Property Moose – My Unbiased Investing Experiences With Property Moose

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property moose

Property Moose Peer To Peer Lending Review

** Property Moose review updated February 21st 2017 **

Property Moose was founded by James Cadbury, the great, great grandson of George Cadbury, the co-founder of Cadbury Chocolate. Property Moose is a way for investors to own pieces or shares of property without the hassles of individual ownership or landlord headaches.

My February 2017 Allocation: Unchanged
My current annual rate of return: 3.29% (Net return before taxes)

Property Moose – The Important Info:

Pros
  • You own shares in property via an SPV company
  • Most property owned outright; no mortgages
  • Secondary market (2% buyer fee)
  • Diverse property locations
  • Easy to use website
  • Instant debit card deposits
  • Great staff communication
Cons
  • Dividend yields can vary widely by property
  • Some properties have performed poorly
  • End of term values are speculative
  • Only one property has been sold after its term

Technically Property Moose is a crowdfunding site rather than a traditional peer to peer lending site. It’s a unique way to step onto the investment property ladder while diversifying your lending portfolio.

Rental dividends are paid monthly and investments are usually for two or three years. The reduction from £500 to the new £10 minimum investment makes Property Moose even more attractive. Valuations can be optimistic so do your due diligence. There is now a secondary market to buy and sell property shares. Property Moose still remains a long term investment and even though you’re investing in property and there are risks involved. Read more below in my exclusive Property Moose review.

Property Moose Review: My experiences so far….

I have been investing in Property Moose since 2015 and so far my experiences have been ok. Nothing bad has occurred but my biggest issue is some of the investments have under performed yield wise due to lower tenant occupancy rates. If I could turn back the clock, I would have steered clear of the multi occupant HMO properties that have performed poorly. Other than that, Property Moose has done what it advertised on the tin.

What is a Property Moose?

Property Moose locates investment properties, negotiates a below market purchase and offers shares in an SPV (company) to investors to fund and acquire the property. Each share costs £500 £10 (since Jan 2016) and there is currently no bid restrictions on investment amounts.

As a bonus, while your money is pledged to fund a property, investors receive 3% annual interest. This “dead money time” interest is nice because Property Moose houses can take time to fully fund.

After a property is acquired, Property Moose arranges management and collects rental payments for a fixed term (usually two to three years). After the term is over, Property Moose manages the sale of the property and distributes any proceeds / profits among investors after expenses are paid.

When Did Property Moose Launch?

March 2014

How Do I Sign Up?

Easy! Click here to open an account. (You’ll receive a £10 credit for signing up and so will I; happy days!).

Who Can Sign Up?

UK residents or non residents who have a UK bank account.

What’s The Signup Process Like?

Plain and simple. They run the usual i.d. check, no additional identification needed. They follow up with a friendly welcome phone call which is the perfect time to ask any questions you may have.

What’s The Minimum Deposit / Investment?

Debit Card: No Minimum
Properties: £10 minimum

Are They Regulated?

Yes, by the UK Government’s Financial Conduct Authority #690687 interim permission. FCA regulation is nothing like the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) which covers consumers when they deposit money in banks. The FCA does have the ability to pursue criminal action against companies it finds are in violation of its standards, but it’s not a government entity and its funded by the very companies it regulates.

How Much Interest Does Property Moose Pay Lenders?

While your money is pledged towards funding a property that has yet to complete, you receive 3% annually. Once the property has been funded and acquired, Property Moose is different to other peer to peer lending sites since they don’t really pay an interest rate. They do pay monthly rental income which is accounted for in terms of yield. Yields range from 3-8% but this can be affected by the rental occupancy and delinquent rent payments by tenants.

Here is an example of estimated returns and costs on a current Property Moose offering:

Property Moose Review

Property Moose Review

What Are the Fees?

5% Acquisition fee is calculated on the purchase price. According to Property Moose’s website:

The earlier you invest, the lower the fees are!
Our investors receive a daily cash bonus on your investment from the day you invest until the day we purchase the property. This is calculated at 3% per annum and is paid to you with your first rental payment paid as reduction of our 5% fee. This is to encourage our members to get behind our properties early to benefit from the bonus and to fund properties quickly. Our costs are reduced if a property funds quickly (less marketing!), so we pass the benefits directly onto our investors.

