Posted on October 20, 2017 by staff

Crowdfunding start-up fully funds first property


New property crowdfunding platform UOWN is celebrating fully funding its first property just five months after launch.

The four-bedroom semi-detached house in Leeds racked up an impressive £189,000 from investors between April and September.

Overall 92 people have invested in the house, with an average contribution of more than £2,000 per investor.

Directors said its micro-investors were attracted by the house’s ‘proven performance’ as it has brought in steady income from tenants for more than 10 years.

Investors in the property can expect a six per cent return from rental income alone.

Shaan Ahmed, who co-founded UOWN with his brother Haaris, said: “We’re delighted that our first property has been fully funded – it’s a big threshold for us to cross and we’ve done it in a relatively short time.

“The whole point of UOWN is to challenge the old order of property investment and open up this closed shop to the people.

“There’s clearly a huge demand for this type of investment, especially with current problems in the buy-to-let market, as the hundreds of investors snapping up opportunities on our platform have shown.”

Situated in a student heartland near to two university campuses, the property generated more than £15,000 rent per year during 2014-16 and is rented out for the next academic year with a projected income of £18,769.

UOWN allows investors to buy a stake in a property from as little as £20, opening the market to people from all walks of life and financial situations.

The property crowdfunder has capitalised on a squeezed buy-to-let market – which has been hit by extra regulation and concerns of overheating in recent months – providing potential buy-to-let investors with an easy, reliable and hassle-free return.

Property crowdfunding is a rapidly expanding and competitive industry. Traditional property crowdfunding models connect landlords and developers with investors who pool their money to purchase a property.

The property is then rented out and investors get a proportionate return of the rental income and returns from capital growth.

UOWN’s ability to provide access to ‘proven performer’ properties is down to its relationship with sister company, Parklane Group, which generates a £15m turnover from more than 2,000 student and professional beds across the country.

Haaris added: “Our vision for UOWN goes way beyond providing innovative investment opportunities for all. We want to expand across the UK and become a private rental sector property developer, funded by our investors.

“In the future, we can give more investment opportunities to more people, while providing accessible homes to help ease the UK’s chronic housing shortage.”

Two of the UOWN’s other properties – also located in Burley – are attracting lots of interest. A seven-bedroom terraced house on Stanmore Street has achieved 40 per cent of its £316,000 funding target.

And a £199,000 five-bedroom property on Beechwood Mount has reached 41 per cent.

Shaan added: “The first property has taken only five months to fund and, as interest in UOWN grows, we hope to bring this down to five weeks and eventually even five hours.”