Find out more about Landbay's latest news, the peer-to-peer lending market, guides to where we lend and more, all on our blog. Our mission is to provide a transparent and fair platform for both lenders and borrowers.
What would happen to your investment if the economy took a severe turn for the worst?
Deciding where to invest your money is not to be taken lightly. As part of the decision whether to invest with us or not, you want to know how safe your investment will be and whether your returns will be stable. Ultimately, you are investing in our expertise to manage our business well and make smart lending decisions.
At Landbay, we are committed to transparent about the way we do business. Whether you’re an investor or borrower, or if you’re just trying to find out more about us, we will share information with you so you can make the right decisions for yourself.
We wanted to know what would happen if the economic took a significant turn for the worst, so we recently engaged MIAC Analytics (MIAC) to perform an industry best practice ‘stress test’ on our buy-to-let loan book. This used the Bank of England macroeconomic scenarios to project what a severe downturn would do to our portfolio.
The scenarios are designed by the Bank of England and aim to explore the capital adequacy of the UK’s major banks and building societies. The ‘stress’ scenario simulated the following:
A recession with GDP falling by 5% (from a base of 1.6-1.8 p.a.)
Unemployment rising to 9.5% (from 4.1-4.2%)
House prices falling by 33% (as opposed to growing 3% per year)
Base rate of interest rising to 4.25% (vs a gradual move to 1.55%)
CPI Inflation rising to 5% (compared to a steady 2.1%
It sounds complex, but it allows us to simulate how much of a return we’d be able to offer our investors, and it’s something which top UK financial institutions are undertaking, so we’re in good company. It’s also above and beyond our regulatory requirements, because we think it’s an important thing to do.
The results show that even under severe conditions, returns over 3% could be expected. Landbay’s buy-to-let mortgage portfolio would remain a robust choice of investment.
Landbay has a reserve fund which can cover shortfalls, typically from defaults or arrears, and this fund could cover a portion of the losses, so even under this stress scenario investors are incredibly well protected. Today, Landbay offers a 3.5% return.
We believe undertaking these stress tests, and sharing the results, is the responsible thing to do, and supports investors as they seek strong, sustainable returns across economic cycles. It’s also important to remember this is a worst-case scenario, and exactly that, a scenario. This is not a forecast and we hope it doesn’t happen, but it’s important to understand the potential impact, however unlikely that might be.
The results demonstrate the robustness of our business in making sound decisions on how and when we lend your money.
We will continue to undertake stress tests on an annual basis. You can read more about our lending, the reserve fund and other useful statistics here.
Partnership is a word which is often undervalued. Yet in the same way that you and I would demand to have treatment for a hip replacement from a consultant surgeon rather than our local general practitioner (GP), the best partnerships we choose in our business life are based on working with proven experts in their field.
In the lending market, there are providers who are generalists, in the sense that they offer a wide range of products covering a multitude of likely borrowing scenarios. Their products provide many of the knobs and whistles that borrowers expect to see and come with an expectation that they are fully dedicated to the different sectors at which their products are aimed.
Yet is that your experience? There is an old saying about a jack of all trades being a master of none and while competence should be a given, how much better for you and your client would it be, knowing you can turn to a lender specifically tailored to be your partner for BTL?
At Landbay, we concentrate on that one lending sector - Buy to Let. Our skillset and experience are geared solely to providing a full service BTL proposition to your landlord clients.
With the current discourse in the market about brokers ensuring that the primary goal is to provide the cheapest deal, it has actually never been more relevant to ensure that, while we all aim to provide the best rate for our clients, the true value in the advice you offer is the blend of other factors which a specialist BTL provider like Landbay can provide, but which can be lacking in the wider market.
We consider the points below as vital parts of the service every broker and his landlord client should expect from their BTL lender.
A fully online process from end to end
A truly commercial outlook in the way that cases are underwritten
Underwriters who are contactable to discuss cases
Special lending niches for hard to place cases.
