A review on Housers – the Spanish real estate crowdfunding platform
Housers is a real estate crowdfunding platform from Spain that offers investors opportunities from Spain, Portugal or Italy.
I did join Housers a few months ago, but only recently I got interested in the platform. The more I look at it, the more I like it.
- Launched: 2015
- Headquarters: Spain
- Investment types: Buy-to-sell properties, Rental properties, Development loans
- Investment terms: up to 10 years
- Projects funded: 108 million EUR
- Investors: >100000
- Investments from: Spain, Portugal or Italy
- Expected annual return: 4-10%
- Fees: 10% fee on the profit made; tax is deducted automatically
- Minimum investment: 50 EUR
- Currency: EUR
- Secondary market: yes
- Auto-invest: no
- Buyback guarantee: no
- Accepts investors from: most countries (except US residents)
- Last update: April 2019
- Started Investing: December 31st, 2018
- Invested capital: 600 EUR
- Current value: 602.22 EUR
- Profit: 2.22 EUR
I’ve split my 600 EUR investment into 12 properties from Madrid, Barcelona, Florence, Loures and Santa Pola. Now I’m waiting to receive rent dividends for my investments.
The only profit I’ve received so far is from a rental property I’ve invested in. All my other investments are buy-to-sell, with an investment term of 12 to 24 months.
My portfolio is relatively small, so I’ll keep investing in opportunities that look interesting.
So, what is Housers?
Housers offers 3 types of investments on the platform:
- Buy to sell – these generate no monthly income and the investor recovers their investment only after the property is sold
- Buy to let – investors get monthly rental income and the sale of the property is not considered in the short term; the investments typically last from 5 to 10 years
- Development loans – these have an estimated term between 12 and 60 months; the interest is paid monthly to investors until the end of the loan term
One other opportunity type Housers is mentioning in their investors’ manual is buying art and selling it after a few years (2-7 years) when the price of the art piece has achieved the expected evaluation. I didn’t see any such past or current investment opportunities on the platform yet, so I suspect that’s either something they want to add to the platform or it’s something they offer to a restricted number of premium investors.
All investment opportunities are ranked with a risk level scoring from A to G. Opportunities with lower risk (A or B) also have lower annual yields. The risk level is based on both the property (location, sale price, construction, valuation price) and financials (working capital, credit capacity, guarantees ).
The average yield returns for investors so far has been 5.5% for buy to sell projects, 4% for buy to let and 9.7% for development loans.
Who can join Housers
Residents from most of the countries can join Housers and invest in the opportunities available. There’s a list of around 30 countries that are not allowed to invest (for whatever reason). Of course, the US is included in this list of 30 countries.
Exiting your investment
You can wait and exit your investments at the end of the investment term or sell it earlier to other investors on the Marketplace.
What fees are on the platform
There are no fees when entering an investment opportunity or any annual management fee. Housers charges a 10% fee on the profit obtained.
Additionally, your income tax is deducted automatically, it doesn’t matter if your residence is in Spain or any other country. The tax percentage depends on where the real-estate developer company is registered: 19% for Spain, 26% for Italy and 28% for Portugal.
The primary market
There’s a healthy amount of available investments in the market with good return rates. Each investment opportunity has details about the property, current market condition, financials and exit plan.
The annual yield shown is the expected return of the investment based on market analysis, property, etc. The actual return might be a bit different.
The marketplace is a good place to diversify your investments without waiting for Housers to add new projects to the primary market.
There’s a wide range of investments available in the marketplace. The good (or bad) thing is that all the properties listed on the marketplace are sold at the current market price. So, you can find good deals on the marketplace because other investors that list their investments here cannot put a higher price when selling their shares.
For example, I bought 50 shares from a property in Italy, but I can’t put them back on the marketplace with a different price.
You can view your investments and follow their status on the user dashboard. It has some cool features like a diversification index graph that shows the current risk level of your portfolio.
My current portfolio is decently diversified, but I should add a few more investments in other geographical regions to minimize my risks.
Conclusions on Housers
Housers is a good platform to invest if you plan to expand your real estate investments portfolio into Southern Europe.
The marketplace (or secondary market) has a good number of properties to invest in and easily diversify your portfolio. Also, the marketplace properties are not overpriced, because other users can only sell their investment at the current market price.
Things I don’t like about Housers:
- you don’t really own shares of the real estate properties you invest in; instead, the legal form is a loan to the development company, for a period of 5 to 10 years
- taxes are deducted automatically; I would only need to pay 10% tax in Romania for my income on the platform; instead, I’m paying from 19% to 28% tax in Spain, Italy or Portugal
I’m going to keep for now a small investment on the platform and see how it evolves. Meanwhile, I’ll get more familiar with Housers and the investments they offer and how they are doing their risk assessments on the opportunities presented.