Landbay Results – 12 Month

12 Month Results

The first year of investing through Landbay is up, and the results are as follows –

Expected ROI 3.68%
Actual ROI 3.28%

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.

Bricklane an introduction


Bricklane is an online ISA lending platform exclusively operating in the UK property market. Established in 2014 Bricklane aims to create ‘ a fairer property market’. Bricklane offers a unique product in this area as it offers a combination of 2 financial products in one. You earn a return on investment on both portfolio growth and rental income. Bricklane is partnered with Zoopla (the UK’s biggest estate agent) so is considered to be well backed and relatively safe.

There are two options on where to deposit your funds in Bricklane at this time. You can either deposit in to the ‘London Fund’ or the ‘Regional Capital’s Fund’. The minimum deposit for Bricklane is £100 but there is a 2% deposit levy, which I must say is a little on the high side. With the addition of an 0.85% annual account fee.

Payments can be made by debit card (usually instant) or bank transfer (2-3 working days. You can either make a one-off payment or set up a monthly payment. Bricklane is also an ISA account so the balance is tax-free up to £20’000 in a financial year, for UK residents.

Withdrawals can be made from the entire account balance at any time providing there is demand to buy your investments,  but it can take a couple of days to process.


The Account Page

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The Bricklane Account Summary Page

Summary – shows details of both funds combined

London – shows details of the London fund. Scroll down the page to view specific properties in the fund

Regional Capitals – shows details of the Regional Capital fund. Scroll down the page to view specific properties in the fund

In your account – shows the total balance of your Bricklane account (notice from a £100 deposit its taken away the 2% deposit charge).

Earnings – Shows your total earnings to date across both funds.

The earnings graph – Shows your earnings in graph form for each week.

Lending Works an introduction


Lending Works is on online P2P platform. They offer unsecured personal loans at competitive rates, financed by individual lenders (consumer 87.3%, institutional 12.7% as of December 2017). Lending Works launched in 2014 operating out of an office in London and their total loans now amount £85’000’000 to date.

Funds can be deposited either by debit card (1 day clearance) or bank transfer (2-3 days). There are two rates of return on the Lending Works platform, either 4% for 3 years or 5.5% up to 5 years (correct as of December 2017). The projected rates can change with a weeks notice at the desecration of Lending Works.

The minimum you can deposit at any one time is £10. Interest earned on your ‘On Loan’ balance is paid out on the last day of the month. This balance will either go in to the ‘Classic Wallet’ for withdrawal or ‘Offers’ for re-lending as per your instruction.

You will notice there is a residual balance in the ‘Classic Wallet’, in this case £0.09. This is because unlike some platforms you can not manually choose which individual loans to invest in, Lending Works dose it for you. So the loans are broken down in to micro loan parts ( in the region of £0.85 ) so you are usually left with a few pennies waiting for further funds before being loaned out. One advantage of this is risk can be spread very wide, even with a relatively small balance. This insulates from most bad debts of defaults.

Lending Works also operates a provision fund that it calls the ‘Barrier’ to further insulate a lender from bad debts or defaults. This platform also operates a withdraw charge (on quick withdraws) of £20 or 0.6% of the balance, which ever is higher, designed to enforce stability of funds, this charge puts Lending Works straight in to the mid term investment prospect (2 – 5 years) before realising a profit. The only way to avoid this charge is to use the option to auto-withdraw monthly returns (for which there is no charge), this however means sacrificing compound growth.

The Lending Works dashboard

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The Lending Works dashboard

The dashboard for Lending Works is very simple to understand –

Classic Wallet – is the balance in your account unassigned to loans (this amount is available for withdrawal at any time).

Offers – is any balance you have instructed to lend out but has not yet been assigned to a loan. Loan assignments can take 5 to 10 working days depending on availability, and you do not earn interest on the offer balance.

On Loan – is the balance you have successfully lent out to borrowers. This balance is where the interest is earned.

Withdrawn – details all your withdrawals made from your account to date.

My repayments – shows the instruction you have given Lending Works regarding what to do with your repayments. You can either return them to your classic wallet for withdrawal or auto invest to maximise returns.