A consistent appetite to lend
A broad spectrum of products
Commitment to a consistently high standard of service
Commitment to assisting advisers and providing information and learning opportunities
By partnering with a specialist lender like Landbay, your landlord clients have access to a service that has been built around the ‘real world’ needs of landlords and their advisers.
The average rent for a property in the UK grew by 0.96% in the year to April, as slow rents in London (0.66%) continued to weigh down on otherwise resilient rental growth in the rest of the UK (1.11%), according to the latest Landbay Rental Index, powered by MIAC.
For landlords with an eye on higher rental growth, looking north of London, or even England, may reap rewards. Scotland has the highest year-on-year rental growth at 1.78% - the average rent is £750, only a little less than the UK’s average discounting London (£773).
Edinburgh City has the highest rental growth of any geography in the UK, with growth of 5.44% year-on-year. Glasgow City also has high growth of 2.59%, as does East Lothian (2.21%).
Wales has the second highest growth in terms of countries (1.26%), but has lower rents of £658 on average. Merthyr Tydfil has the second highest rental growth in the UK (4.65%) while Blaenau Gwent comes in third (3.92%). Interestingly, no Welsh region features in the thirty areas of lowest annual rental growth in the UK.
In England, Nottingham boasts the highest rate of rental growth at 3.84%. Rutland and Leicester (2.56% and 2.33% respectively) are additional reasons for landlords consider widening their search north of London in the hunt for above average growth. In fact the East Midlands has a higher growth rate as a region (1.98%) than Scotland.
Of course, there are some anomalies to the north of London rule. North Somerset and South Gloucestershire in the South West both have above average growth of 2.39% and 2.25% respectively, leaving the average growth for the region at 1.24%.
In general, landlords looking for rental growth in London may struggle, with average growth of just 0.66%. Average rent in the Capital stands at £1,906; this has a huge impact on the UK. Average rent nationwide is £1,218, but without London this falls to £773. For those determined to find rental growth in London, Islington may be the best bet, with year-on-year growth of 1.64%. Wandsworth saw growth of 1.43% and Southwark of 1.35%; this is especially impressive compared to areas who have seen rents fall such as Kensington and Chelsea (-0.21%) and Westminster (-0.02%).
Landlords can rest assured that there is decent rental growth to be found across the UK, particularly if they look north of London. On the face of it, landlords have had a tough time in the past few years, from increased regulatory pressure to a significant increase in stamp duty costs, yet they have managed to shoulder many of these costs without passing them onto tenants.
For brokers, this provides them with the opportunity to give expert advice to their clients about changing elements of the housing market and which areas have the most potential in the coming months.
The average rent for a property in the UK grew by 0.96% in the year to March, as slow rents in London (0.57%) continued to weigh down on otherwise resilient rental growth in the rest of the UK (1.16%), according to the latest Landbay Rental Index, powered by MIAC.
Hotspots for rental growth over the last 12 months include Edinburgh City (5.97%), Nottingham (4.28%), and Blaenau Gwent (3.76%). The high growth areas are spread throughout the UK; of the top ten ‘rental risers’, two counties are in Scotland, three in Wales, two in the East Midlands region and three in the rest of England. Across the higher level country data, Scotland has the highest overall annual rental growth at 1.99% while Northern Ireland is growing at just 0.63%.
Scotland is something of a tale of two cities, boasting both the fastest and slowest growing locations. Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire are at the bottom of the annual growth league table, with growth of -5.59% and -4.31% respectively. Of the other eight, a further one is in Scotland (Angus at -0.83%) while the other seven are in England. The slowest three areas of rental growth in England are Redcar and Cleveland (-1.48%), Kensington and Chelsea (-0.54%) and Bracknell Forest (-0.24%).
In London, rental growth is picking up again slightly after last year’s slump. Overall annual rental growth sits at 0.57% - this time last year it was falling at -0.28%. In fact, 17 out of 33 London boroughs saw falling rents last March. A year on, only three boroughs continue to fall; Kensington and Chelsea (-0.54%), Merton (-0.17%), and Enfield (-0.08%). Average rent in London now stands at £1,903, a cumulative rental growth of 9.32% since January 2012.
