Connect with us

Investing

How can private investors support property developers?

Published

on

How can private investors support property developers? 1

By Jamie Johnson, CEO, FJP Investment 

In recent months, the looming spectre of Brexit has been an ever-present source of uncertainty and instability in the financial markets.

Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson

This has inspired many gloomy predictions about the fate of the UK property market, but looking beyond the headlines, it’s clear that Britain’s housing market has remained remarkably resilient. Recent reports show prices rebounding in April 2019: Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage provider, says prices rose by 1.1% last month and mortgage approvals are at their highest level in two years.

In particular, the housing market away from London and the South-East has continued to undergo rapid growth with Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham becoming increasingly attractive propositions.

However, if the housing market is to reach its full potential then it’s essential that policy makers address the longstanding lack of supply. Otherwise, the current housing crisis will remain a significant obstacle to the market achieving high levels of growth.

Throughout this parliament, the government has made numerous pledges to increase house-building, including an eye-catching commitment to build one million new homes by 2020. However, the Conservative Party has attracted criticism for failing to adequately finance the proposal, further reinforcing the difficulties property developers face in the current climate.

 Why property developers need finance 

One of the most pervasive reasons demand continues to outstrip supply is that developers cannot access the finance they need to meet Britain’s housing needs. This is reflected in developers’ own assessment of why they are struggling to meet demand; according to a recent survey, 57% of small developers identified access to finance as the biggest obstacle they currently face.

So why aren’t they able to secure the necessary funding? In essence, the culture of lending changed significantly to reflect the new, more restrictive regulatory regime introduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Although this risk-averse approach has fostered stability – which of course should be welcomed – it has also created problems in the housing sector as there is now a greater shortageof funding for new property developments. With many traditional lenders reticent to loan money in the current climate to consumers or businesses, property developers are increasingly among those being turned away. As a result, many firms are looking to alternative sources of finance.

 This has fuelled the rise of alternative financial instruments, which allow developers to finance construction projects with loans from private investors. Where before construction firms almost exclusively turned to banks to finance their projects, now they can get funding via loan notes. These are essentially structured agreements with private individuals to pay back a loan, with interest, in return for the initial finance the firm needs. 

The lure of debt investment 

At this point you might be wondering what’s in it for the investors. In fact, loan notes represent an increasingly popular option for individuals keen to invest in UK property. The primary consideration is financial. Debt investments deliver reliable returns over a relatively short timescale.

 What’s more, with interest rates being held at under 1% over recent years, it’s become essential for investors to look for alternatives to the usual savings accounts. This has represented a huge boon to the alternative finance market, and peer-to-peer (P2P) investment – which debt investment falls within – in particular has become an increasingly mainstream option for investors who are looking to make their money go further.

 According to data compiled by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, the total value of the alternative finance market in the UK grew 35% to reach £6.2 billion by the start of 2018; P2P lending made up the majority of that sum. 

Arguably the defining feature of loan notes, the instrument by which debt investments are agreed, is that they mature on a date predetermined by the investor. This means investors don’t have to worry about having a sophisticated exit strategy. The capital is provided to the developer upfront and the principal is repaid, with interest, by a set date. Not only does this make for reliable returns but also removes many of the strategic headaches that serve to disincentivise investment. 

Although the reticence of traditional lenders has had a stultifying impact on the UK housing market, it has also fuelled the growth of alternative finance. In turn, debt investment has become an increasingly attractive option for both developers and investors.

Ultimately, sophisticated and retail investors alike would be wise to explore the opportunity presented by the increased popularity of loan notes. As long as the government’s attention remains preoccupied by Brexit, there will continue to be a shortfall in finance available to developers and this is where investors are able to step in and seize the initiative.

Investing

Dollar edges lower as investors favor higher-risk currencies

Published

on

Dollar edges lower as investors favor higher-risk currencies 2

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar lost ground on Friday as market participants favored currencies associated with risk-on sentiment over the safe-haven greenback.

Risk appetite was stoked by better-than-expected economic data and expectations that U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package will come to fruition.

“The dollar’s down against other currencies but not by a whole lot,” said Oliver Pursche, president of Bronson Meadows Capital Management in Fairfield, Connecticut. “I expect the dollar to be where it is now at the end of the year, and the main reason for that is while I see some signs of improvement in the economy, monetary policy is going to stay where it is.”

“I don’t think the dollar is underpriced or overpriced,” Pursche added.

For the week, the dollar slid about 0.2% against a basket of world currencies, the euro was essentially flat, and the yen lost more than 0.5%. But the British pound advanced more than 1.1% against the dollar, its best week since mid-December.

