Crowdstacker offers product to compete with property funds

UK real eastateAmicus Finance, a property lender, is making a UK property investment vehicle available that will compete with funds and offer a return of over 5% a year. Access is through Crowdstacker, a peer-to-peer lending platform which says 44% of 2,049 retail investors it surveyed want to enhance their exposure to UK property, beyond owning their home. Crowdstacker's survey also found that a quarter of the respondents said they couldn't afford a deposit or second mortgage to gain property exposure directly, and over a quarter said they would not have time to manage a property. The investments raised by Crowdstacker, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, will be lent to Amicus and used to finance  short-term property lending to commercial and private borrowers. Amicus is offering 5.43% annual interest over 18 months. Demand for short-term property lending is booming in line with the housing market, Crowdstacker says. The sector has grown from around £1.4 billion in 2013 to an estimated £3 billion annually. According to Crowdstacker, the research showed that investor appetite for an opportunity to make over 5% return without direct ownership was stronger than for buying shares in companies related to the property market and for investing in property funds. Karteek Patel, chief executive of the firm, says: “Effectively this is an opportunity to lend to a lender which is not only one of the market leaders in its field, but which also operates in the buoyant property
sector." Amicus’s property loan portfolio is currently made up of 90% residential properties and 10% commercial properties.  The minimum investment is £1,000 (€1400). ©2015 funds europe

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