The average rent paid for a property in the UK now stands at £1,217, or £772 if you exclude London. The lowest average rent is found in Northern Ireland (£576), where rents have shown very modest long-term growth. In England, average rent is £1,248. The second highest region (after London) is the South East at £1,064, while lowest average rent stands at £553 in the North East – this region has seen cumulative growth of just 2.08% since January 2012.
Despite political and economic turmoil, the British property market has remained resilient. Rents are growing at a steady pace, and that growth is not restricted to specific regions or rental brackets.
Meanwhile, house prices in England fell for the first time in seven years in the first three months of 2019. This combination is good news for first-time buyers and landlords alike. This period of uncertainty may in fact be the best time for individual certainty – do your research and see whether it’s time to take the first step onto the property ladder (or expand your portfolio).”
New analysis of rental growth in London over the last seven years reveals a clear regional split, with renters in East London seeing twice the growth of their West London counterparts, according to the latest Landbay Rental Index, powered by MIAC.
Of the nine East London boroughs, the average cumulative rental growth since January 2012 is 21.41% with typical rents now standing at £1,241 per month. Leading the race are Barking & Dagenham (27.66%), Waltham Forest (23.56%), and Bexley (22.02%). The only East London borough that doesn’t make it into the top ten areas of rental growth is Greenwich, which is still above the London average at 15.48%.
Contrastingly, the twelve West London boroughs have seen average growth of just 10.79%, with monthly rents now typically £1,456. Languishing towards the bottom of the league tables are Kingston upon Thames (8.04%), Richmond upon Thames (6.14%), and Hammersmith & Fulham (5.73%). However, boroughs in Central-West London report even lower growth. Camden has seen growth of just 3.78%, and Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea have actually experienced negative growth over the period (-0.77% and -2.31% respectively).
However, when inflation is taken into account (since January 2012, cumulative CPI inflation is 16%) the figures are even starker. In real terms, renters in 21 of the 33 London boroughs have seen a fall in rent. Of these, only one is in East London (Greenwich at 15.48%), while the vast majority of those in West London have seen falls, just two have seen rents rise faster than inflation – Hillingdon (17.12%) and Sutton (16.82%).
Throughout London, three-bed properties have seen the highest growth over the last seven years, with growth of 10.11% compared to two-bed growth of 9.45% and one-bed growth of 8.98%. This trend has reversed over the last year – one-bed flats have seen 0.9% growth year-on-year, while two-beds have seen 0.83% growth and three-beds a mere 0.34%.
Elsewhere, annual rental growth in England (excluding London) is at 1.13%, its weakest point since February 2013. Scotland is the only country in the UK with improving average yearly growth, with annual rental growth of 1.78% in February. Average rent in the UK stands at £1,216, or £772 without London.
We are seeing a cultural shift in London, as demand climbs in the East and traditionally popular areas like Westminster and Chelsea slide down the league tables. While part of this is a function of affordability, other things too are at play. Rising employment and a thirst for flexible living mean renting is more attractive than ever, with a widening commuter belt in the face of developing infrastructure like Thameslink and Crossrail.
Annual rental growth in the UK without London is at its lowest point (1.16%) in nearly six years (1.13%, February 2013), according to the latest Landbay Rental Index, powered by MIAC.
However, since the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, total rental growth across the English regions has been seven times that of London (3.69% to London’s 0.52%). The capital’s property market, which has suffered disproportionately from Brexit uncertainty, saw annual rental growth drop from 1.26% in June 2016 to a low of -0.31% in June 2017, before starting a slow recovery up to 0.67% in January 2019. In total, cumulative rental growth in London since June 2016 has been a mere 0.52%.
The only other region to see cumulative rental growth since the vote to leave the EU below 1% is the North East which has seen rents grow at 0.71%. In contrast, the East Midlands leads the way with growth of 6.28% since June 2016, followed by the West Midlands at 4.75%. The rental growth in England excluding London since the vote is 3.69%, down to 2.5% with London included.
