An interim conclusion after half a year of housers

After nearly half a year of investing with housers it is time to take a interim counclusion. During my investment period a lot have happened at the marketplace. The first projects in Portugal have been financed, new Cities in Italy came in to the mix and besides all that a hotel was financed. Further the dashboard was revamped and one can find now lots of data and overviews to all investments made. I get detailled income statements, income splits and a lot more. The diversification index (see picture) shows me that I am only medium diversified (66 out of 100 points).Housers Portfolio Shame on me ūüėČ Objectively I must say that it is really hard to improve as some factors are limited by nature (type of investments/geographically distribution etc). There just aren’t that many types of investment possibilites other then buy to let (BTL), buy to sell (BTS) or development loans to invest in. So I guess my setup is not that bad at all ;). I think the spidernet graph is a little ahead in time and there will be new opportunities on the platform. Even I got a load of data know, I don’t see a total yield figure and this leads me to my next point

Data, everywhere data

The abundance of data is enormous, but mostly estimations. This alone does not matter to me, but it is really annoying to check if the projects yield as they should. It works for example by checking the account statement which is downloadable. I have to admit that my investment horizon with nearly six months is too short as the buy to sell projects are laid out for 12 months, so no property is sold in which I am invested. We can actually see the developments of the properties, there are actual photos. Some of my BTS projects our just out of the renovation period and are being marketed. It will be interesting to see whether the estimaed yield can be reached. Development loans are easy, they just pay a fixed rate (deduction of 1/10 as commission for housers). The rental properties pay their rent punctually, so I asked myself where that money comes from as most of them are just out of renovation and there are no tenants at the moment. The money is taken out of the funding, so the investors basically advanced the rent to them self. The system is called ¬ęinstant yield¬Ľ, plus the yield is guaranteed for the first year. The support did not explain to me where this position can be viewed in the business plan. I asked them 4 times but until today no detail explanations was received, I just asked to be told where I can find this information in the business plan. It does not really matter at the moment as it gets really interesting when the properties are rented by tenants. Then we will see if the income will rise or will be below estimations, at that point in time we will be able to determine if the estimations are ok or way off.

Increasing interest rates and porperty prices

In view of the occasion, as the stocks exchanges lose terrain as the yields go up. I did check the German housing prices and the yield evolution of 10 year German government bonds (see picture below). I was just wondering about the general coherence of property prices and interest rates.

Hedonische Immobilienpreise Renditen Staatsanleihen
Hedonic German Housing Index versus yield evolvement of government bonds

You can read everywhere that lower interest rates pump property prices. According to my graph (and the utilized instruments) we can see a coherence from starting 2011. While the blue line(Housing prices, left scale) increases, the yields (=interest rate, red line, right scale) decreases. It looks like as if yields fall below 2%, property prices are set to rise. This would make sense, as people want to get more as the 2 percent (above long term inflation goal) out of bonds, but this is just speculation.

What’s my point?

If we believe in a scenario where interest rates rise, property prices will decrease automatically. This would not be that good for my selling projects with housers as the estimated prices would not be achieveable. Further the same situation would apply on rents, so my yields would decrease. We are not there yet, one should just think about the possibility. I don’t believe that interest rates will go up dramatically during the next one to two years. But what do I know ūüėČ

Conclusion

I am generally satisfied with housers. If this status remains will be seen and depends largely if the targeted sale prices can be achieved or not. In some months I will know more and report back when the first properties are (hopefully) sold. New investors (Dutch investors are restricted from the platform, maybe other countries, if so let me know please) get EUR 25 Bonus, if you via this link and invest at least 50 Euro. You will need to invest the bonus to be able to withdraw it. You should therefor top up your account with 75 Euros, then you can invest in 2 projects. If you sell one of your projects on the secondary market, your bonus becomes eligible to withdraw.
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New cashback offers and investment opportunities

Due to the cash drag situation at some platforms I have shown you some possibilities to invest your funds.  Of course real estate platforms are a good choice as well.  Let me give you an overview of current opportunities and new cashback offers.

