling cars, or apples, or the sweat of your brow? Why, for that matter, does someone investing to ensure their own self-sufficiency in retirement make them a legitimate piñata for the illiberal elite?

And why vilify people who are providing a much-needed service? Why try to hound them out of the business, when we know that if they weren’t doing it, the UK’s homelessness problem would become considerably worse, not better?

The simplistic argument of Monbiot, Acorn et al is that fewer buyers means lower prices, so if you took private landlords out of the equation, all homes would become more affordable. But this is naïve reading of economics. It completely ignores the fundamentals of the cost of housing.

Private housing is built to sell to people. The people who build it do so to earn their crust. So unless it’s heavily subsidised, private housing will only ever be built when it’s economically viable. And since the cost of materials and labour isn’t going down, the only moving part in this equation is the cost of land. And in tough times, that goes down. Not so long ago in some parts of the country, sites couldn’t be given away because the cost of building houses was more than they could be sold for. So nothing got built and who suffered most? The people at the bottom of the housing chain, that’s who.

Of course, the social justice nihilists don’t tell us this; either because it’s inconvenient to their argument, or because they don’t understand it.

Do these people hate the idea of landlords so much that they would rather make the poor homeless than see a few people make an income from homing them? Because, if those landlords were really serious about making money from property, they could do a damn sight better than Buy to Let, anyway.

As we pointed out years ago, [11] Buy to Let is a seriously tough way to turn a penny.

Investing your redundancy or pension drawdown (say £100K) into perhaps a modest flat costing £275K – with maybe a 3% mortgage, might yield you a 3.5% return once you take into account void costs, management fees and maintenance.

And, of course, that’s after shelling out £15,700 up front for stamp duty, legal fees and mortgage costs. Not to mention all the stress, costs and headaches of managing an asset with real, living people occupying it (and sometimes not). And if you got fed up of the wildly erratic income and tried to sell within 6 years, unless there’d been a hike in property values, you’d lose money on it.

That’s a heck of a lot of pain for a slippery 3.5%.

Particularly when you consider that you could invest that same £100,000 and make annualised returns of 10%+ out of property development in just a year or two (with some projects having paid as much as 20%). The bottom end of that range is significantly more than our landlord would make even if he held on for 20 years and enjoyed 3% compound annual growth in house prices.

Investors in CapitalStackers have been making these kinds of returns with none of the pain landlords go through – and with a lot less capital exposure, because the borrower is taking the first loss risk if the market falls. Rather than having to service a huge BTL mortgage, investors can participate in property developments with as little as £5,000.

In reality, these are the people making smart money out of property – not your poor old Buy-to-Let landlord. So please, let’s cut landlords some slack.

They don’t have it as easy as you think.

Please follow and like us:

Blog Investor News

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477

We’re delighted to add a new layer of transparency on the CapitalStackers website.

On the new “Portfolio Statistics” page, members can find answers to general questions, such as how much cash we’ve raised in total through our investors, how much has been provided by banks and what the average investment is.

But it also allows them to browse through enlightening performance stats such as

  • Highest and lowest investor returns
  • Average return
  • Repayment performance
  • Risk and reward

Along with useful background information to explain any anomalies or unusual variations.

You may ask why we haven’t done this before. The simple answer is, until recently we haven’t had sufficient data. However, having reached the significant milestone of £60 million funding raised (that’s £45 million through banks and the rest through you) we feel the sample size is now robust enough to give you a meaningful set of statistics.

We’d like to take a moment to thank our investors and appreciate what a huge achievement they’ve helped to make possible – behind every statistic there is a viable, successful building project that would never have got off the drawing board if it weren’t for their collective support.

So now’s finally the time to stop hiding our light under the bushel.

Please follow and like us:

Blog News Press Releases

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477

It’s still possible to earn double-digit returns from P2P without excessive risk. Look beyond the trends and big data and you can uncover some lucrative gems.  

The recent AltFi “State of the Market” report July 2019 had some sobering words for investors – particularly from BondMason’s CEO Stephen Findlay and the restructuring expert, Damian Webb. 

The report largely based its melancholy conclusions on the slackening growth in the Big Four – Zopa, Funding Circle, RateSetter and MarketInvoice – which gives you a summation that, while statistically correct, is incomplete and unhelpful to the investor. A bit like telling us all cars are unreliable because you once owned an Austin Allegro. 

