Buy-to-let property platform hits £50m milestone

A platform allowing investors to join together to fund the purchases of residential rental properties has hit the £50m fundraising milestone.

Founded in 2012 with an initial focus on Manchester, the House Crowd claims to offer investors returns of 8-10% to fund property projects, known as peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

There have been 307 projects funded so far, all of which are secured on the underlying property.

Like any investment, there is no Financial Compensation Scheme protection on the performance but complaints can be made to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The House Crowd is currently operating under interim regulatory permissions, as are some other P2P platforms, while it awaits a full application for authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority. All P2P platforms have had to apply for authorisation since the FCA took over regulation of the sector in 2014, but the City watchdog has a backlog of cases.

Frazer Fearnhead, chief executive of the House Crowd, said: “Investors are facing uncertainty on an unprecedented scale.

“Traditional buy-to-let is now unviable for most individuals, interest rates are woefully low and look to stay low for a considerable time. Also, the stock market is a gamble few can afford to take.

“No wonder people are turning to property crowdfunding to take control of their own finances, spreading their risk across a diverse range of investment products. This includes property-backed peer-to-peer loans that can provide fixed returns of 8-12% in under 12 months.

“I have no doubt the confidence we’re seeing from investors in our service will continue to grow, as alternative finance takes the place of less attractive, traditional investment options.”


Valerie Krutanova