Up to 90 Euro cashback at Iuvo Group

Beginning of this year I have let my investments run out at Iuvo Group as my results were not really convincing (relative to other opportunities at that time). Some weeks ago I rejoined them as I received a cashback offer for old investors to rejoin.  Since then my yield is (per XIRR) about 10 percent, on the other hand the platform shows me 11. This is a far better result than last time. This time I did not invest in overdue loans, which seems to be the more fruitful strategy, but it could be just luck. My number of loans and my investment horizon are to small to draw a relevant conclusion. Now there is a cashback scheme for new investors if you invest at least 1000 EUR (or an equivalent in Bulgarian Currency), and get 30 Euro. If you top up your investments by at least 1500 Euro during your first 2 months on the platform (total 2500 EUR) you get additional 60 Euro as a bonus. Necessary steps to be eligible:

1. Get in touch with me via contact form, that I can send you an invitation
2. Register with the same email at Iuvo
3. Transfer and invest at least EUR 1’000.-.
4. You get your cashback credited within 2 business days

Still 1% Cashback at DoFinance

Still¬†1 percent cashback (with this link only)¬†for new investors for their deposits within the thirst 30 days. I don’t know how long this offer will stay valid, it could be cancelled anyday.¬†Look at¬†DoFinance’s functionality..

Grupeer opened up for new originators

Grupeer started a new product some weeks ago with Russian shortterm loans of 2 to 3 months with a buyback protected yield of 15 percent.  This week there were no loans of this kind added to the platform. I believe they would like to see first a redemption of the first loans, which are due end of October. In the meantime they added more loan originators to the platform with some nice loans yielding 14 percent for up to 12 months. There is always something to invest at Grupeer.

Bulkestate with a new project and one in the pipe

Now the newest Bulkestate Project is online: Hotel appartements in Bulgaria which will be sold with a profit. The duration is 8 months and the yield is set at 13.8% which I consider attractive given the shorter then usual duration and low LTV of 35 percent. In some weeks we should see another (development) project in Riga with a nice yield. Check out Bulkestate  and open a free account. This makes sure that you get news of the platforms newest projects.

Bulkestate Hotel Complex

Just an info to the functionality. You can’t hold funds in your Bulkestate account at the moment. You place your bid and then get an email with payment instructions based on which you can make your transfer and pay for your bid. A little bit unconfortable I know, but a solution is in the making. So Investing should get easier down the road, but as always, these solutions take time to be developped and appear on the platform. It is never easy when money is involved as regulatory requirements have to be met for our own safety.

 

Housers offers 50 euro Cashback until October 31st

Invest 50 Euro and get additional 50 Euro to invest. Nice deal, isn’t it. Valid through October. Just use this link to register and you are entitled to receive your cashback once you made your first investment. Please note: when you

Housers Hostel

make your investment they ask you for a promotion code, this has nothing to do with the cashback offer. It is a special promo for investors to receive more interest when they invest more then amount X, as stated in the project description. You can leave this empty. At the moment there is such an offer, check out the image.

Flender offers 10 percent cashback in October

You just have to register through this link and invest 2500 Euro during october and you get at least 250 Euro cashback. Your bid date counts, it does not matter if the funding period goes into November. If you bid by end of October, you will be granted your bonus, even if the project would not complete funding at all.

Property investments with p2p (part 1)

With my last post I mentionned some strategies to counter a cash drag. I shed some light on minor platforms where you could put your money to work. Intentionally I excluded real estate investment platforms. Why?  Because these platforms work differently and we have a physical security in place and do not rely solely to the financial power of the platform or loan originator. Firstly I will take a look at Baltic (but not exclusively) platforms. In my next article I will cover the UK platforms.

