The new Chinese investors about to make Australian foray

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Written by Michael Cranston, AFR July 2017

 

At least 10 Chinese investors and developers who are yet to make their mark on Australia’s property scene are preparing to make an entry despite a recent slowdown in corporate activity driven by China’s upcoming National Congress and tougher foreign investment restrictions imposed by Chinese regulators.

New federal and state taxes on foreign buyers and tighter lending restrictions have also created negative sentiment for potential Chinese developers and investors. However, JLL’s head of China desk, Michael Zhang, said many Chinese real estate companies were still very serious about investing here.

“Australia continues to be a major investment destination for Chinese capital and many Chinese real estate companies are serious about having some footprint in Australia,” Mr Zhang said.

In a report called The Future of Chinese Residential Developers in Australia, JLL conducted analysis into the 10 largest residential developers yet to enter the Australian market.

 

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Among the top 10 are Hong Kong-based Sun Hung Kai with a market capitalisation of $56 billion and Henderson Land, which recently paid a record $4 billion for a car park in Hong Kong. Other names include Evergrande and transportation business China Merchants Group.

“Some of the Chinese residential developers on this list are already showing interest in the Australian market or are involved in Australian industries outside of the residential real estate sector,” JLL senior analyst for residential research in Sydney and author of the report, Vince De Zoysa, said.

“We have already seen some of these firms enter Australia through other industries, in particular infrastructure. This allows them to establish a local presence in Australia in their core industry before moving up the risk and reward curve into residential development.”

A key driver for these developers will be the health of the foreign retail buyer market for new apartments in Australia. The federal budget changed the rules so that developers selling new multi-storey dwellings are now capped at vending 50 per cent of the total development to overseas buyers. Foreign owners will also start to incur a capital gains tax of 12.5 per cent when selling their main residential asset.

Interest from China remains high

“Despite increased taxes, tighter lending measures on development finance and limited availability of senior debt to overseas developers, the level of interest remains high for Chinese developers,” Mr Zhang said.

While Juwai.com has recently forecast Chinese buyers to spend $104.5 billion on global property this year, a significant fall from last year’s record high of $133.7 billion, Mr Zhang said that was not representative of a new wave of Chinese developers and investors.

“Australia continues to be a major investment destination for Chinese capital,” he said. “Australia’s average deal size is smaller than that of the US and the UK, which makes investing here accessible to investors of all sizes.

“Increasingly Chinese developers are seeking ready-to-go opportunities with existing DA or planning outcomes, thereby minimising planning risk and bringing clarity on project life cycle.”

Chinese corporate activity has slowed recently as a result of the upcoming 19th National Congress to be held in October. The tougher foreign investment restrictions imposed by Chinese regulators on $US1 billion-plus deals are still in place.

Peer 2 Peer (P2P) Lending – 5 Things you should know before investing

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June 2017

P2P lending is the practice of lending money to businesses through online services that match lenders with borrowers. 

As we move into the second half of 2017 more property developers are having to turn to P2P lenders as their access to traditional forms of capital is tightening. 

The major banks are extending less credit to property developers, as a result credit is drying up to many development companies who are turning to these P2P funding channels – usually at higher interest rates.

Investors now have a wide range of options to obtain higher yields via participating in these loans but sorting the out the good deals from the bad is not easy as these investments are unregulated and carry substantial risks.

We take a look at 5  key things you should know about P2P lending before making any investment decisions:

 

  1. Don’t chase exceedingly high returns

 

If a debt offering is returning over 25% and is a “mezzanine style” deal chances are its extremely risky. A developer may have no options other than paying high rates like these over short periods but these deals are highly leveraged and need greater due diligence.

Bottom Line – Avoid deals that promise high rates of return, they are extremely risky and you may lose your capital.

 

  1. Know your investment timeframe

P2P lending allows developers to use your funds to grow their business by providing capital to buy new sites or pay their bills on existing sites.  

You generally won’t have the option of getting your funds back prior to the expiration of the agreed loan period. Most developers will need these funds for 12-24 months or longer until they complete their projects.