Not bad. Any fee reduction is helpful since we know fees destroy returns.

15% Profit Share fee is calculated on the net price. This fee is now included on the Data & Calculations page.

10% + VAT Property Management fee. This isn’t really a Property Moose fee but something you should be aware of. This is a standard property management fee.

£18 accounting and £12 corporate governance fees. These newly added fees will be included on SPV’s 59 and newer and are total amounts levied on each property split between lenders based on their owned shared amounts. For example if a property is £100,000 and you own £1,000 in shares (1% of the property), your fee share would be 30p or 1% if each of the accounting and governance fees

2% Buyers fee when you sell shares on secondary market. Sellers pay no fees.

How Long Is The Investment Term?

Two or three years but you can exit earlier by finding someone to buy our shares or by using Property Moose to help facilitate a share sale (2.5% admin fee).

What Security Does Property Moose Lend Against?

Since investors purchase shares in property and Property Moose isn’t technically a peer to peer company, there are no loans and therefore the property is the security.

What Are The Main Risks?

Company Failure: If Property Moose fails, there are many unknowns as to how lenders would really fare. Since investors own property directly within individual limited companies, in theory a company failure wouldn’t be catastrophic since the investors would still own the properties. But it would create a headache in the administration department as to how the properties would be managed and sold at the end of the fixed term. Let’s hope Property Moose doesn’t fail.

Tenant Default: If tenants don’t pay rent, then investor returns would decline. You rely on Property Moose ‘s ability to implement quality management and attract quality tenants. In October 2015, Property Moose claims 60% of purchased properties have retained existing tenants. It’s too early to tell the success rate of longer term rentals.

Calculation Errors and the unforeseeable events: There are so many unknowns that go along with landlording. If the valuation is wrong or Property Moose miscalculates the expenses, investors may lose money on the resale. If a tenant destroys a property and hits the road for greener rental pastures, investors returns would shrink. Leaky toilets, holes in walls and bad plumbing are common place in the rental world.

Property Market Downturn: If the market turns south, property values could decrease and be worth less upon resale.

Too Sector Specific: Being 100% in the real estate sector is risky should a downturn occur.

Long Term: Even though there is a secondary market, there’s no guarantee you will be able to exit your investments.

Is There A Provision Fund?

Yes. Remember provision fund expenses are paid by the investor so they do decrease your returns. Recently Property Moose has added the following provision fund expenses as part of its calculations:

  • £450 for landlord insurance to cover boiler, gas, electric, plumbing and drainage
  • 1% of property purchase price to cover unknown future costs and expenses

If the 1% costs and expenses fee isn’t needed, these funds would be added to the total revenue at the end of the term.

Am I Lending To Property Moose The Company?

No. You own shares and are investing directly in the properties which are held within SPV’s and registered at Companies House. Think of this as crowdfunding rather than traditional peer to peer lending.

What Happens If Property Moose Goes Bust?

Investors shares in property are ring-fenced and registered at Companies House. Any funds being held are in a segregated Barclays account which is protected. In the event of platform failure, 3rd party liquidators would sell the properties. Property Moose’s website doesn’t really go into detail about this process (read here) so lots of unknowns here. As always, don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.

THUMBS UP FOR PROPERTY MOOSE:

You’re Investing in Property

Nothing beats the security of property. As long as Property Moose remains transparent, honest and keeps locating quality properties, I believe this is a pretty secure investment. Unlike other platforms that offer unsecured loans, Property Moose’s business model allows the properties to be sold in order to recoup funds.

£10 Minimum

In January 2016, Property Moose reduced its minimum investment from £500 to £10. This a welcome change that will allow better diversification and encourage new investors.

Security

No loans here so the properties are the security. Nothing better than owning brick and mortar. All properties are owned by within an SPV which can be viewed on Companies House.

Secondary Market

Property Moose recently released their secondary market which allows buying and selling of property shares. Some older properties will be more difficult to sell as each share was £500. The newer property shares with the £10 minimums will be easier to sell. Sellers have the ability to discount and mark up shares. There is a 2% buyers fee on each transaction but no sellers fee.