Bitcoin continues soar to record highs. The world’s largest cryptocurrency was last up 6.6% at $54,961.67, hitting $1 trillion in market capitalization.

Its smaller rival, ethereum, was last up 0.7% at $1,953.28.

The digital currencies have gained about 89% and 1,420%, respectively, year to date, leading some analysts to warn of a speculative bubble.

“One concern I’ve always had (about cryptocurrencies) is how susceptible they are to manipulation,” Pursche said. “But they’re going to continue to gain legitimacy.”

“While it’s great that Tesla made an investment in bitcoin, I’m more intrigued by Blackrock and other major investment firms taking a hard look at cryptocurrencies as a viable investment.”

The Australian dollar, which is closely linked to commodity prices and the outlook for global growth, was last up 1.21% at $0.7863, touching its highest since March 2018.

The New Zealand dollar also gained, closing in on a more than two-year high, and the Canadian dollar advanced as well.

Sterling, which often benefits from increased risk appetite, rose to an almost three-year high amid Britain’s aggressive vaccination program. It had last gained 0.27% to $1.40.

The euro showed little reaction to a slowdown in factory activity indicated by purchasing manager index data, rising 0.21% to $1.2116.

The yen, gained ground against the dollar and was last at 105.495, creeping above its 200-day moving average for the first time in three days.

(Reporting by Stephen Culp, additonal reporting by Tommy Wilkes; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Continue Reading

Investing

Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb

Published

on

Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb 3

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equity markets snapped a 3-day losing streak to edge higher on Friday, as the recent selling pressure on high-flying big technology-related stocks eased even as investors showed a preference for economically sensitive cyclical sectors.

Oil prices fell from recent highs as Texas energy companies began preparations to restart oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather, while the U.S. Treasury yields extended their recent rise.

The MSCI’s global stock index was up 0.47% at 681.88, after losing ground for three consecutive sessions.

On Wall Street, stocks steadied as cyclical sectors edged higher while tech names made modest advances after concerns about elevated valuations led to some selling in recent sessions.

“What we saw (this week) represents a market that is tired and may not do very much. So we are headed for some sort of a pullback, but I don’t think we’re there just yet,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

“Investors are not really pulling out of the market, but they are becoming more cautious. It already has factored in another good positive earnings season.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 119.97 points, or 0.38%, to 31,613.31, the S&P 500 gained 12.93 points, or 0.33%, to 3,926.9 and the Nasdaq Composite added 92.58 points, or 0.67%, to 13,957.93.

The S&P 500 technology and communication services sectors, housing high-value growth stocks, were among the smallest gainers in early trading, while financials, industrials, energy and materials rose more than 1%.

European shares edged higher on Friday as an upbeat earnings report from Hermes boosted confidence in a broader economic recovery. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was 0.64% higher.

U.S. Treasury yields on the longer end of the curve rose to new one-year highs on Friday as improved risk appetite boosted Wall Street, while the yield on 30-year inflation-protected securities (TIPS) turned positive for the first time since June.

Core bond yields have pushed higher globally, led by the so-called reflation trade, where investors wager on a pick-up in growth and inflation. Growing momentum for coronavirus vaccine programs and hopes of massive fiscal spending under U.S. President Joe Biden have spurred reflation trades.

The benchmark 10-year yield was last up 5.1 basis points at 1.338%, its highest level since Feb. 26, 2020.

Oil prices retreated from recent highs for a second day on Friday as Texas energy companies began preparations to restart oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather.

Unusually cold weather in Texas and the Plains states curtailed up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production and 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas, analysts estimated.

Brent crude futures were down 28 cents, or 0.44%, at $63.65 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 66 cents, or 1.09%, to $59.86.

Copper jumped to its highest in more than nine years on Friday and towards a third straight weekly gain as tight supplies and bullish sentiment towards base metals continued after the Chinese New Year.

Spot gold XAU= was down 0.58% at $1,785.71 an ounce.

The dollar lost ground on Friday, extending Thursday’s decline as improved risk appetite sapped demand for the safe-haven currency and drew buyers to riskier, higher-yielding currencies. The dollar index was off 0.295%.

Bitcoin hit yet another record high on Friday, hitting a market capitalization of $1 trillion, blithely shrugging off analyst warnings that it is an “economic side show” and a poor hedge against a fall in stock prices.

(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Continue Reading

Investing

Oil falls after surging past $65 on Texas freeze

Published

on

Oil falls after surging past $65 on Texas freeze 4

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Thursday despite a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories, as market participants took profits following days of buying spurred by a cold snap in the largest U.S. energy-producing state.