Rental growth is slowing though. England excluding London has seen the lowest annual rental growth in six years (1.11% in January 2019, 1.07% in January 2013). Wales is currently at the lowest it’s been since April 2014 (1.39%) and in Northern Ireland growth of 0.54% is the slowest since the Rental Index began collecting data in January 2012.
Scotland, however, has seen annual rents grow at 1.66%, having steadily grown over the last six months. The average rent in Scotland is now £746, higher than Northern Ireland (£573), Wales (£656), and creeping up to the English average excluding London (£776). This Scottish growth is led by high annual growth in Edinburgh City (5.88%), Inverclyde (3.56%), and Glasgow City (2.49%), while Aberdeen City (-6.62%) and Aberdeenshire (-5.42%) are weighing down on faster national average growth.
Falling rents in London have masked relatively strong growth in the rest of the UK since the Brexit vote, but we are now firmly in the midst of a nationwide rental growth slowdown. This may be some relief to renters, but the cost of renting a property remains high. House prices continue to outpace wage growth, dampening the ability of aspiring homeowners to save for a property of their own, meaning demand for rented accommodation remains robust.
Without a radical house building plan for both first-time buyers and purpose-built rental properties, there is no way supply will ever be able to catch up with demand. The government needs to take action fast, especially in times of economic and political uncertainty the private rental sector is more important than ever.
Tenants in London are potentially £1,806 better off since the vote to leave the EU in June 2016, according to the latest Landbay Rental Index, powered by MIAC.
Using a conservative projection, rental growth in the capital is now 2.84% lower than expected back in June 2016, but this could be as high as 4.15%. This higher estimate would leave renters in London with an extra £1,806 due to subdued rental prices or £1,217 for the mid-point.
The capital’s property market, which has arguably suffered disproportionately from uncertainty since the referendum, saw average annual rental growth drop from 1.26% in June 2016 to a low of -0.33% June 2017, before starting a slow recovery in February 2018 (0.05%) up to 0.58% in December 2018.
The rest of the UK has largely stayed in line with expectations for growth, with the drop in rental price growth being confined to London.
The national picture
The average rent for a property in the UK grew by 0.96% in the year to December 2018. The national picture continues to be weighed down by slower growth in London (0.58%) on otherwise resilient rental growth in the rest of the UK (1.16%).
Rental growth in Wales (1.57%) and Scotland (1.48%) is growing more than 55% faster than the UK (0.96%) and nearly twice the rate of growth of Northern Ireland (0.75%).
On a regional level, rental growth in the East Midlands (2.19%), West Midlands (1.48%) and Yorkshire and Humberside (1.40%) continue to lead the way in terms of rental growth, while growth in the North East (0.01%) continues its downwards trend toward falling rents.
It’s hard to ignore the impact that the vote to leave the EU has had on property market in London. While tenants are better off, without necessarily realising it, uncertainty in the market has caused a conundrum for landlords.
Many landlords will have been looking to offset the Government’s punitive tax regime by raising rents, however the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has forced the vast majority to forfeit this to maintain a steady income.
Employment and immigration are the two main concerns for the housing market when considering Brexit. While nobody is any clearer about Britain’s future relationship with the EU, it’s clear the impact of a no-deal Brexit would be significant for the UK economy and property market.
As you may well have heard, the Innovate Finance ISA (IFISA) is due to launch in April this year and Landbay will be offering IFISAs to our investors soon afterwards.
Some of you have had questions about our IFISA, so we’ve put them together in this post. As always, if there’s anything we’ve missed please don’t hesitate to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is an IFISA?
As George Osborne announced in July 2015, the IFISA is a tax-free ‘wrapper’ for peer-to-peer investments. Along with the traditional cash ISA and the stocks & shares ISA, you will now be able to earn tax-free interest on your Landbay investment.
While one year cash ISAs offer average interest rates of 1.38% (Nov. 2015) and Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) coverage, stocks and shares investments tend to be more volatile with higher returns but higher risk. Depending on the platform you choose, the IFISA sits somewhere in the middle of the two, but unlike the cash ISA, IFISA deposits are not covered by the FSCS.
