Frazer’s blog – 10 key facts about our development finance loans

10 Key Facts about our development finance loans

People generally assume that because development finance pays high returns it must be very risky. Whilst every investment carries an element of risk, we believe that our unique development finance product offers an excellent ratio of risk to reward.

Here are 10 facts you should know before you decide whether it’s the right investment for you.

1. We control our developments.

We had a terrible experience with a third party developer back in 2016 and it led to a very expensive legal battle to recover clients’ money. Thankfully, we managed to rectify the situation and clients did not lose any money, but it made us very wary of dealing with third parties who may not have the same ethics as us. So, for the foreseeable future, we only fund developments that we control so we can ensure investors’ money is looked after responsibly.

That way, the buck stops with us.

2. Investors are protected by a first legal charge:

And as such our unique model is significantly less risky than a traditional development finance deal.

Traditional development finance generally involves quite a complex mix of debt and equity investment with a bank usually providing the lion’s share of money and having the first charge over all the assets. This leaves developers and their investors vulnerable as banks can implement various clauses and step in to take control of the development. If the banks do that, in many cases the equity investors can lose all their money as they are paid out last after the bank has taken everything owed to them.

We, on the other hand, do not use bank finance. Our deals are crowdfunded – houses for the people funded by the people. Investors have the first legal charge meaning there is no risk of a bank seizing the development as they did to many developers back in 2008.

3. Planning permission will already have been acquired.

One of the biggest risks with development is taking the chance that planning permission you want will be granted. The planning permission process, as you may be aware, can be problematical. Councils can be very awkward and, even permission is granted, it may be subject to appeals and other long delays. Having experienced a wide variety of problems with acquiring planning for our early projects, we now, wherever possible, only offer developments which have full planning permission in place. This, again, significantly reduces one of the major risks with developing.

4. Our contractors are on fixed term penalty contracts.

With our earlier projects we worked with good but relatively small contractors. It was not feasible for those contractors to agree to a full design and build contract as they could not commit to paying the penalties if they went over schedule. This admittedly led to some long and very frustrating delays with earlier projects. We have learned from those experiences. And now with all our projects moving forward, although it is more expensive, and therefore less profitable, we work only with substantial reputable contractors who will commit to a contract at a fixed price and fixed timeframe.

If they go over that deadline they are obliged to pay significant penalties. We believe this will lead to a more efficient, streamlined investment product with greater predictability as to return of your capital. In fact, since we adopted this approach only one development has fallen behind schedule and that was because once works started it was discovered that the architect’s plans (for the conversion of Frodsham Old Library) were unsuitable and had to be amended. Issues like that highlight why we prefer new builds over conversions!

5. Checks and balances.

We employ an employers’ agent – Edmond Shipway Ltd.- to do due diligence on our contractors and then supervise them to ensure (amongst other things) that health and safety measures are adhered to and that work is performed to a high standard.

Additionally, we employ a RICS qualified quantity surveyor as fund monitor – Ken Jones of Jones Melling. He is highly experienced and also acts for several banks as fund monitor. Ken supervises the employer’s agent on behalf of our lenders and provides an extra layer of checks and balances to ensure all work is done to the appropriate standard before monies are drawn down.

6. Predictable Returns.

We often get asked if people can invest in an equity basis in our developments. We have decided against this. The risk with equity investing is considerably greater as investors will get paid only after and loans / other debt based investment.

Equity returns are also more variable – they may be more or less than you were expecting. We want to be able to provide consistent and predictable returns for our investors which is why we offer a fixed interest rate – usually 10% p.a. Not only is this a very attractive return but it means that if the houses take longer to sell than anticipated and you have to wait longer  to be paid, you can at least take comfort in the fact that you will be earning a very good rate of interest whilst you await payment.

7. When you will get paid?

The exit (i.e. the mechanism for paying investors their capital and returns) with development deals is dependent on selling the properties. We try and make off-plan sales as early as we can so the investment terms are as short as possible. We pay back investors in tranches as each batch of properties is completed and sold. This batched sales process can, with larger developments, take several months.

We always repay everyone’s capital in the order it was invested and before we pay out any interest, as to do otherwise would mean imposing a bigger risk on those who invested in the later phases of the project.

The developer only takes it profit when investors have been paid everything they are owed. The order of priority for payments, therefore, is always…

a. Investors capital in the order it was received
b. Investors interest in the same order
c. Developer profits

8. Liquidity

We choose developments in popular areas that fall in the mid-market £200-£400k region as they appeal to first time buyers, families and downsizers thus giving us the best chance of selling the properties quickly and paying you your returns as quickly as possible. We also have the governments Help To Buy on developments, wherever possible, which helps enormously with sales.