In contrast to buyback platforms where an investor buys securitized loans, with property investments there is always a physical security in place (property, land etc). The LTV (loan to value ratio) shows us the ratio between mortgage and value of the security. Example: Property value 100k, mortgage value 60k equals and ltv of 60% (60/100). ¬†Looks quite secure, doesn’t it? The problem here is that the property value is an estimation, which could be too favorable. ¬†So we should treat the LTV’s ¬†with caution. Even if the estimated value is in line with the actual market value we are not safe. There always needs to be a buyer in place willing to buy at that price right now. Maybe there is a buyer, but only in some months time. Just keep that in mind, real estate investments are not risk free, but they offer substance.

Let’s take a look now at the platforms:

Estateguru

With soon 200 projects funded (and lots of them already repaid) Estateguru (get 0.5% cashback on your first 3 months investments with that link) is in the club of the more established platforms in the property sector. We now know how the platform reacts to delayed payments. An interesting case is this one. The borrower was not able to pay on time so the property was transferred into an entity controlled by Estateguru. The

Estateguru Project

borrower has no time until end of October to buy back the property. If not, the property will be sold. If this will happen we are going to know how good the LTV estimation was. There are other loans which are overdue, but none of them was sold until today. Most of the loans are redeemed more or less on time, sometimes premature. If not, there are indemnity charges. It has happened that a loan was funded but the funds could not be transferred to the borrower as they failed to provided the needed documentation. In such cases Estateguru paid the interest for the funding period out of their own pocket.¬†It happened twice to me. I like this attitude as they would not be required to do that. According to the stats there are no loans in default, which means the payment is missing for more then 45 days. This is not really true as abovementionned case shows. In the end I like Estateguru, where I invest now for nearly two years without any default. The number of available loans was a problem back in the days, but this has changed now, there are several loans coming every week, which helps me to invest. I try to get into a good mix of different project types. I prefer loans with a monthly (interest) installement. This for a simple reason: if there is a delay we find it out quicker. If I see nice projects which redeem at the end, I invest regardless. Estonian projects are preferred as well, but I don’t close my eyes from others. My goal is to have at least 50 percent of Estonian projects in my portfolio.

Bulkestate

Bulkestate started in Latvia but moved to Estonia as the regulation there is more supportive to crowdfunding platforms. Since then there were some projects with really nice returns. During the next few days two big projects should be added on the platform.  One is a bulkdeal where investors can buy a hotel complex in Burgas, Bulgaria. The other project is a multistage real estate development project in Riga.

Bulkestate Project

I have a positiv attitude towards the platform, even if they can’t provide a track record as only one project has redeemed to date. All projects are set to be redeemed at the end so far which makes an evaluation hard at the moment. Technically and optically the platform seems to be nice. There is no investors account at the moment so you can’t store your money there. You have to bid project by project and then pay your bid by bank transfer.

I already have spoken to the guys in charge and they seem to know what they are doing (from their RE experience). As there are not a lot of projects at the moment I suggest you create a  free account, so that you get informed when new projects were added on the marketplace.

Crowdestate

Live for an extended period of time is Crowdestate, although we do not hear and read a lot about the platform. An overview of the functionality is available here. For some weeks they offer now business loans secured with properties.

Most of the projects pay their first installement after 12 months or at maturity, so an assessment is quite difficult, although we have a little track record here. Nice is that as an investor you get a quarterly update about your projects with lots of information.

They make a professional impression on me and I think it can’t hurt if you check out the platform.

Housers

Some weeks ago I joined  Housers (get 50 Euro cashback when using this link and invest in a project) as an investor. I liked the idea of investing in a different region (although I was and remain sceptical to a certain extent). I already have invested in some different projects and got my first monthly installements (10% of that remain with housers as commission). Some projects are buy to sells, so a property gets bought, renovated and sold (hopefully) with profit. There is a duration of 12 months with such projects and the profit relies on the sale price. If the estimations are realistic remains to be seen, but I like the mix of buy to sells, buy to let and interest bearing projects.

At the moment there is an attractive looking project available: A hostel in Valencia which is in funding phase. A big project which needs about 2 Mio Euro. There the investor participates from the revenues (monthly) and the increase in property prices (once sold).