How much can I put in my Landbay IFISA?
Just like any other ISA, you can put up to £15,240 in your IFISA this year. You can also split your ISA allowance across your IFISA, a Cash ISA and a Stocks & Shares ISA; for example with a third in each.
What rates can I get in my Landbay IFISA?
We plan to launch our IFISA with our Tracker Rate product: 4.0% annualised. Your rate of interest is 3.35% pa above LIBOR* (London Interbank Offered Rate). When LIBOR changes, your Tracker Rate changes too.
Please see more information about our rates here. Just like the existing investment products and all other peer-to-peer investments these are not covered by the FSCS.
How can I set up my IFISA?
As soon as we are ready to launch our IFISA we will let all our investors know and provide you with details of how to do this.
Can I split my IFISA investment over multiple peer-to-peer platforms?
Not at the moment, unfortunately. But this is something we are continuing to discuss with HMT and we will let you know if/when the ISA rules change.
Can I transfer my existing Cash or Stocks & Shares ISA funds into my IFISA?
Yes. You can transfer unlimited funds from pre-existing Cash or Stocks & Shares ISAs into IFISAs (ie ISAs set up prior to April 2016). Contrary to the previous point regarding setting up your IFISA with new funds in just one platform, these ‘old’ ISA funds can be put into different peer-to-peer platforms.
Which platforms are eligible for IFISAs and when can I get mine?
Currently, no platforms are eligible until 6th April. When that day arrives, only platforms who have gained full FCA authorisation will be able to offer IFISAs to their investors. Just like the rest of the P2PFA members and many others, we are currently working hard with the FCA to get our full permissions in time for the IFISA launch date but we cannot confirm our launch date until the application has been fully processed.
Equity crowdfunding investments may also be included in the IFISA space at some stage, but for now it’s just peer-to-peer.
What is a Personal Savings Allowance (PSA)?
Also launching in April, the PSA will allow every basic rate tax payer to earn tax-free interest of £1000, meaning that 95% of the UK won’t pay tax on savings (source: Money Supermarket).
However, this will depend on your individual circumstances – for example higher rate tax payers are only eligible for a £500 PSA and additional rate tax payers are not eligible for a PSA.
What does ‘tax free’ mean?
This means that you don’t have to pay UK Income Tax on you’re the interest earned from your investments. As above, this will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are unsure about how much tax-free investment you can have, you should speak to an independent financial advisor.
*3-Month LIBOR, repriced on a quarterly basis. Last repriced on 15th December 2015 at 0.59%pa. Total rate is 3.94% pa. 4% rate is annualised and applies when your monthly interest is reinvested over a 12 month period.
The information contained in this article should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Consumers have a range of different financial needs and requirements and as such should always seek independent professional financial advice before making an investment decision.
Today, 16th February 2016, we are pleased to announce that Landbay has received investment from FTSE 250 company Zoopla Property Group (ZPG). In addition, we will enter into a long term strategic partnership with Zoopla. More details of the partnership will follow over the coming months and it is due to launch over the summer.
ZPG is the owner of leading property related sites uSwitch and Prime Location and has shown its long term interest in Landbay by taking an equity stake in our business. Meanwhile, the new partnership will help us to scale our retail customer base following the solid infrastructure we have put in place to become a scalable mortgage lending business.
Commenting on their equity investment and our forthcoming partnership, Alex Chesterman, Zoopla’s founder & CEO said, “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Landbay, one of the most innovative tech businesses in the UK property sector. Our mission is to be the most useful resource in the UK property market and Landbay has developed an exciting peer-to-peer lending proposition for residential property that allows consumers to invest from as little as £100. We are looking forward to working with them to bring residential property investing to the masses.“
Zoopla’s investment in Landbay is the beginning of a long term relationship to develop the goal we share: to support consumer investment in homes. Residential property is our nation’s best loved asset class and we are looking forward to leveraging our partnership with Zoopla to democratise investment in the sector.