9. North West Specialists.

The success of a development is largely dependent on the end sale prices achievable. Estimating these accurately is crucial. We only deal with developments in the North West (basically within 45 minutes of our head office) as we know the markets well and there is less chance of getting something wrong. We always estimate values conservatively, thus mitigating the risks involved in achieving a decent profit.

To date all House Crowd Developments properties have sold for the estimated price or greater.

10. Considerate Developer Award.

Nobody likes the noise and disruption caused by building works and we feel it is our duty to make the process as painless as possible for local residents. We were recently awarded a considerate developer award for our Coppenhall development in Sandbach. We will be implementing the same standards across our other developments.

If you would like to learn about property development finance, we will be hosting a webinar in February where you will have the chance to ask me any questions you may have.

 

December Peer To Peer Lending Performance Stats

December 2017 Summary Peer To Peer Secured Loan Stats

December 2017 summary and monthly statistics can be seen below for our peer to peer loans.

Bridging Data 2015 2016 YTD 2017 Cumulative @ 31/12/17
Actual default rates 11.1% 20.0% 27.3% 21.4% *See note below
No of loans completed 9 31 84 124
Total value of loans completed £2,312,074 £16,095,000 £30,561,700 £48,968,774
Average loan period (months) 11 11 9 9
Average loan size £256,897 £519,194 £363,830 £394,909
No of loans due to be redeemed 9 25 22 56
No of loans redeemed on time 8 18 13 44 78.6%
No of loans redeemed late 0 5 0 4 7.1%
No of loans in default 1 2 9 8 14.3%

*Note- Actual default rates based on redeemed loans with a 90 day tolerance threshold.

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Performance Statistics: December 2017

Performance Statistics: December 2017

Please see below for our repayment stats for December 2017.  These list total dividends, interest and any capital repayments made in that month covering our B2L investments, development and P2P loans, as well as the year’s returns to date. You can also see our total cumulative returns from 2013, which you may also find helpful to know.

December 2017

  • Projects and loans paid out against = 23
  • Total value of dividends and interest paid = £95,504.93
  • Total value of capital repaid = £514,721.00
  • Total number of investors paid = 668

Total for 2017 So Far

  • Projects and loans paid out against = 306
  • Total value of dividends and interest paid = £1,462,391.44
  • Total value of capital repaid = £9,088,029.36
  • Total number of investors paid = 8,489

Cumulative (from January 2013)

  • Project paid out against = 740
  • interest paid = £2,598,016.44
  • Total value of capital repaid = £14,093,749.36
  • Total number of investors paid = 16,987

 


To find out more about investing with The House Crowd, you can register with us by clicking on the purple button below. Alternatively, take a look at our current property investment opportunities by clicking the blue button! Either way, we’re always here to answer your questions in any way we can.

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Development Update – January 2018

Please find below the latest updates on all our ongoing developments as of the start of January 2018.  There are also links to the latest images for earlier developments which gives you an idea of the progress that is being made.

Please note these updates are for keeping you informed on the progress of the development itself.  Most of our development loans have estimated repayment dates and are dependent on the development being complete and units sold, and a number also have more than one round of funding, repayable at different stages of the build.  For information on the estimated repayment date of the phases of development loans you are invested in, please refer to the investment pack you downloaded when you invested, and to the Development Loans Payment Schedule, also available on the project status page on the website.

HCD16 – Parkside Phase

The demolition work is now complete, as is the site strip. Foundations have been dug and concreted for plots 1 & 2.  Excavation is underway for construction of site drainage and road construction.  The site set up has also been established.

Branding for the site has been developed and the logo for the site to go on all branding, sales materials and hoardings is in the folder below.

Design for hoardings and point of sale material is well underway.

We are receiving a strong level of interest via local agents and HCD website now that works have commenced.

View latest Parkside photos

HCD15 – Buckton View

Detailed design work is well under way.  Sufficient pre-start planning conditions have been discharged to allow a physical start on site.  The initial compound for construction of phase 1 started this week

Branding for the site is currently in the process of being developed.

The design for hoardings and point of sale material is well underway – we will share the final draft of the sales brochure at the end of January.

We are receiving a very strong level of interest via local agents and HCD website.

HCD14 – Frodsham Old Library

Detailed design work is completed, including revised layout plans. Sufficient pre-start planning conditions have been discharged to allow a physical start on site. Soft strip out has been completed.  We are behind schedule as the original building plans have had to be re-worked, but we hope to make this time up as the build progresses.

Branding for the site is currently in the process of being developed

Design for hoardings and point of sale material is well underway – we will make this available to view at the end of January

We are also receiving a strong level of interest via local agents and the HCD website.

