Housers – invest in Spanish and Italian property

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Recently I discovered a new platform: Housers (register with that link and get 25 Euro cashback, if you invest at least 50 Euro), which enables you to invest in Spanish and Italian property. Investing is open to everybody, who is at least 18 years old, and companies. No country is excluded. To register you need an identification (residents outside the EU need 2 ID docs..) which you need to upload. You have to answer a lot of questions about your personal situation, but you can go through very quickly. I guess these are special requirements from the Spanish FCA, under which the platform is authorized (special crowdfunding licence).

Investing in Spanish property, really?

Yes, I asked myself the same question. The spanish real estate sector had a price decrease during the last decade. The cause (not the only one) were the no-holds-barred lending by banks, a recession of the global economy and the subprime crisis in the US. An article came into my mind which I read some zears ago. It was about Spanish bank lending without borders and that the economic development relied on lending itself. It looks like that during the boom years of increasing property prices the Spanish Bankers (or shall we call them in this context “banksters”?) advised their clients to increase their mortgages. This happened somewhat like this: “Hello Mister Fernandez, your property has increased it’s value at least by 25 percent since our last meeting two years ago. Your wife wants a new car for some years now, right? You can finance that car through an increase in your mortgage, you don’t need to spend a cent from your account. Mister Fernandez says that he will sleep over it and calls the banker the next day to confirm his intentions. Now the adviser begins with: “Mister Fernandez, I have an even better offer: 1.5 percent leasing for the car, and you can take the money from your mortgage increase to visit your brother in the USA”. Mister Fernandez thinks, well that’s my one and only treat, the last years were really fruitful and I got some raises. Ok, we do it like you proposed…. Sure, this is a fictional story, but that describes what happened during that time pretty close. If there are buyers in the market which pay higher property prices, the owners have jobs and can pay for their mortgage, all is good… until the house of cards blows up, and the prices decrease very sharply. This was just an anecdote, but it serves as a reminder that allegedly secure investments can bear risks as well.

Invest anyway?

The idea is worth considering. Firstly, at least I hope so, the banks have learnt their lesson and are more careful. Secondly, there were strucural advancements since the EURO crisis. Thirdly, the economy of Spain grew not bad during the last years and reaches about 3 percent at the moment. Fourthly (actually included in point 3), Spain profits from more tourism. The main reasons for that are political instability in other classic holday destinations. Macroeconomic indicators seem to be positiv, which should help property prices increase again. The square meter gains in value other indicators seem to have stabilized. Surely, some risks still exist, but basically I think the worst is over and I am going in with some investments.

Project types, minimal investment and secondary market

The minimal investment is set at 50 Euro per project. There are three types of projects: 1) short-term investments, where one is participating on the selling price and rent (if any). When the target sale price is met, the property will be sold. 2) More like a long time investment to participate from the value growth and rent. 3) Buy to sell a property.

There is a secondary market, but not for all investment types. Short-term investments are excluded. As of today I cannot tell how liquid the secondary market ist, but at least there is one 😉

Current projects and 25 Euro bonus for new investors

At the moment there are 4 spanish projects online, with expected returns of up to wobei 10%. New investors get 25 Euro (but only with this link) bonus. The bonus will be added shortly after you invested in your first project. The offer is only valid until October 31st 2017.

Conclusion

I have invested in 2 projects and will monitor in the next weeks. The platform is technically and visually good. My bank transfer needed 2 days to get cleared. Credit cards are accepted and you get 1% cashback for card deposits until 19th august. My expectations for the spanish real estate sector are positive and the platform convinced me.

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