Be prepared for extended loan periods as projects encounter delays such as wet weather or underestimating the time to completion.

Bottom Line – Understand what project you are investing in and the agreed timeframes for your investment returns. 

 

  1. Investment Security 

 

Just like the major banks, P2P investors should be looking at security in the underlying asset to protecting their investment.

Lending on a first mortgage basis is the safest way to ensure your investment is protected. If a developer defaults on your principle or interest repayments you still have the benefit of first mortgage security. This puts your investment in a strong position as you have underlying ownership of the land. 

Bottom line – First Mortgage investment provides investment security. 

 

  1. Research the developer

Like the stock market, investors need to do some research. You need to understand the basics of a property market and drivers of economic development. How much of a track record does this developer (your borrower) really have?

Where is the project located? Is it close to new government infrastructure? Is there a need for housing, education, healthcare or retail services in that particular area?  

Does the developer have a proven development team with delivery experience on completed projects? Who is their preferred builder? What is the builder’s experience?

Bottom Line – You should ask all these questions prior to investing.

 

  1. Deal with reputable P2P lenders

Your best chance of a good initial (and repeat) experience in P2P lending is to do your research. The quality of the offerings (not quantity) is key. Online operators should have a local presence which is regulated by ASIC.

Bottom Line – There should always be someone you can talk to on any P2P website. Pick up the phone, make contact and get to know who you’re dealing with, you will soon find out if they know what they’re talking about.

 

About Crowd Property Capital: CPC is a modern property marketplace fueling a shift into the world that’s less dependent on the traditional incumbents and middle-men. For further information on P2P lending contact David Lovato on +61434932634  or visit https://crowdpropertycapital.com.au

25 Glasgow Avenue Bondi Beach – Unique Raw Development Site Opportunity

25 Glasgow Avenue is for sale by auction 8th April 2017

25 Glasgow Avenue is for sale by auction 8th April 2017

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A development site with the opportunity to build two executive residences (STCA) is for sale by auction on 8th April 2017. 

Located in the heart of Bondi Beach moments to the sand, surf, boutique shopping, and cafe precincts the property offers investors a solid value proposition.

Key investor information

  • Existing 3 Bedroom house on a 418m2 parcel with 18m frontage.
  • Raw development potential for two executive residences with car parking, extensive landscaping and plunge pool (STCA).
  • Strong rental yields post-acquisition, highly rentable existing 3 bed residence moments from the beach.
  • DA precedent for dual occupation design based on neighboring properties.

Whether your objective is to develop to sell both dwellings or live in one and sell the other this is a compelling investment opportunity.

The below information provides a concept design that has been produced in consideration of existing planning controls.

An artists Impression of the possible redevelopment of 25 Glasgow Ave Bondi Beach (STCA)

An artists Impression of the possible redevelopment of 25 Glasgow Ave Bondi Beach (STCA)

 

Basement and Ground Floor Design

Basement and Ground Floor Design

The concept design allows off street parking for two cars, generous open plan living areas combined with a spacious outdoor rear deck area, plunge pool, and outdoor shower area. The front study could also be used as a 5th Bedroom.

The upper level design includes generous sized bedrooms and an attic level.

The first floor and an attic level.

The first floor consists of three well-proportioned bedrooms, the master and rear bedroom have their own private balcony. Functional use of the roof has allowed a large 4th bedroom or teenage retreat in the attic space.  

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The above table summarises the proposed design based on the current planning controls of Waverley Council.

For further due diligence information on this property:

Email  dlovato@crowdpropertycapital.com.au 

Phone +61 434 932 634

Disclaimer: No enquiries have been made with Waverley Council regarding the suitability or acceptance of this  or any potential Development Approval. While much care has been taken to ensure that the data presented is accurate investors should make their own enquiries. This information should not be relied upon for valuation purposes.

Existing property at 25 Glasgow Ave Bondi Beach

Existing property at 25 Glasgow Ave Bondi Beach

 

3 Industries Being Disrupted by Crowdfunding

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March 2017 Written By: Andrew Medal – Entreprener.com

Crowdfunding is rearranging the way that entrepreneurs finance their creative endeavors, whether they’re artists or engineers. From bringing startups a needed capital boost to getting students money to go to college, crowdfunding seems to be creating opportunity in almost everything.