Since our inception Landbay has sought to remove the old guard bureaucracy in mortgage lending, passing on a better return and experience for investors and borrowers alike. As the original pioneers in proptech, Zoopla is the perfect partner to collaborate with us as we continue to help consumers to prosper from the property market.
Here at Landbay we now complete more than £5 million mortgages each month, positioning us as the UK’s fastest growing alternative finance business (source: Altfi). We are also one of 8 members of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association and the only full peer-to-peer member of the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Here at Landbay we’re always happy to answer any questions our investors may have about lending with us or the peer-to-peer market. We’ve picked up on a number of reoccurring questions about peer-to-peer and thought it would be beneficial to answer a few of them here.
Is peer-to-peer lending secure?
Every peer-to-peer lending platform does have an element of risk associated with it, however here at Landbay we take every measure to reduce it. As we only lend to the pick of the buy‐to‐let mortgage market, statistically the lowest‐risk asset class in peer‐to‐peer, it provides a rock solid foundation - the basic principle everyone looks for when considering where to invest. From diversifying your funds across multiple mortgages to stringent underwriting criteria and our Reserve Fund, we take a comprehensive approach to mitigating risk. We hide nothing and tell you everything. Read more about our risk mitigation here.
How does peer-to-peer lending work?
Peer-to-peer lending means that you lend money to other individuals or companies, without going through traditional financial middlemen such as banks or building societies. Landbay works by matching investors’ funds with borrowers’ loans through our technology. Each loan is comprised of lots of small loans made by individual lenders, with each lender having a direct loan agreement and lending relationship with the borrower. This means we can provide better rates for both our borrowers and investors, as we work to the same underlying principles of the traditional building society, but many of the ‘middle man’ processes are alleviated by technology to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and ultimately deliver a better return.
What happens if the people I lend to are late with their payments or default on their loan?
Your money is automatically diversified across mortgages that are secured by buy‐to‐let properties throughout England and Wales. Spreading your investment in this way makes it more robust, so you’ll never be reliant on one particular borrower, property type or location.
Buy-to-let mortgage repossession rates are currently 0.04% and peaked at 0.35% during the Global Financial Crisis (source: Council of Mortgage Lenders, 2008 and 2013). This positions buy-to-let mortgages as one of the UK’s lowest risk asset classes, and the lowest risk within UK peer-to-peer. Our view is that the single biggest factor in ensuring a mortgage is repaid is cashflow (i.e. rental income) - when you couple this with the ultimate backstop of tangible bricks and mortar security, it’s easy to see why tenanted residential homes have performed so robustly through all economic cycles.
However, it’s our job to prepare for worst case scenarios, thus our comprehensive approach to mitigating risk counters every possible risk (and occasionally even the implausible) to your investment. Therefore a percentage of our income is set aside for our Reserve Fund, a discretionary fund derived solely from our fees, which can be called upon to make up any shortfall should a borrower default or fall into arrears. To date there have been no claims on the Fund. Review The Reserve Fund.
How long do I have to lend my money for?
You can choose between our two investment products, our 3 year fixed rate product or our Tracker. You can redeem your loan parts at any time and at no cost, subject to our ability to reallocate your loan parts to new investors.
What sort of returns will I get?
The Fixed Rate Product interest rate stands at 4.4%, based on the reinvestment of interest through the term of the loan (4.2% pa, correct as at November 2015) and will remain at this rate for up to 3 years, at which point it will automatically revert to the Tracker Rate. The Tracker Rate Product has an interest rate of 3% + Bank of England Base Rate (BBR). The interest rate is therefore currently 3.5% per annum (correct as at November 2015) and will move up/down in line with changes to BBR. In the past BBR has generally increased in line with inflation. Due to the floating nature of this product you can redeem your loan parts at any time and at no cost, subject to Landbay being able to reallocate your loan parts to new lenders.
If you have any questions about lending with Landbay or peer-to-peer in general, why not email us at email@example.com.
The information contained in this report should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Consumers have a range of different financial needs and requirements and as such should always seek independent professional financial advice before making an investment decision.