HCD13 – Coppenhall Way (Springfields)

All work is progressing well and to programme. Plot 1 is being completed as the show house and will be ready for launch slightly ahead of schedule at the end of February 2018. Kitchens have been ordered for plots 1 – 4 for delivery on January 22nd and 23rd. Plots 5 – 10 are all watertight and have staircases fitted. Brickwork and roof tiling are progressing well. External works have commenced to the rear of plots 1 – 6, reinforcing the existing boundary wall.  Scaffold will be struck for plots 1-4 by the end of the week

We have held back releasing prices pending the launch of the show house, but we have a growing list of interested parties

View latest Springfields, Coppenhall Way photos

HCD10 – Bollin Heights

We now have 7 occupied apartments at Bollin Heights and the images in the folder linked to below show how impressive this building now looks. There are another 5 imminent completions and a further 2 before the end of January or early February. The last 4 pictures show that we are still very much under construction, however we now have 4 out of the 6 top floor apartments formed and 1 plastered. Work on the extension has begun again, but was slowed over the last few months due to weather. Our contractor has revised the date that the extension will be water tight to March and will be doing all they can to keep on schedule for the remainder of the project, under the close eye of our project management team. We are trying to have the last apartment completed in May and be fully off site in June.

We still have 6 apartments in total unsold, but Sebastian’s estate agents have had multiple viewings on the remaining plots, and feel that even at the now higher prices all units will be sold by the end of Q1.

Investors are being paid out on a first in first out basis with the first group having been repaid the 2nd week in January – there are several hundred investors in phase 1 who will be paid out gradually as sales are made. Investors will be emailed when it is their turn to be repaid.  Please note capital is being returned first, with interest paid out to all investors when all units are sold.

The next batch of sales should be going through by the end of January/start of February 2018.

View latest Bollin Heights images

HCD7 – Brundred Farm

We have now received the site investigation report from the LK Group. Our appointed structural engineer need until the end of this week (by 12th January) to re-design the foundations to suit the ground conditions and then a further week to work with the architects on the superstructure design. Following this we will be able to get a full and final price and timescale on the construction of the first property and if all acceptable our contractors will be on site on the first week of February.

HCD5 – Bank Chambers

Work has continued apace since the Christmas break and 7 of the 9 flats are very close to completion. The new water main should be starting to be fitted the 22nd January, but the new electric connection is scheduled for the middle of February. The below was received from Crown Energy today:

“Just to advise that the electric contractors have still not been able to speak with anyone from the highways. Therefore they have submitted permit applications this morning for the next available dates they have for engineers which is for below;

Excavation Monday 12th February.

Jointing 14th of February.

I appreciate that you were hoping for installations to be completed by the end of January, and I have asked for works to be put on the cancellation list but unfortunately this is the earliest date they can issue at the moment. Please be aware that these dates are not guaranteed as the highways do need to approve the dates.”

We have requested proof of the application, so we can do all we can to ensure this date is met. We have updated the buyers with the progress and they are all keen to complete ASAP but appreciate the delays.

The below images which show how far the development has advanced and despite the delays how fantastic this building will look when complete. In conclusion, as long as we get the connections for the utilities sorted in a timely fashion we should be able to be completely off site by the end of February 2018.

View Bank Chambers images

HCD4 – Gratrix Park

Following the completion of number 16 before Christmas, we will soon be completing on numbers 3 and 15, so there will only be 8 properties left to complete and then the apartment block will be completely handed over. This means that to date we will have brought in over £2.5 million worth of completed sales. The final two properties to exchange are extremely advanced and will likely be ready for exchange to take place by the end of January at the latest.

You will see from the images linked to below that the apartment block is looking great and the apartment themselves have been designed with a contemporary feel. A few of the images show that we do still have a building project on our hands; however we should be completely watertight on the remaining 8 plots by the end of this month. If all goes to plan our contractor is planning to complete all remaining plots by the end of March and be off-site in April 2018.

There is still some work to do, but we can now see light at the end of the tunnel.

View the latest Gratrix Park photos

HCD3 – The Woodlands

The Woodlands development has progressed well since the last development update and we now have 14 properties water tight although the contractors have slipped a little behind schedule. We are targeting 23rd January for the show home to be handed over to us and we will be looking to hand over our first property to the buyer around the same time. The main work taking place externally is preparing the road, so people can start to move in, which has started at the entrance of the site. We are building the road to adoptable standards, so this does take a little bit longer than a private road, as we have to have it checked by the highways department at Barnsley council to ensure it complies with standards.