Brent crude fell 41 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $63.93 a barrel. During the session it rose as high as $65.52, its highest since January 2020.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 62 cents, or 1%, to settle at $60.52 a barrel, after earlier reaching $62.26, the highest since January 2020.

Brent had gained for four straight sessions before Thursday, while WTI had risen for three.

“The market probably got a little bit ahead of itself,” said Phil Flynn, a senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “But make no mistake, this selloff in oil doesn’t solve the problems. The problems are going to persist.”

Though some Texas households had power restored on Thursday, the state entered its sixth day of a cold freeze. It has grappled with refining outages and oil and gas shut-ins that rippled beyond its border into Mexico.

The weather has shut in about one-fifth of the nation’s refining capacity and closed oil and natural gas production across the state.

“The temporary outage will help to accelerate U.S. oil inventories down towards the five-year average quicker than expected,” SEB chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop said.

Prices dropped despite a decrease in U.S. oil inventories. Crude stockpiles fell by 7.3 million barrels in the week to Feb. 12, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday, compared with analysts’ expectations for an decrease of 2.4 million barrels.

Crude exports rose to 3.9 million barrels per day, the highest since March, EIA said.

“The big nugget was the big jump in exports of crude oil,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York. “We’ll have to see what happens with that next week weather in Texas, but I have been looking for a pickup there for a while.”

Oil’s rally in recent months has also been supported by a tightening of global supplies, due largely to production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers in the OPEC+ grouping, which includes Russia.

OPEC+ sources told Reuters the group’s producers are likely to ease curbs on supply after April given the recovery in prices.

(Additional reporting by Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Steve Orlofsky, David Gregorio and Jonathan Oatis)

 

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

Former Bank of England Governor Carney joins board of digital payments company Stripe 5 Former Bank of England Governor Carney joins board of digital payments company Stripe 6
Finance6 hours ago

Former Bank of England Governor Carney joins board of digital payments company Stripe

By Kanishka Singh (Reuters) – Mark Carney, former head of the UK and Canadian central banks, has joined the board...

Airbus CEO urges trade war ceasefire, easing of COVID travel bans 7 Airbus CEO urges trade war ceasefire, easing of COVID travel bans 8
Top Stories6 hours ago

Airbus CEO urges trade war ceasefire, easing of COVID travel bans

By Tim Hepher PARIS (Reuters) – The head of European planemaker Airbus called on Saturday for a “ceasefire” in a...

Why a predictable cold snap crippled the Texas power grid 9 Why a predictable cold snap crippled the Texas power grid 10
Top Stories6 hours ago

Why a predictable cold snap crippled the Texas power grid

By Tim McLaughlin and Stephanie Kelly (Reuters) – As Texans cranked up their heaters early Monday to combat plunging temperatures,...

UK could declare Brexit 'water wars' - The Telegraph 11 UK could declare Brexit 'water wars' - The Telegraph 12
Top Stories6 hours ago

UK could declare Brexit ‘water wars’ – The Telegraph

(Reuters) – Britain could restrict imports of European mineral water and several food products under retaliatory measures being considered by...

Commerzbank to lose 1.7 million clients by 2024 - Welt am Sonntag 13 Commerzbank to lose 1.7 million clients by 2024 - Welt am Sonntag 14
Banking6 hours ago

Commerzbank to lose 1.7 million clients by 2024 – Welt am Sonntag

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Commerzbank expects to lose 1.7 million customers by 2024 as part of its current restructuring, resulting in...

Bitcoin and ethereum prices 'seem high,' says Musk 15 Bitcoin and ethereum prices 'seem high,' says Musk 16
Top Stories6 hours ago

Bitcoin and ethereum prices ‘seem high,’ says Musk

(Reuters) – Billionaire CEO Elon Musk said on Saturday the price of bitcoin and ethereum seemed high, at a time...

Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support - The Sunday Times 17 Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support - The Sunday Times 18
Business6 hours ago

Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support – The Sunday Times

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to increase a tax on business to pay for an extension...

FTSE Russell to include 11 stocks from China's STAR Market in global benchmarks 19 FTSE Russell to include 11 stocks from China's STAR Market in global benchmarks 20
Trading1 day ago

FTSE Russell to include 11 stocks from China’s STAR Market in global benchmarks

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Index provider FTSE Russell will add 11 stocks from China’s STAR Market to its global benchmarks, according...

Foxconn chairman says expects "limited impact" from chip shortage on clients 21 Foxconn chairman says expects "limited impact" from chip shortage on clients 22
Business1 day ago

Foxconn chairman says expects “limited impact” from chip shortage on clients

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The chairman of Apple Inc supplier Foxconn said on Saturday he expects his company and its clients...

Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 23 Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 24
Top Stories1 day ago

Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now