You can join housers as an equity holder as they are offering some equity on

Housers Hostel

Crowdcube¬†at the moment. In my opinion the valuation is high, so I join (if I join) with the minimal invstment amount. Access to the private round is provided by the above link. I can’t show any figures as all details of the pitch need to remain private.

That’s it for now, with my next post I will look at UK property platforms, and there are lots them ūüėČ If you prefer buyback platforms, check ¬†this out when you are cash dragged.

Housers – invest in Spanish and Italian property

Recently I discovered a new platform: Housers (register with that link and get 25 Euro cashback, if you invest at least 50 Euro), which enables you to invest in Spanish and Italian property. Investing is open to everybody, who is at least 18 years old, and companies. No country is excluded. To register you need an identification (residents outside the EU need 2 ID docs..) which you need to upload. You have to answer a lot of questions about your personal situation, but you can go through very quickly. I guess these are special requirements from the Spanish FCA, under which the platform is authorized (special crowdfunding licence).

Investing in Spanish property, really?

Yes, I asked myself the same question. The spanish real estate sector had a price decrease during the last decade. The cause (not the only one) were the no-holds-barred lending by banks, a recession of the global economy and the subprime crisis in the US. An article came into my mind which I read some zears ago. It was about Spanish bank lending without borders and that the economic development relied on lending itself. It looks like that during the boom years of increasing property prices the Spanish Bankers (or shall we call them in this context “banksters”?) advised their clients to increase their mortgages. This happened somewhat like this: “Hello Mister Fernandez, your property has increased it’s value at least by 25 percent since our last meeting two years ago. Your wife wants a new car for some years now, right? You can finance that car through an increase in your mortgage, you don’t need to spend a cent from your account. Mister Fernandez says that he will sleep over it and calls the banker the next day to confirm his intentions. Now the adviser begins with: “Mister Fernandez, I have an even better offer: 1.5 percent leasing for the car, and you can take the money from your mortgage increase to visit your brother in the USA”. Mister Fernandez thinks, well that’s my one and only treat, the last years were really fruitful and I got some raises. Ok, we do it like you proposed…. Sure, this is a fictional story, but that describes what happened during that time pretty close. If there are buyers in the market which pay higher property prices, the owners have jobs and can pay for their mortgage, all is good… until the house of cards blows up, and the prices decrease very sharply. This was just an anecdote, but it serves as a reminder that allegedly secure investments can bear risks as well.

Invest anyway?

The idea is worth considering. Firstly, at least I hope so, the banks have learnt their lesson and are more careful. Secondly, there were strucural advancements since the EURO crisis. Thirdly, the economy of Spain grew not bad during the last years and reaches about 3 percent at the moment. Fourthly (actually included in point 3), Spain profits from more tourism. The main reasons for that are political instability in other classic holday destinations. Macroeconomic indicators seem to be positiv, which should help property prices increase again. The square meter gains in value other indicators seem to have stabilized. Surely, some risks still exist, but basically I think the worst is over and I am going in with some investments.

Project types, minimal investment and secondary market

The minimal investment is set at 50 Euro per project. There are three types of projects: 1) short-term investments, where one is participating on the selling price and rent (if any). When the target sale price is met, the property will be sold. 2) More like a long time investment to participate from the value growth and rent. 3) Buy to sell a property.

There is a secondary market, but not for all investment types. Short-term investments are excluded. As of today I cannot tell how liquid the secondary market ist, but at least there is one ūüėČ

Current projects and 25 Euro bonus for new investors

At the moment there are 4 spanish projects online, with expected returns of up to wobei 10%. New investors get 25 Euro (but only with this link) bonus. The bonus will be added shortly after you invested in your first project. The offer is only valid until October 31st 2017.

Conclusion

I have invested in 2 projects and will monitor in the next weeks. The platform is technically and visually good. My bank transfer needed 2 days to get cleared. Credit cards are accepted and you get 1% cashback for card deposits until 19th august. My expectations for the spanish real estate sector are positive and the platform convinced me.