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When did CrowdProperty start?
Established in 2015, lenders have lent £370 million to around 50 different borrowers in over 300 loans.
What interesting or unique points does CrowdProperty have?
CrowdProperty is mainly focused on the lowest-risk kind of property development lending to experienced developers, offering first-charge lending only against developments that already have planning permission. Since early 2019, it’s also offered short-term (bridging) loans to developers, e.g. for purchasing land or property.
CrowdProperty has told us that its own experienced founders will step in to run development projects to completion, if necessary. Developers borrow all the money they need at the start, but CrowdProperty releases it in phases after careful consideration of the developers’ progress.
How good are its loans?
CrowdProperty assesses the developers’ experience and the development project’s details, accepting only the best. Unusually for these kinds of loans, CrowdProperty also takes a quantitative approach, learning from data and relevant numbers. I am confident that these approaches combined ensure a high loan quality. The average loan is for less than 70% of the starting valuation of the site, which is considerably better than normal for these loans.
CrowdProperty accepted its first bridging loan in early 2019 and it’s steadily ticking closer to its 100th such loan. The vast majority are already repaid and just a handful of the outstanding ones are late. As I had predicted the last time I was responsible for updating the CrowdProperty Review, their strong ability to assess developers is making up for the the maximum bridging loan allowed being as much as 75% of the property value. That’s not too high per se, but it’s higher than we’d ideally like in the lowest-risk lending.
The quality of the loans CrowdProperty has been approving in recent years hasn’t noticeably budged, despite CrowdProperty’s growth. Usually, we expect to see risks rise as platforms grow quickly, because they can no longer be so super selective any more.
How much experience do CrowdProperty’s key people have?
The key people at CrowdProperty have clearly demonstrated the talent and deep experience needed to properly assess complex development projects, monitor them, keep them on track, and take steps when things go wrong. I believe they are fanatical about maintaining quality.
CrowdProperty review: lending processes
CrowdProperty has talked us through much of its near 60-step lending criteria and it has convinced me that it constantly improves its already excellent processes. It is critical of the progress of projects throughout. It has also talked through what steps it’s taken for every loan that has ever fallen substantially late, and it has found elegant solutions to ensure lenders received all their money and interest in the end.
How good are CrowdProperty’s interest rates, bad debts and margin of safety?
For these top-quality development loans, the interest rate of 10.12% provides a high margin of safety for lenders who put a small proportion of their money in any one loan.
CrowdProperty massively ramped up lending rates by about 1.5 percentage points in July, in order to stay ahead of still-high inflation and higher savings account interest rates. At the same time, borrower rates are roughly the same, so CrowdProperty is currently paying the increase to lenders out of its own pocket.
This brings lending rates back to where they were when CrowdProperty launched. Over the long run, especially as inflation and savings rates fall, expect to see rates come down again. Because lenders will be willing to accept lower rates due to CrowdProperty’s continued good record.
A handful of loans suffered problems that were dealt with swiftly. Two loans will involve some write-offs at some point during 2023 of about £300,000. But that amounts to just 0.1% of the total ever lent.
Lenders have still have earned more than the initial lender rates they lent at, even after those losses, due to additional interest that borrowers have paid lenders when they have fallen too far behind on their repayment.
Mostly due to the pandemic, CrowdProperty has a bigger batch of late loans than usual at present, but these are very well under control and not a cause for concern.
CrowdProperty has the top 4thWay PLUS Rating of 3/3, “Exceptional”, meaning that we expect that lenders will make money even when impacted by a severe recession and property crash.
Has CrowdProperty provided enough information to assess the risks?
CrowdProperty provides 4thWay with all the data and direct contact we need, and also volunteers a great depth of information before we are even able to ask for it. It’s provided more than enough information to assess it, and has committed to doing so in the future.
Is CrowdProperty profitable?
CrowdProperty roughly broke even in the year up to March 2018 and March 2019 and turned profitable after that. In 2021 it chose to again operate at a loss, in order to spend more to grow more. Neverthless, while it continues to put a lot of money back into the business to grow it further, it still managed to make a profit again in the year to March 2023, according to its CEO.
CrowdProperty has exclusive access to a large, direct market of property developers, so it doesn’t have to pay fees to loan broker, which can be very expensive. It seems well placed to become a stably profitable P2P lending site.
That said, its massive increase in rates paid to lenders from this summer onwards appears to be an unfunded increase, meaning borrowers aren’t paying much more to maintain the spread that CrowdProperty earns between borrower and lender rates. This will certainly hit CrowdProperty’s bottom line, so it must be seriously looking to keep growing in size for some time to come, even at the cost of profitability in the short term.
What is CrowdProperty’s minimum lending amount and how many loans can I lend in?
If you choose loans for yourself, the minimum you can lend per loan is £500. If you use auto-lend, you can lend as little as £50 per loan, although you must contribute at least £500. I believe it could take six months or so before your money is lent in enough loans, so you might want to drip your money in over that period.
Does CrowdProperty have an IFISA?
CrowdProperty’s lending accounts are available as IFISAs.
CrowdProperty: key details
4thWay PLUS Rating
3 PLUSes is best. What does the 4thWay PLUS Rating tell you about the risks and rewards?
Interest rate after bad debt
Here we show the P2P lending site's own estimate (or 4thWay's if theirs are not appropriate)
4thWay Risk Score
Lower Risk Scores are better. How is this different to the 4thWay PLUS Rating?
£370 m in development property lending & short-term property (bridging) loans since 2015, with optional auto-lend & auto-diversification. IFISA available
Minimum lending amount
Exit fees - if you sell loans before borrowers fully repay
Early exit is not guaranteed. Usually, other lenders need to buy your loans
Do you get all your money back if you exit early?
Loan size compared to security value
Reserve fund size as % of outstanding loans
Company/directors lend alongside you/first loss
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The 4thWay® PLUS Ratings are calculations developed by professional risk modellers (someone who models risks for the banks), experienced investors and a debt specialist from one of the major consultancy firms. They measure the interest you earn against the risk of suffering losses from borrowers being unable to repay their loans in scenarios up to a serious recession and a major property crash. The ratings assume you spread your money across hundreds or thousands of loans, and continue lending until all your loans are repaid. They assume you lend across 6-12 rated P2P lending accounts or IFISAs, and measure your overall performance across all of them, not against individual performances.
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