Collateral UK – An Introduction


Collateral UK was incorporated in 2014 to offer a peer-to-peer platform to investors interested in investing in the UK property market. It specialises in short-term asset backed bridging loans. Usually but not always the investment opportunities are based around purchasing new build properties from the developer, with investments repaid when a customer or tenant is found for the property. Typical terms are 90 to 180 days. The advertised ROI is 12% but this can vary across specific loan requests. Collateral UK also offer a secondary market allowing investors the opportunity to exit early if they feel the need to.

There is no minimum deposit or minimum investment on the Collateral UK platform. This platform only currently accepts bank transfers, it does not accept card payments.

Available Loans Page

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Image shows Collateral UK loan request page (with the property identity column removed).

The top row of the table (below the title row) shows the grand totals for all currently available loans. There are more rows on the platform than shown in this image so the totals look inaccurate but they are not.


Asset Value – shows the market value of the property requesting the loan.

Loan – is the value of the loan being requested on the assigned property.

% PA – displays the percentage ROI offered for each loan request.

LTV – shows the loan to value against the market value of the property. Collateral UK offer up to a maximum of 70% LTV against any property.

Available – is the current value of loan available for investment. If a loan is fully funded it is removed from this table until value becomes available again though an investor selling their loan part on the secondary market place.

Invested – Shows how much you currently have invested in to each loan request.

Remaining – displays the remaining time left on the loan term before expected repayment, in days.

Funded loans page

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The image shows the Loans Funded Page for Collateral UK (with the loan identity column removed).


Age – the number of days you have been invested in each loan request.

Amount – shows how much you currently have invested in each loan request.

Start – is the date you invested in the loan request.

LTV – shows the loan to value against the market value of the property. Collateral UK offer up to a maximum of 70% LTV against any property.

Remaining – displays the remaining time left on the loan term before expected repayment, in days.

Interest – shows how much interest has been accrued for each loan request to date. Interest is paid to the platform account at the end of each month.

Sell – is the option to sell the loan part on the secondary market.

Renew – sometimes a borrower may request a loan extension or a loan renewal. This option allows your investment to be automatically rolled over to the new loan request.

Landbay – An Introduction


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

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Investment options available on the LandBay platform.

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

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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.



Funding Circle – An Introduction


Funding Circle is a peer-to-peer lending platform, who established its UK operations in 2010, although it operates in 4 countries worldwide. The Funding Circle platform offers finance exclusively (as of spring 2017 Funding Circle dose not cater for property ) to businesses for growth and expansion, working capital loans or commercial development.

Funding Circle has an advertised average return of 6.5% ROI after bad debts and charges. This platform also operates a secondary market allowing investors to sell loan parts before term if an investor feels they need an early exit. Secondary loan part sales are subject to buyers being available in the market at the time, so this offers no guarantees of succesful loan part sales when an investor may need them. As of autumn 2017 you can no longer manually choose which loans to invest in, you can either invest in a ‘balanced’ (7.5% projected return) portfolio, of a ‘conservative’ (4.8% projected return) portfolio which the platform will then auto diversifies your funds accordingly. You can still sell part or all of your investment based on secondary market demand.

The minimum account deposit for Funding Circle is £100, with a minimum loan part set at £20. Loan terms are usually between 6 months and 5 years. The platform charges investors in two areas, a 1% (of the loan part value) annual service charge and a 0.25% transaction charge when selling loan parts on the secondary market.

The summary account page.

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Image shows the Funding Circle account summary page.

This is what the main account summary page looks like for Funding Circle. It’s very straight forward to understand. The top left box shows your totals in percentages –

Gross yield – refers to your average maximum advertised return across all your current invested loan parts.

Annualised Return – this is your actual annual ROI on all current invested loan parts added to your completed investments in the financial year. The figure also subtracts Funding Circle transaction fees and bad debts incurred.

Estimated fully diversified return – this is your estimated return over all current loan part investments, subtracting Funding Circle transaction fees and bad debts.

The bottom left box shows your all time earnings summary –

Earnings – shows your total paid (interest is only paid the same day each month you first invest in the loan part) return over the life time of the account (note: this is a grand total and is not broken down in to tax years, you will need to either work that out yourself when it comes time to pay your taxes, or a separate tax statement is available to account holders). Earnings are broken down in to four categories, interest, loan part sales, loan part purchases and promotions. These can been seen by clicking the ‘blue plus’ button next to ‘earnings’.