The images linked to below show work has started on both landscaping and decorating plot 1 and we believe the addition of the bi-fold doors to the kitchen/diner area is an eye catching design improvement. All of the work on the site is starting to gain interest, as we have now reserved 3 properties since coming back from the Christmas break (Plots 7, 24 and 28), and our preferred estate agent Sebastian’s had 4 viewings on Thursday 11th January. The HS2 line has been confirmed as going through a number of properties in the neighbouring village of Wath, so some houses there are being compulsory purchased, which means interested people in the Woodlands are ready to buy with no need to sell their existing property.

If all work proceeds at the current pace, we may be able to speed up the build and finish ahead of the scheduled December 2018, however we are being mindful that quality of our product is extremely important.

See latest Woodlands pictures

HCD2 – Alderley Edge

Work has recommenced at number 10 after the Christmas break, and all block work is now complete, our contractors have started laying internal drainage and finally delivery has been taken of the first pieces of steel for the roof. The roof should be water tight by the end of January, which will mean work can really get moving on the internals. Both our interior and lighting designers are working together to make sure this development receives the opulent and grand finish it warrants and deserves, which should also help with sales, and we will make available design updates as they are finalised.

There is a lot of interest in number 10 from potential buyers, however as good as Sebastian’s are, these buyers do want to see the build has progressed a bit more before they are willing to reserve. Positively another developer has just completed a very similar scheme in the Alderley Edge area and sold a number of high value large apartments, so we are confident that our development will sell and at the right prices.

See the latest Alderley Edge photos

HCP156 – Station Road, Marple

The sale of this property took place December 2017.  All investors have had their capital returned to them.

 

November Peer To Peer & Development Performance Stats

November 2017 Summary Peer To Peer Secured Loans & Development Finance Stats

November 2017 summary and monthly statistics can be seen below for our peer to peer and development loans.

Development and Bridging Data 2015 2016 YTD 2017 Cumulative @ 30/11/17
Actual default rates 11.1% 20.8% 16.7% 17.6% *See note below
No of loans completed 9 31 76 116
Total value of loans completed £2,312,074 £16,095,000 £26,594,700 £45,001,774
Average loan period (months) 11 11 8 9
Average loan size £256,897 £519,194 £349,930 £387,946
No of loans due to be redeemed 9 24 18 51
No of loans redeemed on time 8 17 11 36 70.6%
No of loans redeemed late 0 5 0 5 9.8%
No of loans in default 1 2 7 10 19.6%

*Note- Actual default rates based on redeemed loans with an 8 week tolerance threshold.

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Performance Statistics: November 2017

Performance Statistics: November 2017

Please see below for our repayment stats for November 2017.  These list total dividends, interest and any capital repayments made in that month covering our B2L investments, development and P2P loans, as well as the year’s returns to date. You can also see our total cumulative returns from 2013, which you may also find helpful to know.

November 2017

  • Projects and loans paid out against = 40
  • Total value of dividends and interest paid = £187,702.60
  • Total value of capital repaid = £1,285,721.97
  • Total number of investors paid = 773

Total for 2017 So Far

  • Projects and loans paid out against = 283
  • Total value of dividends and interest paid = £1,366,486.51
  • Total value of capital repaid = £8,574,029.36
  • Total number of investors paid = 7,821

Cumulative (from January 2013)

  • Project paid out against = 717
  • Total value of dividends and interest paid = £2,502,111.51
  • Total value of capital repaid = £13,579,749.36
  • Total number of investors paid = 16,319

 


To find out more about investing with The House Crowd, you can register with us by clicking on the purple button below. Alternatively, take a look at our current property investment opportunities by clicking the blue button! Either way, we’re always here to answer your questions in any way we can.

Register Now for more Info

View our Property Investments

 

Development Update – December 2017

Please find below the latest updates on all our ongoing developments as of the end of November 2017.  There are also links to the latest images for earlier developments which gives you an idea of the progress that is being made.

Please note these updates are for keeping you informed on the progress of the development itself.  Most of our development loans have estimated repayment dates and are dependent on the development being complete and units sold, and a number also have more than one round of funding, repayable at different stages of the build.  For information on the estimated repayment date of the phases of development loans you are invested in, please refer to the investment pack you downloaded when you invested, and to the Development Loans Payment Schedule, also available on the project status page on the website.

HCD16 – Parkside Phase

A notice for demolition has been received and work has started on the site .  Detailed work continues in the background.  We hope to have some site photos available for the next update.

HCD15 – Buckton View

Physical start on the site is scheduled for December 9th 2017.  The local authority are very short staffed which has led to delays in agreeing pre-start information.  However this has not affected the overall timescale of the programme, which remains the same.

A re-work of the house designs has been completed and can be viewed by clicking here.

HCD14 – Frodsham Old Library

The floor plans have been redesigned following a full measured survey of the building.  They can be viewed below.