Yes, the Big Four comprise the lion’s share of the market, but they also cover a limited field of vision – that is, they chiefly deal in unsecured loansor those not secured on easily identified concrete assets (with the exception of RateSetter’s property book) 

BondMason announced recently that it was pulling out of P2P due to these diminishing returns, but in this report Mr Findlay is keen not to appear a total Cassandra. 

Surveying the £6 billion world of peer lending from his vantage point atop a £54m loan book, he contended that net returns in the 3% – 6% range are achievable today at acceptable levels of risk and that the market is settling into a low-to-medium risk spectrum.  

“I still think there are some good opportunities to earn attractive risk-adjusted returns,” he shrugs, “but probably at the more conservative end of the market”. 

 

High returns aren’t the only yardstick. 

Had Mr Findlay looked a little further, he might have found reasons to be a little more bullish There are still opportunities for canny investors to make double digit returns without going on a white knuckle ride of high risk. Just because a return is high doesn’t mean you’re at the crazy end of the market. On the other hand, it’s equally possible to earn under 6 per cent and have the investment catching fire in your hands. High returns aren’t the only yardstick, although the way some commentators paint it, you’d think they were. 

It’s possible, for instance, to find platforms like CapitalStackers where you can lend to developers sitting on a reassuring chunk of equity and with Loan-to-Value ratios as low as 55% – and yet still make double digit returns in the time it takes to convert an old warehouse into upmarket flats.  

It’s also possible, to find platforms that are totally transparent and view regular and granular reporting as the duty of care it is, rather than an onerous and grudging requirement. 

The report overlooks opportunities like these and the nervous investor, led by pronouncements that lump together such diverse  “property lending” products as bridging loans, buy-to-let mortgages and development finance, might think that all real estate] P2P is going to hell in a handcart. 

Particularly those that read the section written by Damian Webb. Viewing Mr Webb’s comments through the lens that he is an insolvency practitioner, may offer a little perspective. Were it possible to rub one’s hands and type at the same time, one can imagine Mr Webb doing just that here. 

“The sector is becoming more and more fraught with uncertainty,” he laments. ““Many of the alternative finance lenders have focused on markets that are underserved by traditional lenders or in spaces where traditional lenders do not operate. Banks and traditional lenders retreated from these areas due to the issues and losses they experienced during and after the financial crisis and consequently regard them as high risk.” 

Nowhere does he suggest that it’s possible to invest in platforms like CapitalStackers that work in tandem with the banks, partnering on deals whose risk the banks have every confidence in, allowing the banks to take the liquidity risk, and also to benefit from due diligence that is tighter and more thorough than any bank aspires to. 

He laments that the elements of the business lending market he’s come across professionally are often characterised by limited data, which makes underwriting inherently difficult or challenging. 

He bases these insights on “his own experience of dealing with impaired business loan books” (although not specifying markets, connections or backgrounds), which is a bit like an undertaker giving us his opinion on who’s going to win the World Cup. 

He goes on to adumbrate about property lending in particular, whose yields “have fallen dangerously low during Britain’s long property boom”. 

“In Birmingham, for example,” he says, “five years ago it was possible to achieve residential yields of 7 per cent to 8 per cent. You would be lucky now to get between 4 per cent and 5 per cent. People are investing in development projects on the basis of these low yields.” 

Of course, the hearty chuckles of investors who’ve been comfortably pocketing 12, 18 and 20 per cent in CapitalStackers deals in recent months will be drowned out by Mr Webb’s ululations.  

Likewise, his complaints that P2P platforms don’t own their assets and loans can’t be sold to retrieve capital will be met with puzzled looks by CapitalStackers investors who trade their loans openly in the platform’s secondary marketplace. 

Yes it’s easy to look at big data and find patterns that frighten you. But big data leads to bad maths. And bad maths leads to poor investment.  

So rather than wring their hands about the bad operators in this market (and some of them were – and almost certainly are – very bad), the astute investor can find opportunities by looking through the leaden headlines to find the gold in the cracks between.  

Of course, there are risks in any investment market, and in property development the biggest risk – not necessarily the most likely, but the biggest – is the possibility of property values crashing more than 25%, burning through the comfort blanket and leaving lenders facing a loss. And of course, this kind of financial apocalypse is entirely possible – but then, all risk should be priced in by prudent platforms, and it makes sense to check this before investing. 

However, in property-based crowdfunding, fortune can still very much favour the lateral thinkerSo don’t be put off by the headline rates; don’t automatically assume that high returns mean high risk; and above all, don’t swallow whole what the “experts” tell you. 

Even when the whole world feels like it’s going to hell in a handcart, someone, somewhere is making money out of it. 