More and more investors are noticing the clear-cut advantages offered by crowdfunding platforms, and it’s no surprise that they are rushing to claim their piece of the pie. In 2015, it was estimated that more than $34 billion was put into crowdfunding efforts.

At its current growth rate, the crowdfunding industry is multiplying in size every year. It’s trickling into several types of funding models (donation, equity and lending) and an array of industries (education, medical care and corporate finance). Whether willing or not, the majority of industry markets will be facing a major disruption in how capital is moved throughout the economy.

Here are the top three industries the crowdfunding sphere is set to disrupt and why:

1. Corporate finance: From software to farm equipment

Each year, U.S. companies invest in leased tools that range from software to construction equipment. As crowdfunding persists in its growth, the companies who lease utilities as a part of their businesses will have to engage with the crowdfunding sphere. The companies that embrace crowdfunding early will rake in the benefits of accessing small businesses that flock to it as a tool.

Large finance organizations can use it as a catalyst for gaining small businesses who seek to harness leased products that are tailored to them specifically. What’s more, the lower cost credit of the products they offer will appeal more to businesses that pay sky-high APRs.

For leaseholders of larger equipment, crowdfunding platforms will allow leaseholders such as farmers to finance crops and equipment from other farmers and associates. It’s in this way that their crowdfunding platforms will provide communities with better access financing.

2. Real estate: From housing to business establishments

For the real estate market, crowdfunding presents a huge solution. Before crowdfunding, closing an actual real-estate deal required back and forth passing and signing of documents among lawyers. Beyond being slow, the process often added up to thousands of dollars in legal fees. Crowdfunding allows businesses of all sizes to bypass the monotonous process and dodge expenses. What’s more, real-estate crowdfunding allows potential investors access to a wider array of deals.

Mark Suleman, the founder of real estate crowdfunding platform Macrocrowd, sees the benefits of this type of access firsthand. “I always hear from clients about how they struggled to access the right people and resources while looking for real estate investments abroad,” he explains. “But by getting on board with crowdfunding, though I can’t speak for other platforms, they’re able to access quality investments into institutional real estate — globally.”

It’s not just accessibility that’s grabbing the attention of venture capital dollars. Today’s internet-reliant consumer is well beyond acquainted with making investments online. Users are becoming more and more comfortable with putting their money into crowdfunded sites. For real estate businesses who get their hands into crowdfunding, this means access to a whole new crowd of their own.

3. Consumer lending: Cars and home appliances

While banks have backed away from lending consumer and small business with credit, peer-to-peer crowdfunding platforms are leaning in. As big banks begin to take themselves out of the equation, institutional and professional investors will begin to swoop in and sign up for them too.

For financial institutions, this means learning to leverage a crowd’s interest to inform their lending offers. As the trend continues, new crowdfunding platforms will pop up to cater to specific lending verticals. Imagine a crowdfunding space where consumers can get loans for anything related to transportation or kitchen appliances. In this way, brands will be able to save on financing costs while gaining on capital returns.

The Rise of Chinese Developers in Australia

 

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February 2017

 

Knight Frank have just released a report into emerging trends of Chinese developers in Australia, the report shows statistically an insatiable appetite for site acquisition throughout the country. This long term trend is set to continue and it’s impacting local developers as they become the under-bidders and miss out on new sites.

 

The following are key takeaways from the report:

  • Chinese developers are buying larger sites, average dwellings per site in 2016 = 502 (versus 2012 = 103);
  • Chinese site acquisition represent a massive 38%  of all direct residential sites in Australia (versus 2% in 2012)
  • Chinese developers are interested in larger sites and are diversifying from apartment sites into house and land product.

These statistics underpin the strength of demand for Australian residential assets. This interest driven by China is a net positive for our region as it ultimately results in increased economic activity which in turn creates jobs. 