Fees – are Funding Circle’s annual service charge incurred. The service charge is set at 1% of the value of the loan part calculated over an annual term. In addition Funding circle also charge a transaction fee of 0.25% of the loan part value when selling loans on the secondary market.

Losses – show any bad debts you may have occurred. Losses are also broken down in to bad debts minus recoveries of the bad debt, this can be seen by clicking the ‘blue plus’ button next to ‘losses’.

Net earnings – is the sum of your earnings minus fees and losses.

The box on the right of the screen shows your funds summary –

Funding Circle total – is you total account balance on the Funding Circle platform. This includes any loan parts you are invested in as well as any balance you currently do not have invested in any loan parts.

Accrued interest – is any interest gained by your investments that has not yet been paid in to your account balance (accrued interest can not be withdrawn from the platform until it is paid at the end of the month).

The pie chart– is made up of 3 components; the blue section shows any funds put to a loan part but not yet accepted by the borrower; the green shows any funds accepted and is actively attributed to loan parts. There is also a grey section showing any funds on the account platform that are ‘idle’ or unassigned, this includes interest paid at the end of each month.

How are the new Stamp Duty changes (April 2016) effecting the UK housing market ?

What are the changes in Stamp Duty ?

As of April 1st 2016 considerable changes in payable Stamp Duty (SDLT) were introduced by the conservative government in the UK (excluding Scotland) when buying a second home. So for example if you purchase a second home on a free hold for £150,000 that you do not intend to occupy yourself the SDLT due on that property would be £5000 after April 1st 2016. Previous to this date the SDLT due would have been £500. If the property is £300,000 the SDLT due would be £14000 where as it would have been just £5000 prior to the April 2016 changes. (calculate your SDLT here). In essence 3% has been added to the Stamp Duty percentage for each ‘slice’ of property values (over £40,000). So as you can see the changes are significant to 2nd home owners or buyers.

Why were these changes introduced in to the UK housing market ?

Well quite simply the UK housing market has been overheating for some years now driven by a number of factors. A shortage of housing supply due to both lackluster new house building and a growing population. Speculative investors ie. investors buying up housing stock in the hope that prices will increase so they can sell the property on for a profit, this problem is particularly acute in London with overseas buyers dominating the higher end of the market distorting prices even further. A lack of alternatives for investors and savers. With Bank Of England interest rates remaining at record low rates traditional investments and saving options are just not attractive options for most people. Finally the ‘buy to let’ market, more homes in the UK in 2017 are now rented than ever before and while this may indicate that it is more cost-effective to rent rather than buy your 1st property this is often not the case with rents actually being higher than a mortgage on the same property, applying further upward pressure on house prices overall.

The April 2016 increases are an extension to George Osbourne’s (Chancellor Of The Exchequer) 2014 Stamp Duty reforms that fundamentally changed how Stamp Duty was charged on all properties. From a ‘slab’ format where the percentage for the corresponding threshold was applied to the whole value of the property to a ‘slice’ format where graduating percentage rates are applied to each slice of the value of the property according to the threshold parameters. Osbourne’s changes were strongly criticised by a report at the end of 2016 by Oxford Economics claiming they were causing damage to the housing market, job losses and a loss of tax revenue, which lead to campaign by The Telegraph to get the reforms over turned. However the report only focuses on properties valued over £1,000,000 most of which are in the London area. The report seemed not make much of an impression as Philip Hammond (Chancellor Of The Exchequer) decided to build on the reforms with April 2016 increases.

So how did this change effect the UK housing market ?

Many predicted a surge in housing sales and purchases ahead of this change to avoid the additional charges and the table below seems to support that prediction –

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Table shows Office For National Statistics data for property sales volume between Q1-2015 – Q3-2016

You can clearly see a significant spike in sales in Q1 – 2016 of 68,853 sales compared to the previous quarter across England and Wales, however a caveat should be applied to these figures. Q1 of any year tends to be the more popular time of year to buy and sell a house but even with that caveat extrapolated there is still a significant upturn in sales. Whats more stark however are the following figures for Q2-2016 and Q3-2016. The sales volume does drop back but not as far as the comparable previous years figures, suggesting that the increase in Stamp Duty, designed to cool the market has not worked. In fact right up to latest figures ending December 2016 all measures including sales volume and property prices appear stable. So in conclusion the robust UK housing market as a whole seems to have taken the Stamp Duty changes in its stride, at least for now.