The strip out of the building is almost complete and you can see images on the link below and a quick video overview.

Click here to view the new floor plans.

Click here to view the latest Frodsham Old Library photos.

Click here to view a quick video of the Frodsham old library site.

HCD13 – Coppenhall Way

We have received a Considerate Constructors Certificate of Compliance for this site which is excellent news – information on this is in the Dropbox area that all investors have access to.  There is also a comprehensive site report from December in this area.

Plots 1&2 are now first fixed mechanical & electrical, fully insulated and boarded, windows are fixed and brickwork is 50% complete, and will be finished the first week of December.

Plots 3 & 4 have staircase fixed, are largely first fixed and will have windows fixed this week (first week of December). Brickwork is 20% complete

Plots 5 & 6 foundations are completed, ready for the timber frame to be erected 2nd week of December.

Plots 7,8,9 & 10 frames are now completed, roof tiling is underway, and the stairs to plots 7&8 will be fitted first week of December.

Internal CGIs have been completed for the lounge and master bedroom, and the kitchens have been designed.  Images can be viewed by clicking here.

View Coppenhall way site photos

View Coppenhall way site video

HCD10 – Bollin Heights

Our contractor is currently still on target for handing over 50% of the development to us by 08/12/17. The building is looking amazing after all the hard work that has gone into it. This will hopefully result in the last 4 units being sold at an even higher price.

We expect at least 13 of these apartments to complete before Christmas and to handover keys to buyers just before the Christmas shut down. As you will see from the pictures the exterior of the building is now being changed by re-cladding the building to modernise its appearance and the internals of the building are a far cry from its former incarnation as an office block. The 2nd floor has moved on with apartments being fully formed, plastered and the balconies being clad. We have the final touches to go for this first handover, including the remaining communal flooring, entrance hall tiling, building of the bin store, finishing off the 2nd floor roof, external cladding etc, however everything is in hand and being internally snagged by our development team. We expect our first occupancy to be in the week beginning the 18/12/17 and we are still confident to be off site before Q2 next year.

Unless you advise us that you would prefer to stay on until the end and carry on earning interest, then investors in this development will be paid out on a first in first out basis as the units complete.  You will be emailed when it is their turn to be paid out.

View latest Bollin Heights photos

HCD7 – Brundred Farm

We completed on the land purchase 30th November. We are currently waiting on the structural drawings to be sent to us before we can firm up a works programme and commit to build dates.  We should have these drawings by mid-December.

HCD5 – Bank Chambers

The development at Bank Chambers of the first 8 apartments is nearing completion.

The apartments are plaster boarded and the first 8 that will be handed over are either plastered or painted. Flat number 1 did have to go back on the market, however it has now been reserved again after a week back on the market for a £10,000 premium, which reflects the inflation in the market in Stockport. Unfortunately, due to a Christmas embargo in Stockport town centre we will not be able to get the required utilities connections between now and the 04/01/18, but we are pushing crown energy (Utilities partner) daily to get a final connection date.

Our designated contractors are working extremely hard to try and do what we can to get this over the line as quickly as possible.  At the moment we do not have firm dates for when the first units will be complete and ready to be sold as we are waiting on the utilities company to confirm installation dates. The field inspector from the utilities company is due to visit the site 2nd week in December, so post this meeting we should have a better idea of dates.

View latest Bank Chambers photos

HCD4 – Gratrix Park

By the end of the first week of December we will have completed on 50% of the properties at Gratrix Park. The last week of November 2017 we completed on 3 of the 4 apartments at Gratrix and as you can see from the attached pictures you can now get an idea of how the development will look when complete. Roby Close is 60% completed and the properties off Gratrix Lane are now at wall plate level.

The project management team are personally meeting buyers to handover keys and there are a number of pleased buyers, as we have managed to ensure they can move into their new homes before Christmas.

We will be completing on one or two further plots ahead of Christmas. We are still targeting to be completely off site by the end of February 2018, however the weather has been unfavourable to building work over the last month, so has slowed brick laying and roofing work on the remaining plots.

We have already paid out capital and interest to a number of the earlier investors in the Gratrix Park P1 loan, as we have completed on the property sales.  We will continue to pay out investors as the sales complete, and will email investors when it is their turn to be paid out.

View the latest Gratrix Park photos

HCD3 – The Woodlands

The development in Rotherham is making positive progress. As you will see from the images linked to below there are a number of properties that are completed externally. We are now moving into the internals of the properties and again things are coming together well. We are currently on target to finish the show house and complete on the first property by January.

Sales have started to progress, and we recently had a reservation for Plot 28. Further to this reservation, Plot 11’s mortgage has been approved, with the property being valued at £269,000, which makes it the most expensive property in the area. Our solicitors will be exchanging on this property sale the 2nd week of December.