For access to the Knight Frank report click here

 

WTF is Happening? How Airbnb and Uber are Reinventing Economics

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Airbnb owns no real estate…..Uber owns no vehicles.

Ten years ago I bet you had never heard of Airbnb or Uber, in fact even a few years ago these companies weren’t household names. Today they are getting bigger and bigger in the economic world of the “sharing economy”.

 

Airbnb and Uber are US tech start-ups that chose their industry  – Airbnb (hospitality) and Uber  (transport) these startup disruptors are today worth $30B  and $68B respectively. 

These industries have been shaken up to the detriment of the existing incumbents and they are not going away. They’ve upset a lot of people along the way, leaving other competitors fighting to remain profitable and regulators playing catch up.

So why are they thriving?

People now see a clear benefit in using financial technology services over outdated old world businesses, the last 5 years has seen the economic landscape reshaped to the point of no return. 

WTF is happening?

What’s happening is a massive economic shift on a global scale, it’s a reinvention of how we transact and how much we pay for a service.

The invention of an internet based scalable service on an inefficient industry has been made possible by financial technology or fintech. It’s the start of what I call the smarter economy.

This global change is transforming not just transport and hospitality but also property and finance, the banks are in the fintech cross hairs scrambling to remain profitable and relevant.

Our Banking System – Get Set for Disruption

In the smarter economy, banks become less relevant as consumers (both businesses and individuals) realise the Uber effect -smarter and cheaper ways to borrow, invest, research and transact.

Imagine a massive 150-year-old organisation with hundreds of shopfront locations, thousands of staff, old and clunky internal processes and life long employees on huge salaries. Sound expensive? It is expensive….this is your typical incumbent bricks and mortar bank still making huge year on year profits.

Users of banks are becoming smarter and empowered through technology. Do we need to visit a bank to transact? No. Do people want a better deal from their bank? Yes. Do people have loyalty to their bank? No.

So where will we be in 10 or 20 years in the smarter sharing economy? I’m not 100% sure but I can guarantee many of the traditional business models will no longer be around and although many new businesses will fail you can bet the likes of AirBnB and Uber will be thriving.

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Crowd Property Capital is a non-bank lender that effectively cuts out the middle-men in business loan transactions. Put simply an investor (business or individual) who has funds to loan can provide a borrower with these funds on agreed terms. The lender receives a rate between 8-12% pa and the borrower gets access to funds faster.  Investments are available on a wholesale basis to local and international sophisticated investors with a minimum investment of $500,000 AUD. For more information visit www.crowdpropertycapital.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shark Tank Rejected Property Investment Platform Reloads

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January 2017

 

In what was one of Shark Tank Australia’s biggest shutdowns of the second season, founder of Crowd Property Capital (CPC) David Lovato reflects on what was a cringe-worthy flat out rejection on national TV.

“From the moment I entered the shark tank I realised they hated the idea of backing a property industry start-up. I was a made to look like a property industry villain and walked straight into a bear trap.

I didn’t get any feedback from the show until the actual airing. As soon as I watched it I knew it was bad. Instead of my mates giving it to me there were crickets; not a word of banter but rather uncharacteristic blokey support which was concerning”

Fast-forward 6 months and the impact of getting on the show (and failing) has inadvertently become a major factor towards the early success of CPC. The online property development funding platform has taken on board the collective criticism from the sharks and changed the focus of the business model.

Originally the CPC platform was pitching to smaller retail investors, the focus is now purely on the sophisticated investor interested in lending debt capital to developers solely on a 1st mortgage basis.

The reality is, property development and investment are inherently risky and investors entering this space usually have substantial funds to invest, an appetite for risk and it’s not usually their first deal.

“There has been a lot of buzz around the ability of the online community via P2P and crowdfunding to open up the property industry to smaller retail investors. I learned from the Shark Tank that even the sharks don’t fully understand the risks and returns in property development; so obtaining investment from smaller “unsophisticated” retail investors is a hard sell.”

Since the Shark Tank pitch last year, David’s taken a measured approach to growing the CPC investment platform.