Please follow and like us:

Blog Investor News News

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477

Remember the high quality Chessett’s Wood development in Lapworth, which paid annualised returns of up to 13.8% after just 7 months? Or the luxury St. Bernard’s Road development in Solihull paying 14.06% on a very reassuring Loan to Value (LTV) of just 55%?

Well, for those who happily capitalised on those – or even those who missed out – CapitalStackers is pleased to offer a third opportunity to invest in the same highly respected developer – Avalanche Capital and their joint venture construction partner, HCD Developments.

It’s our strong belief that HCD’s distinctive quality of workmanship is a key factor in the early property sales on their previous schemes.

The current opportunity is to invest a total of £620,000 in the development of two large luxury houses, in an established and popular residential road in Solihull – just ten minutes walk from the prosperous town centre and its rail station with links to London and only six miles from Birmingham Airport. Target annualised returns will range between 10.44% and 14.33% for LTV ratios of 52% to 63%.

To be clear, this means that if Layer 2 investors were to suffer a loss, the property would need to

fall in value by 37%. For Layer 1 investors to suffer loss, the value would have to fall by 48% – making for highly attractive risk adjusted returns.

The bulk of the finance – £1.345 million for construction works – is being put up by NatWest and the Borrower has substantial “skin in the game” with its cash equity of £540,000. In addition, the boost in site value from the granting of planning permission amounts to at least £200,000.

The funding base case on which the deal and its risk ratios are structured, assumes both properties are built out and remain unsold for the term of the loan. This follows the usual cautious approach adopted by CapitalStackers. Our sensitivity analysis assumes that at least one buyer will be secured during construction, leading to one house being sold the month after completion – and the second house selling two months later, with the conservative as

sumption of both being sold at a discount of 15% to value. Even taking this into account, risk ratios remain conservative at 60% LTV for Layer 1 investors and 73% for Layer 2.

The site currently accommodates an unoccupied single property in need of substantial renovation, so the proposal is to demolish this and build two very high specification detached houses, on three floors with single integral garages and off-road parking.

Investors are invited to offer loans of £5,000 upwards when the bidding opens at noon on Monday 18th March 2019. This is expected to be an extremely popular auction owning to the quality and track record of the developers and the deal itself, so early participation is recommended.

Please follow and like us:

Blog Deals Investor News News Press Releases

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477

Midwood House in Widnes town centre was bought by Osborne House Ltd for cash around three years ago and half the office space converted into 17 apartments to test the local market for short-stay, single tenants (think workers away from home on medium to long-term contracts, looking for a cost-effective alternative to hotels). 

The results were impressive. It was fully let within 2 months and, after costs and allowances, is yielding a solid annual income of £65,000. 

The gated apartments, available at an attractive all-inclusive rent of £567 per month, come with secure parking and are within an easy commute of Runcorn, Liverpool and Warrington. As such, they have proven appeal to businesses looking to save on staff accommodation or private individuals working away from home.  

Having proven the market, OHL are now converting the remaining space into another 17 apartments. This will double the net income to £130,000. 

Since the property is already generating income with good interest cover and Loan-to-Value levels, this presents a lucrative opportunity for all those who have invested. Investor returns have been pegged in the range 6.9% – 7.5% p.a. over 36 months. Net income from the first phase is sufficient to provide interest cover of 135% – meaning there would have to be a substantial fall-off in demand before interest payments are at risk.  

Once the refurb of the remainder is complete, the ratios will improve dramatically, with interest cover increasing to 250% and LTV falling from 65% to 35%. 

Of course, while the ongoing construction still carries a small degree of risk, in this case that risk is mitigated by the appointment of the same contractor as successfully completed the first phase works, along with an independent monitoring surveyor who is under a duty of care to CapitalStackers’ investors. And, of course, income will continue to flow from phase one pending the new units coming on stream. 

 

About the developer  

OHL is a highly profitable, conservatively-geared company with gross assets valued at £7.4 million in April 2018. Net worth is around £6.5m. The shareholder directors have been known to the principals of CapitalStackers for over 25 years. 

For HMRC compliance reasons, this deal is not eligible for pension fund investment. 

Please follow and like us:

Blog Deals Investor News News

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477

The fallout from Lendy’s reported woes has launched a flotilla of lazy journalism, poorly-informed opinion pieces and Chicken Licken style warnings to investors.

Meanwhile, experienced investors in property finance are merely rolling up their sleeves and getting on with business as usual. Risk is part of life. Understanding which risks, how much of each to take and the price you exact for it is how an investor makes money.

