The first year of investing through Landbay is up, and the results are as follows –
As you can see the the ‘expected ROI’ has dropped marginally. This is because most of the investment is in a fixed rate of 3.69% however this fund was closed a few months ago, with the the new fixed rate fund offering 3.49%, as the returns are reinvested in the new lower rate fund this is causing a downward pressure on returns.
What is less easy to explain is the increased deficit between ‘expected’ and ‘actual ROI’. It is true February is a shorter month which would have a marginal difference on the run rate of ROI at this time of year. The other factor that could be causing the gap to widen is a significant drop in demand. Now considering Landbay reserve the right to queue funds in times of exceptional demand for up to 6 weeks, something i witnessed early on in this fund (informed by a notification on the fund at the time) this is not something i have witnessed since. Along with this the time that monthly returns are queued for reinvestment seems to be increasing, sometimes as long as 2 weeks. This could be indicating a significant drop in demand for new investment.
Now the length of the queue for reinvestment should not have a negative impact on returns as Landbay is one of the few platforms that accrue returns on queued investments. Looking at the wider situation, Landbay is heavily London centric (55.01% Greater London) and average London house prices have fallen back 1.5 – 2% over the last 12 – 18 months , with predictions for 2018 seeing a further drop. This will no doubt cause some pressure on the Landbay portfolio but still does not fully explain the deficit. Fund roll up (first month not being a complete month) from my own strategy could also play a part, although this was not evident in the 6 month review. I have contacted Landbay for further clarification on the cause of the drop in return and will repot back as soon as i have a response.
As mentioned previously, the latest fixed rate fund is now at a lower 3.49%, this fund is also now based on 25 year mortgages (as of January 2018) rather than previously 10 year mortgages. This is not necessarily a problem as Landbay do offer sell out early options (dependant on a buyer being available) but it does indicate Landbay seem to be seeking increased stability.
As for Landbay‘s future within my portfolio, February 2018 has been the first month i have experienced an issue with the expected rate of return, of course i will look in to this further before drawing a definitive judgement. It has always been difficult to get exited by Landbay’s rate of returns (current 3% inflation) with not much more than 0.5% annual return in real terms. That said i still view Landbay as a foundation fund to a diversified portfolio, but it’s meagre returns are restricting me to keep Landbay as a relatively minor player in the overall portfolio. One big plus for me staying with Landbay beyond the returns, is it’s substantial wealth of research on the UK property market, which has been invaluable in constructing pieces for this blog. Landbay’s place is safe in my portfolio for the time being.
The results for the first half 2017, investing on the Landbay platform are as follows –
This platform does not allow you to manually invest in specific loans so there is no feedback available on defaults, rather you invest in to either a fixed rate fund (3.69% ROI) or a tracker rate (currently 3.03% ROI). The vast majority of my funds on this platform are on the fixed rate option and it’s delivered exactly as expected. This is because you can set interest to auto invest and where as with other platforms you still have to wait for a investment opportunity to become available, Landbay accrues the interest as soon as a balance is queued for investment, meaning there are no gaps in return maximisation.
Up until last month the variable rate option was 3.32% ROI, it’s now dropped 3.03% ROI. Now bare in mind current UK inflation rate is at 2.8%, so in real terms the rate is a merger 0.23% ROI which makes this option entirely an unattractive investment opportunity at this time. Considering Mark Carney of the Bank Of England has been giving strong indications in recent weeks, of a possible base rate rise from the record low of 0.25% it’s interesting Landbay have chosen to do this. One would think if a base rate rise happens in the next few weeks then the variable rate should go back up. Either way Landbay are cutting it very thinly for an investor to make any kind of return on the variable rate. It is worth mentioning though, over the last 6 months Landbay have had periods of very high demand, driven more by the lack savings options in the wider market, to the point where new investors were being queued for up to 6 weeks. So Landbay could just be attempting to control demand. For me the fixed rate combined with a slightly safer investment opportunity in Landbay is encouraging me to keep Landbay on for reasons of portfolio diversification, just. But if a spike in inflation happens in the future, wiping out my fixed rate gain, i’m going to struggle to justify keeping Landbay in my portfolio.
So to conclude, Landbay has done exactly what was promised in terms of return. The platform is generally considered a slightly safer option than other platforms, because of the buffer of auto diversification plus it operates a provision fund to protect from defaults in the short term. The platform itself in a nice looking, easy to use, straight forward interface. The only negative being, which is a significant one, the rates are very low compared to what else is currently available in the P2P market place. I shall consider Landbay very closely over the next 6 months before deciding weather it has a place in my portfolio.
Landbay is a peer-to-peer lending platform specialising in the UK buy to let property mortgage market. Landbay was established in 2013 in response to the resilience in the UK buy to let market thought the 2008 downturn despite property values dropping by 17%. Landbay is partnered with Zoopla (the UK’s biggest estate agent) so is considered to be well backed and relatively safe.
Investments on this platform are initially queued to await assignment to a suitable investment. However interest is paid on deposits (this has currently been suspended as of April 2017 due to excessive demand) even while in the investment que. Loan terms can be for as longs as 10 years on this platform.
Landbay’s minimum account deposit is £100 which can be invested in one of two options. Land Bay also operates a secondary market for an early investor exit option. You are also able to ‘Auto Invest’ interest earned to maximise returns.
The options LandBay currently offer –
Options are either a fixed rate of 3.69% ROI fixed for 5 years. Or at a tracker rate of 3.00% (plus LIBOR) ROI (Correct of April 2017).
The LandBay account dashboard –
The dashboard is very simple for Landbay –
Cash balance – shows any funds on the platform that are not currently invested or queued for investment. You are free to withdraw any funds at any time in the cash balance.
Invested funds – this shows all your invested funds assigned to loan parts. It also shows funds that are queued and awaiting assignment to loan parts. There is currently an estimated 2 month waiting list for loan assignment (correct as of April 2017) due to excessive demand.
Lifetime Interest – shows the total earned interest over the life of the account. This is also where you can access your statements.
With investments still queued for investment information on this platform will remain sparse, but more information will be added once the investments become active.