Teaming up with existing established private lenders, CPC has found its place in the market by offering 1st mortgage security investments yielding between 8 to 12% annually. The CPC website www.crowdpropertycapital.com.au showcases some of the available debt finance deals. This web-based platform provides wider access to potential investors both locally and offshore. All investments are debt style and start at a minimum of $500,000 AUD.

“CPC is essentially evolved into what I’d call a “trad-tech” investment platform. We are focusing on partnering with established private lenders to increase their investor base as there is a huge demand at the moment for non-bank finance.  

With the major banks reducing their exposure to development debt finance local developers are seeking additional funds to complete their project pipeline. 

Traditional private lenders have numerous quality deals with great returns that they are struggling to fund purely due to the gap that has emerged in the market from the majors scaling back. With the property market so hot at the moment, we are focused on cherry picking the best deals. Quality, not quantity is key.”

 

5 Tips for Better Understanding Peer-To-Peer (P2P) Property Lending in Australia

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Written by David Lovato – Crowd Property Capital

 

As a bumper year for property investment comes to a close emerging trends towards non-bank finance in the property space gather steam heading into the new year.

Developers need more funds to deliver their projects as the major banks pull back on finance.

As more investors get comfortable with researching higher yielding investment opportunities we take a look at the key things you need to know about Peer to Peer (P2P)  debt style lending in the Australian property market.

 

  1. Don’t chase high returns

 

If a debt offering is returning 18-30% and is a mezzanine type deal chances are its extremely risky. A developer is only paying this pain money as a last resort as accesses to cheaper funds are no longer an option for him.

If things go wrong you are at the bottom of the pile and you will probably not see a cent.

 

  1. Know your investment timeframe

 

Investing in a P2P loan means you are essentially becoming the bank and loaning money, borrowers (in this case property developers) are looking to use your funds and in return you are providing them with a fixed rate for your money for a fixed period of time.

You generally won’t have the option of getting your funds back prior to the expiration of the agreed period. Most developers will need these funds for 12-36 months until they get settlements at the end of the project.

 

 

  1. Seek investment Security

 

Just like the banks, P2P investors should be looking at security in the underlying asset to protecting their investment.

Security can be achieved in a P2P debt loan by being the senior debt provider and in exchange receiving the 1st mortgage over the property. Combine this security with lending up to a maximum of 60% of the Gross Realisation Value (the assets value once the development is complete) and your investment is cushioned with a relatively good factor of safety.

Lending on a first mortgage basis is the safest way to ensure your investment is protected. Generally returns around  7-10% per annum can be expected in today’s interest rate environment. If a developer defaults on your loan the benefit of first mortgage security is you have the ability to act swiftly and recoup your investment should things go wrong.

 

  1. Research sectors and markets

Like the stock market, investors need to do some research. You need to understand the basics of a property market and drivers of economic development.

Where is the project located? Is it close to new government infrastructure? Is there a need for housing, education, commercial offices, healthcare services or retail services in that particular area? What are the underlying economic forces that give this project the best chance of success. Does the borrower have a proven development team with delivery experience and track record.

You should ask all these questions prior to investing.

 

  1. Deal with local established private lenders

Your best chance of a good initial (and repeat) experience in the relatively new online P2P lending market is to deal with local established operators.

If you come across a P2P website pick up the phone, make contact and get to know who your dealing with. You will soon find out if they know what they’re talking about. 

Established operators operate in an ASIC regulated environment usually within Managed Investment Schemes. Invest in contributory mortgage schemes as opposed to pooled mortgage schemes. With a contributory scheme you are investing in a mortgage fund with the benefit of your investment being limited in default liabilty to only your project as opposed to multiple projects.

 

Private lending by pooling funds to loan to borrowers is not a new concept, it was once only available to wealthy individuals who had the contacts to achieve higher return. Now with the Internet opening up investment markets and major banks pulling back funding these P2P opportunities are becoming more readily available.

 

For further information on P2P lending contact David Lovato at Crowd Property Capital on +61 434 932 634 or visit https://crowdpropertycapital.com.au