This much would seem obvious, but not, it seems, to the jittery herd of financial journalists commenting on this particular situation.

The spectrum of real estate lending is broad and varied.

At one end of the scale we find investment loans, which tend to have strong covenants on long leases and a robust income stream that services the debt.

At the other end – bridging loans, which are short term, with repayment coming through either a sale or refinancing following an event such as the granting of planning permission.

Generally regarded as the Bellwether of property lending, bridging lenders are usually the first into the market cycle and often the first to drop out. Lending tends to be at credit card rates, since until permission is granted, there are too many unknowns (including the financial cost of any Community Infrastructure Levy or S106 Agreement – the charges that local authorities make on new developments to help fund infrastructure, schools or transport improvements – vital to support new homes and businesses in the area).

In between is a vast and multifarious landscape, taking in low-risk borrowers with low risk deals to high risk borrowers with high risk deals. It also – crucially – includes well-run platforms operating in the higher risk space that give plenty of information, have high levels of due diligence and price the risk fairly so that investors can make informed decisions.

Somewhere in this Big Country is Lendy, ploughing along in its covered wagon, braving the arrows and potholes as it goes.

Now, I don’t intend to comment specifically on Lendy’s business, save to furnish enough background to give us some perspective on the case:

Lendy recently appealed to the regulator after one of its borrowers threatened to sue. They claimed Lendy failed to give notice on loans and arrange further funds. Concerns were also raised over the fact that £112m of its £180m loan book were at least one day late. As we understand it, this deal was not a bridge but an expensive development facility.

Now, to the uninitiated, this will set all sorts of hares running. But those who regularly walk the streets of the bridging world will know that what looks like a situation going wrong is probably expected and planned for. It’s a way of increasing returns – on what, in the US, is often described as “hard money”.

With developments, just because a project is taking longer than expected, it doesn’t necessarily mean the deal is deteriorating. Lots of factors determine the progress of construction – some beyond anyone’s control, like weather.

But financiers know this, and also that when deals go beyond the due date, the interest continues to accrue. Sensible lenders will also build delays, cost increases and falling values into their sensitivity analysis but still impose a fairly tight schedule on the borrower.

Whether the 12% return Lendy investors get is enough to cover their risk is a matter for them. The reality of the market suggests that if investors are getting 12%, then the borrower is paying somewhat more – and you should ask yourself what kind of borrower is happy to pay this much for their senior debt (CapitalStackers borrowers are charged substantially less). But I will say that this is an area where the astute investor should take very great care to ensure his own risk is adequately compensated for – and to be clear, the key risk is this:

Any investor taking part in a deal that is not fully funded at the outset is entirely dependent on new investors coming on board to pay the contractor, without which the project will fail to complete.

In our view, certainty of completion is a fundamental prerequisite of any property deal. It’s inconceivable that we would expose our own investors to the risk of a development that may never come to fruition.

We have no intention of letting our investors take the liquidity risk when a big, strong bank can take it for them.

This is the main reason why we choose to partner with banks as part of our strategic business model. We raise the funds necessary to plug the gap between what the bank will lend and the borrower’s equity. And we make sure that our investors’ funds are deployed after the equity. The banks commit to the finance up front, so we can be sure the funds are in place to finish the job.

Certainty. Right there. Locked in before an investor parts with a single penny.

And while it follows that this means our investors are not in the First Charge position, they’re certainly rewarded appropriately for their Second Charge position, with the added comfort that comes with the removal of doubt, and the fact that a bank sees the deal as worth investing in.

This is the main reason why CapitalStackers’ default rate remains at zero. We always run our financial analysis on the assumption that everything is built out before anticipating any sales revenue after a conservative sales period. That means we get to the end game without having to rely on new funding coming in. We believe that not to do this would be to take an insufficiently conservative view of the world.

Among the other reasons are:

1. As we’ve established, our investors are never invited to take part until all funding is in place to complete construction.

2. We don’t move until detailed planning consent is secured. We stick to “Oven-Ready” deals – otherwise the outcome is too opaque. Pointing P2P investors to deals before this point is somewhat irresponsible, unless the risks are made extremely clear, and/or the Loan-to-Value ratios are very low. But even if they were, we just wouldn’t do it anyway.

3. We secure regular information and updates from our borrowers and monitoring surveyors (which is then passed on to our investors). So at all times, the people who fund our projects are fully aware of what risk they’re taking, whether that risk is changing, and what they will earn for taking that risk. So they’re fully informed to take whatever decision they want to take. And if they’re involved in a deal and decide for whatever reason they don’t want to be, they can advertise it on CapitalStackers’ secondary market and seek to recoup their capital.