Deposits, Payments & Withdrawals

Property Moose allows debit card payments for instant no fee deposits. Rental payments are deposited into your holding account (aka e-wallet). Withdrawals are done at a clack of a mouse button.

The Website

It’s very easy to use, looks great and is being constantly improved. Here is a look at the Portfolio dashboard:

property moose review
property moose
Deal Flow

Property Moose usually has one or two investments available at a time. These include houses, HMO’s (Houses of Multiple Occupation) and mixed usage commercial with flats above.

Cancellation

If you change your mind on an investment that is still funding, you can cancel your bid. You can even cancel up to 14 days after the property has been fully funded.

THUMBS DOWN FOR PROPERTY MOOSE:

Some HMO Occupancy Rates And Property Yield Returns Have Been Low

When I first started investing through Property Moose, I made the mistake of chasing high projected yields offered through HMO or “houses in multiple occupation”. These properties have performed poorly due to low tenant occupation rates. Here are my actual yields on both the HMO properties:

If I could start over, I would have steered clear of the HMO’s. A few properties have also delivered disappointing returns.

Unknown Outcomes = Higher Risk

While property could be considered lower risk, future values are purely speculation. Only time will tell whether the investments will pay off.

Only One Property Has Come To Term

We are now entering the timeframe where the very first investments are ending. Only one property has been sold while lenders have voted to keep two others for a further three years. Here are the financial results on the first sale:

The rent yields and property growth amounts were disappointing if compared to the estimates listed when the property was first offered. Here are the estimated returns versus the actual returns:

I list these results as a negative because this is the only property sold and the numbers don’t lie. As I said when I first reviewed Property Moose man moons ago, there are many unknowns that accompany crowdfunded property investing. It’s very similar to investing in stocks. You never quite know which one’s to pick so most people pick different ones hoping to average a decent return. Some properties will do well while others will fall far short of estimates.

I’m sure the Moose team has learned a lot since they first started offering property and one would hope this first result isn’t indicative of future results. We will need more results to decipher whether Property Moose’s properties are worth investing in or not.

Lower Yields Than Estimated

Most of my investments are yielding less than Property Moose estimates:

I’m still comfortable investing as I think Property Moose is a good company but I still understand the nature and risk of crowdfunding property investing.

Secondary Market Buyers Fee

I really dislike secondary market fees as I believe they hamper liquidity. I also understand Property Moose needs to cover their expenses but their 2% buyers fee still makes me grumpy.


My Strategy

I’ve always had my hand in real estate investing so Property Moose was intriguing. It’s very much a “jump and hope you land somewhere soft” play. The good thing is investors collectively own the homes so I don’t see a huge downside. I try to diversify while steering clear of certain deals such as HMO’s (where multiple tenants rent by the room) and properties in certain cities such as Hartlepool. HMO’s offer better estimated dividends but my lowest performing properties are HMO’s as retaining full occupancy remains an issue.

The Property Moose Review Conclusion

Property Moose is a way for investors to own pieces or shares of property without having the hassles of individual ownership or being a landlord. It’s a unique way to get onto the property ladder and diversifying your crowdfunding portfolio. You also receive rental income each month although you have to invest a sizable amount to make this income payment noticeable. The £10 minimum investment makes Property Moose even more attractive. Property Moose just released their new secondary market so now buyers and sellers can trade shares. Property Moose is a longer term investment and there are risks involved including the occasional over optimistic valuation, so do your due diligence. Despite the risks, I’m a fan of Property Moose.


Open a Property Moose account and receive £10 free when you make your first deposit. (We will both receive a £10 credit for signing up).

property moose

I love feedback, so if you find any errors or omissions or have any improvement suggestions, I invite you to contact me and be a part of contributing to this website.

** This Property Moose review is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as investment advice. Opinions expressed within this Property Moose review are only opinions based from my own personal experiences. As with any financial investment, peer to peer lending involves risks, so never invest more than you can afford to lose. Thank you for reading my Property Moose review **

 

 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Returns
Risk
Speed of Putting Your Money To Work
My Default Occurances
Company Age
Website Functionality
Deposits, Payments & Withdrawals
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Laurence
I'm the author of Financial Thing and a regular peer to peer lender who was begrudgingly forced to figure out his financial life. Now I have a passion for helping others figure out what took me years to learn.