Our appointed interior designers, David Phillips, will be visiting the show house the 2nd week of December to survey it for dressing and final finishes and our show home office is ready to be manned to aid sales. The development is starting to share up and come January 2018 we anticipate a number of reservations being made.

View the latest Woodlands photos

HCD2 – Alderley Edge

Our contractors have managed to resolve the issues with the roof design at Number 10, Congleton Road, so we have finally been able to order the correct steel for the complex roof and communal space window at the front of the building. The contractor and our architects, Howard and Seddon, have worked together in re-designing the roof to reduce the amount of steel in the build, so more of it can be made from timber, which should allow us to regain a couple of weeks back that we have previously lost.

The images below should show how the front elevation to Congleton road will look once complete, and also show the remainder of the brick work to the top floor of the building. The building itself is starting to look quite impressive and is being noticed for all the right reasons with sales enquiries high and prospective buyers making multiple site visits and meetings to discuss the purchase with our estate agent, Sebastian’s of Cheshire.

Our development team are currently progressing conversations with kitchen and bathroom suppliers, whilst taking continued advice from Keates interiors of Cheshire to ensure the entire scheme comes together as a whole and is appropriately designed for this high calibre building.

We have taken a view that we need more garage parking, following feedback from prospective buyers, so we have applied to amend our planning, specifically to give us 5/6 garage spaces instead of the 2 tandem garages that have currently been granted.

Our contractors have lined up all the necessary sub-contractors for the internal fit out, and we are aiming to hit the ground running in January once the roof is on.

Currently we are on schedule to have the site completed by April 2018, with hopefully all units sold.

See latest Alderley Edge images including proposed CGI kitchen image, and elevations and plans for Apartment 1.

View the latest Alderley Edge photos

HCP156 – Station Road, Marple

The sale is still on track, and we are sorting out various legal documents required for the due diligence.  We are aiming to have the sale exchanged on before Christmas.

 

The Ticking Retirement Timebomb & How To Protect Yourself

The Ticking Retirement Timebomb & How To Protect Yourself

Frazer Fearnhead, CEO of The House Crowd, presented a webinar entitled The Ticking Retirement Timebomb and How To Protect Yourself.

You can view a recording of his presentation here.

As promised on the night, we have collated all questions asked on the night and provided responses below.

If you have further questions please get in touch with our friendly member support team (Damian and Nigel) in the following ways:

Email: [email protected], or [email protected]

Call: 0161 667 4264

We are here to help 9-6 Monday-Friday. 

Questions and Answers…

“Do you have any statistics about how often your properties lose in value and the investors lose their money?”

There has been no loss of in any of our peer to peer loans or development deals. The only time our investors have ever lost money was in respect of one speculative off plan deal for a development in Sutton, Surrey. That particular deal was marketed as being high risk. It is something we offered as a one off and will not be offering again.

“When is The House Crowd going to get full FCA accreditation?”

Hopefully any time now. Our case manager has approved our application and we are just waiting for it to be signed off by the FCA. 

I am coming up 50 years old. Due to a combination of circumstances I have no retirement plan in place. I have fortunately paid off all my debts, but have a substantial mortgage. It feels that retirement planning or mortgage servicing are mutually exclusive?”

Unfortunately, we cannot offer financial advice so can’t offer an opinion on whether it’s best for you to pay your mortgage down quickly or look towards alternative investments.

What we can say is that, peer to peer lending generally offers higher interest, but does come with an element of risk. We do everything we can to mitigate these risks but the decision to invest is very much down to you, your personal circumstances and your appetite for risk (however small that risk actually is). 

“Can you explain what happens to my money if the person lending it doesn’t repay the loan on time?”

Re – Peer to peer lending – I have recently written explaining how our lending process works and what happens if a borrower doesn’t repay on time. You can read more here.

Re – Property development crowdfunding – Repayment is dependent on us selling the houses. If it takes longer to sell than estimated then you will be paid back later, but you will continue to earn interest until you are repaid.

“I was planning on investing a few months ago but found the sign-up process quite difficult. Can you help me with these steps?”

If you’re having any problems registering your account you can contact our Member Support team – Damian and Nigel. They can help you through the process and answer your questions. Our office hours are 9-6 Monday-Friday.

Also, you’ll be pleased to know we will be launching a brand-new website in early 2018. Over the past 12 months we have recruited an in-house tech team who have been working to make everything easier for our members. We’re pretty excited about this development and will send more details in the New Year.

“I like the idea of peer to peer lending but I don’t have the time to keep on top of everything you have to offer. Is there some way I can set up my account to invest in certain products automatically?”