This should all be meat and drink to experienced investors, though. This is how the banks have always done things: information + risk = appetite + return.

Of course, there will always be bad deals and bad operators, despite the best efforts of the FCA – it’s a fact of life. But among the rest, it’s a question of assessing the risk, and deciding how much money would make you comfortable enough to take that risk.

In other words, there’s no such thing as a bad risk – just ones you’re happy to take, and the ones you’re not.

Please follow and like us:

Blog Investor News News

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477

There used to be a game show on TV called It’s a Knockout, where amongst lots of other silly games, contestants – wearing daft costumes that made walking difficult – used to carry buckets of water across a slippery surface whilst being bombarded with water cannons or sandbags, to try and fill a receptacle at the end of the course.

Obviously, they spilt a lot along the way and were occasionally wiped out altogether and had to start again. But there’s no doubt that if they were dogged enough and did it for long enough, eventually they would fill the receptacle.

This often seems to me to be a good analogy for the stock market.

The award-winning financial advice website, “This Is Money” ran an analysis last year confirming much the same. If you’d invested over any ten year period over the last two decades (except two dodgy phases in the dotcom boom and the financial crash), you were 95% likely to turn a profit. And assuming you reinvested your profits, the average return generated would have been 70%!

Sounds like investment Nirvana, doesn’t it?

But let’s examine those figures a little more closely.

And – for now – we’ll set aside those periods of heart-in-mouth panic as you watch your stock slide and gnaw your fingernails away as you decide whether or not to leave your investments where they are. That’s all part of stock investing, seasoned veterans will tell you. Take your lumps like you take your jumps.

If we accept that you’ve ridden the roller-coaster, pushed your ticker back down to its rightful position each time the market bounced it up into your throat, fought against all your instincts to reinvest hard-earned profit back into the maelstrom from whence you’ve just extracted it…what are you left with?

A 70% profit over 10 years! Sounds like a lot if you consider that if you’d started with £100,000, you’d now be sitting on £170,000.

But over 10 years? If we spread that out on an annual basis and apply a little simple compounding, it amounts to just 5.45% per year. Is that a fair recompense for all the cardiac distress?

So is there an alternative? Property?  Well, it’s more secure, but again, it ties up your capital for years.

So if you could make an annualised return of three times that amount without all the turmoil and without the long-term capital handcuffs, wouldn’t you consider it? Heck, wouldn’t you even do it for twice that average stock market return?

That’s why smart investors have started looking at loan-based crowdfunding of property. Lending to screened-and-approved developers looking for investment to get their projects off the ground. Usually, they’ll have agreed bank funding for around 60% of the building cost and they’ll have their own equity to sink into it too. But the capital gap in between is increasingly being filled by crowdfunders on the FCA-authorised CapitalStackers platform.

And it can be impressively lucrative. Recent investors in a CapitalStackers funded development in York made annualised returns of up to 22.5% in just eight months.

More typically, investors in two current CapitalStackers deals are set to make annualised returns of between 10% and 17%. Those figures look even more attractive when you know that all CapitalStackers investors are able to choose their own return, predicated on the level of capital risk they’re prepared to take (although the risk itself is not terribly off-putting, given that the investment is secured on the property, the developer’s equity/profit is there to cushion any drop in value – and the Loan-to-Value on these deals is within a sensible range of 55% to 72%).

So how might this kind of investment compare with the stock market?

Well, taking a mid-point CapitalStackers investment as an example: If you were to start with £100,000 – on an agreed return of 13.5% – after one year, your nest egg would be worth £113,500.

After two years, you’d have £128,822.

Impressively, you’d have overtaken your stock market earnings in just over four years, and after ten years you’d be sitting pretty on £354,780. Which makes those nerve-wracked stock market investors with their £170,000 look like dabbling amateurs.

As with shares, you don’t need a huge amount to get started. The minimum investment in a CapitalStackers scheme is just £5,000 – but many invest a lot more.

And considering you can access your capital by selling your investment on the secondary market, it’s no wonder more and more of the smart money is moving to loan-based property crowdfunding.

Find out more at www.capitalstackers.com or
by calling 
Steve Robson on 07774 718947
or Sylvia Bowden on 07464 806477
or Tony Goldrick on 07788 373126.