We have exciting plans to develop new, easier ‘auto invest’ products in 2018. This means you can invest your funds into one product and we will spread them into a more diverse portfolio. You just earn a fixed rate and don’t have to do anything more.

In the meantime, you may be interested to know we offer free text alerts to notify people when we launch a new investment opportunity. You can join this free service by texting THC to 82228 (service applies to UK mobiles only).

“I filled in a form for the free info pack a while back but when I go to login at The House Crowd it doesn’t work. Please can you help?”

Due to the way our systems are set up at the moment if you downloaded a free information pack on our website you won’t automatically be registered as a House Crowd member.

Just click on this link to register your free account. Remember to complete your profile as well – this only takes a couple of minutes. Once done you’ll be able to view all our current investments in more detail and receive free email alerts when new investments are launched.

Do you charge any fees if I invest with you?”

No, the interest percentage on each product quoted is the amount paid to you, there are no deductions.

“I really enjoyed the webinar. Are you planning on doing more in the future?”

Thanks for your positive feedback! We are planning a new webinar explaining how our property development crowdfunded loans work in the New Year. We will send you an invite a week or two in advance of that one.

 

 

 

 

Frazer’s blog – Interest rate rises, latest House Crowd news and more…

Interest rates went up, as we all know, by 0.25% and, whilst banks were quickly to change their mortgage rates, only some have passed on the increased rate to savings accounts – and only marginally at that. My view is we won’t see another rise for quite a while and despite its perceived security, the only thing certain about leaving your money in a bank account is it will be worth less next year than it is right now.

At The House Crowd, we had another excellent fundraising month and exceeded Lewis’s forecasts again.

We returned over £1.4 million to investors in capital and interest. If you missed my last email about processes and defaults on peer to peer loans you can access it here.

The first people moved into their homes in our Gratrix Park development and one of them has put theirs on the market for £90k more than they bought it for. We know we sold them for a good price but we think that’s a little optimistic. Still good luck to them.

We held an Open Day at the office last week. It was great to meet some local and some not so local investors.  Big thanks to John from Nottingham, Alex from Wrexham and Jessica who came all the way from Margate (wow!) for braving the NW motorway system and making such an effort.

As well as meeting our team, attendees were given a sneak preview of the new website our in-house tech team have been working hard on developing. I am glad to say it got rave reviews from everybody and we are very excited to about its launch which should be mid-December.

David Roberts, our London based Investment Director, gave a well-received talk at The Investor Show in Olympia called The Billionaire’s Property Secret. If you would like to watch a webinar version of it, you can access it here

Talking of webinars, I am presenting a masterclass called ‘The Ticking Retirement TimeBomb And How You Can Protect Yourself’ on Monday 4th December at 7pm. Places are free but limited. Register here

That’s all folks.

Frazer

Development Update – November 2017

Please find below the latest updates on all our ongoing developments as of the end of October 2017.  There are also links to the latest images for earlier developments which gives you an idea of the progress that is being made.

Please note these updates are for keeping you informed on the progress of the development itself.  Most of our development loans have estimated repayment dates and are dependent on the development being complete and units sold, and a number also have more than one round of funding, repayable at different stages of the build.  For information on the estimated repayment date of the phases of development loans you are invested in, please refer to the investment pack you downloaded when you invested, and to the Development Loans Payment Schedule, also available on the project status page on the website.

HCD17 – Parkside Phase 1

We completed the purchase of this site first week of November.  The main contractor has been appointed and a pre-start meeting was held 7th November.

Detailed design including new kitchen designs have been carried out in the background pre-purchase and a physical start on site is due November 21st.

HCD15 – Buckton View

We have completed the purchase of this site 6th October. Our nominated builders, CPUK, are now fully appointed, have discharged the pre-start planning conditions and start work on the site week commencing 13th November subject to Local Authority sign off.

A re-work of the house designs to make the interior space work better has been completed and can be viewed by clicking here.

HCD14 – Old Library, Frodsham

Work commenced on the site 7th November with a full measured survey and strip out of the existing building.  A more detailed programme of work is currently being prepared by the design team.

HCD13 – Coppenhall

After much discussion with the local council, this development is now officially called “Springfields”.  The postal address will be: 1-10 Springfields, Coppenhall Way, Sandbach. This name will be used in marketing material for the sale of the properties.

Works are progressing well at this development.  Our main contractors have reported a one-week delay (this was due to the engineer’s drawings and it is expected this time will be recovered).  We have received a detailed programme that shows handover of plots one & two pre-Christmas allowing us to present the show house before the end of January 2018 (this was originally projected for the end of March 2018).

Plots 1&2 have the roof completed, windows on site ready for install, and the staircases are in the process of being constructed.

Plots 3&4 are in the process of being roofed.