Please follow and like us:

Blog

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477

As the gurus at Motley Fool sound the death knell for Buy-To-Let, calling it an “expensive distraction” and point investors once more to the Stock Market, some more canny investors are sitting back and wondering if there is a third way.

After all, there are good reasons why we British have traditionally invested in property. And yet the FTSE also has very sound reasons to commend it.

But for those who want double digit returns but without the bumpy stock market ride, there is a way to achieve the benefits of both property investing and stock market investing in one, and reduce the drawbacks of both.

Secured on property, but more liquid than buying bricks and mortar – and less volatile than stocks and shares – it consistently brings higher returns than Buy-To-Let, without the overheads, management and conveyancing fees, refurbishment and maintenance costs and stamp duty.

Motley Fool suggests that in every respect other than the ability to borrow to invest, the Stock Market beats Buy-to-Let. And it surely does.

However, loan-based property crowdfunding has many of the advantages listed too. Investing in property developments through CapitalStackers, for instance, can bring you highly attractive risk weighted returns in the time it takes to build a row of houses. Investors in the Foss Place development in York made annualised returns of between 8.5% and 22.5% in just eight months – all within a sensible Loan to Value range of 58% – 75%. 

Like stocks and shares, you don’t have to have saved or borrowed huge sums to get started – you can participate in a building development scheme from just £5000.

And whilst your loan investment is as solid as the houses being built, it’s also more liquid. You can invest in a CapitalStackers scheme almost as quickly as you can buy shares (with the assurance that the due diligence has already been done for you) and if you want to free up your cash, you can sell part or all of your investment on their secondary market.

Although investing in Buy-To-Let is verboten for pension schemes, if you have a SSAS (or access to one) CapitalStackers gives you a route to invest in the same asset class by lending on residential property developments and take your gains free of tax.

But there’s one important advantage that investing through CapitalStackers has over the Stock Market, and it’s this: when you buy shares, you bear all the risk. If they drop in value, your capital gets burnt. There’s no firewall, no cushion, no contingency.

However, with CapitalStackers, even the highest risk layer is cushioned by the developer’s own equity and profit, and you get to choose yourself the level of risk you want to take and the corresponding rate of return.

All of which points to a very healthy alternative to both BTL and the markets. As Warren Buffet once said, “If you can’t invest in the stock market for ten years, don’t invest in it for ten minutes”, and of course, it’s difficult to make any money out of rental properties in the short term. But CapitalStackers can bring you attractive, typically double digit, returns in as little as 6-24 months. In short, as long as it takes the developer to finish a building.

Now, isn’t that worth considering?

Please follow and like us:

Blog

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477

CapitalStackers has completed the drawdown of £1.36 million funding for a prestigious development of eight homes, in the pretty Cheshire village of Malpas. Work is expected to start on site later this month and two properties are already under offer at the asking price.

The P2P property lending specialist also successfully negotiated £1.58 million of senior funding from a major high street bank, on behalf of the developer Orchard House. The gross development value of the scheme is £5.1 million.

CapitalStackers’ investors now look forward to returns of between 10.7% and 15.6% per annum over the next 22 months with lending at Loan to Value ratios from 55% to 73%.

Steve Robson of CapitalStackers comments, “Investors were invited, at the back end of last year, to lend into three layers and choose their own level of risk and return. Many are repeat investors, some of whom benefited from returns of up to 22.5% last year on an office to residential conversion we financed in York, however some are new investors, keen to dip their toe into the P2P property lending market.

“They are attracted not only by the high level of returns available, but the transparency and ease of the deals. We now have 150 investors on the books and rising, plus an exciting development pipeline. There are opportunities still available in the Malpas deal through our secondary market.”

Patrick Lomax, Founder and Director of Orchard House comments, “I have been impressed with CapitalStackers detailed knowledge of the property industry and finance market. We dealt with an experienced and senior team who absolutely delivered to the brief and exceeded our expectations. They have access to a wide pool of potential investors and delivered within relatively tight timeframes. We spoke to a number of debt advisors but none came close to the same level of service and professionalism.”

The Orchard House 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.

CapitalStackers investment opportunities appeal to a broad spectrum of investors, from conservatively positioned pension funds to those with a higher risk-and-reward appetite. The minimum investment is £5,000.

Please follow and like us:

Blog Deals News Press Releases

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477

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”

Please follow and like us:

Blog Investor News

CapitalStackers is authorised and regulated by the FCA. 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. Unless otherwise stated, returns quoted are annualised and gross of tax.
Call us on: Office: 0161 979 0812 | Steve: 07774 718947 | Sylvia: 07464 806477