Plots 7,8,9&10 have foundations complete and are being concreted.  Timber frames have been produced and will be delivered to site week commencing 6th November.

View the latest Coppenhall photos

View latest site video

View the houses for sale on Rightmove

HCD10 – Bollin Heights

The development at Bollin Heights is entering into its final month before we anticipate being able to release the first set of apartments to buyers. The pictures attached to this update include the final windows and doors going into phase 1 and the decorated communal areas. We have some work to do on the external areas, including the entrance gates and parking areas, but our contractor has this all in hand. We are still very much targeting to serve practical completion notices for circa 15 apartments in December.

Our progress with the extension has been steady (see photos on the link below), as we were awaiting a re-design of steel work from our appointed structural engineers; however we now have all necessary information to finish the extension. We still anticipate that we will be completely off site by April 2018.

Sebastians (our estate agent) have continued to receive enquiries for the remaining plots and have had multiple viewings by the same buyers, so we hope to have further sales completed soon. Currently we have 23 out of 32 of the apartments either exchanged or reserved with exchange imminent.

Please note that investors will be repaid on a first in first out basis with phase 1 investors being repaid first.

View the latest Bollin Heights photos

HCD7 – Brundred Farm

We are currently raising investment for this project, as we plan to erect a new house on this site, plus demolish the old one and replace with a newer property. We are aiming to complete on the site purchase 24th November.

HCD5 – Bank Chambers

The Bank Chambers development is starting to shape up nicely, as you will see from the pictures linked to below.

The bathrooms are currently being tiled, kitchens are being fitted and doors are going on. Flats 2-7 are now about 80-90% finished and plots 8 & 9 are not far behind. We are currently progressing the necessary works to finish the communal spaces and flat 1. We are pushing our contractor to ensure the first set of purchasers can move in by Christmas, however we do not want to compromise on quality so we are mindful of this as wish to maintain the qualities of this lovely old building.

View the latest Bank Chambers pictures

HCD4 – Gratrix Park

We have now handed over a total of 5 properties at Gratrix Park. The owners of numbers 10 – 14 are all either moved in or are about to. We have scheduled another 5 properties to be handed over before Christmas including plots 1-4 and plot 16. Our project programme still has all contractors completely off site in February.

Our contractors are keeping in touch with buyers and ensuring their expectations are managed with regards to moving in dates. We have 14 properties exchanged on, 2 more are anticipated to exchange week commencing 14th November and the remaining plots are all reserved through either Jordan Fishwick and Sebastian’s estate agencies. We anticipate having all plots exchanged on by mid-December.

The pictures linked to below show the next set of finished kitchens and also the finished detached properties about a week before handover on plots 11 & 10.

We have already started paying out the earlier investors in this development, and will continue to do so on a first in first out basis as sales are completed.

View the latest Gratrix Park photos.

HCD3 – The Woodlands

We are now in our 6th month on the build and progress has been pleasingly steady. We now have all 28 foundations in for the houses and blockwork progressing well on the first 13 units.

The show house is now coming together windows have been installed this week, so it’s possible to see how the buildings will look when complete.

We plan to have a soft opening of the show house this side of Christmas and a grand opening in early January which we hope will progress off-plan sales. The new hoardings will soon be erected, which should help make the entire site a more appealing prospect.

We believe the internal specification will impress potential buyers when they can view the show home, and with Help to Buy as a marketing tool, and the houses starting at £172,000 in a gated development, we hope that these properties will be an attractive proposition for home buyers, especially as there is an undersupply of houses in this area.

Our preferred estate agent Sebastians has started to book in appointments for viewing the show house in January and there has been an encouraging amount of interest to date.

View the latest Woodlands site photos

View the latest CGIs of proposed buildings

HCD2 – Alderley Edge

Number 10 Alderley Edge has progressed well over the last month. We are now up to the final floor and as you can see from the pictures linked to below the views from the penthouse apartment are rather impressive (or would be if the weather wasn’t being particularly Manchester like on the day we took the photos). We have had to have the steel roof re-designed and our contractor is trying to expedite the fitting process of this by incorporating timber trusses into the roof and omitting some of the steel.

Our appointed interior designer has been carrying out some extremely impressive work on aiding us in the sourcing of kitchens, bathrooms and the overall finishing of the apartments, so we are confident they will surpass expectations.

Sebastians are still receiving regular enquiries for sales and we trust once the build has progress further there will be commitment to buy.

We are feeling quite excited about how the buildings will look when complete. The development is scheduled to be finished in March/April 2018.

View latest Alderley Edge photos

HCP156 – Station Road, Marple

We have had two offers on the property since our last update. We have accepted one of them. Solicitors and surveyors have been instructed.