Recent tax changes have made buy-to-lets less attractive, but there is another way to invest in property. Learn about property bond investment with this quick guide. 

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Image: Acorn Property Group

When it comes to investing in property, the traditional method is to buy-to-let or renovate and sell on. But not everyone wants to be a landlord, which is why property bonds appeal to some investors…

The basics of property bonds

Put simply, a property bond is a loan to a housebuilder or developer. Many developers lean on their own funds, or borrow money from banks, but there’s occasionally a shortfall in the money they require. At this point, most of the larger PLC housebuilder issue shares to raise money and private developers issue bonds to investors who qualify.

These property bonds raise capital for the developer, but also pay a return to the investor. Terms vary, but these returns could be quarterly or yearly, while the bond is for a fixed term such as three or five years. In other words, you won’t have ready access to the money you’ve invested. Sometimes you can choose to receive the returns on a monthly basis, sometimes you’ll get a higher rate of return if you defer receiving them until the end of the term.

new build homes in Bristol seen across a river

Image: Acorn Property Group

Why invest?

What makes property bonds attractive for many investors is that the rates of return are often very good – ranging from perhaps 4 to 12% annually, which looks even better when interest rates are historically low. It’s also a way for different types of investor – both small and large – to enter the property market for a fraction of the sum they’d need to become a landlord.

People who traditionally enter the property market as investors often have to renovate the property and flip it or become a landlord to receive a rental income. Both these approaches require a high initial outlay and involve a degree of input and ongoing work. Bonds, however, have a lower barrier to entry and are often secured by the land or the development itself.

conversion of old house to homes with green lawn

Image: Acorn Property Group

What are the risks?

The main thing to know is that property bonds are not government backed, so while they can provide a high return, they also come with an element of risk. That means individuals should only invest if they can afford to do so and should consider property bonds only as one small part of a wider and balance investment portfolio.

It’s also vital to do your homework and make sure the developer has the experience and financial standing to repay the bond. If you choose the right developer, the risks should decrease. Independent financial advice from an expert is highly recommended before entering into this type of investment.

people walking in landscaped area near new-build home

Image: Acorn Property Group

Acorn Investment Bonds, who offer asset-backed property bonds, are known for building quality bespoke homes, have over 25 years of experience as a developer and boast a long track record of successful developments. Operating in the south-west of the UK, they have a wide portfolio of rural and coastal homes and a substantial balance sheet. They offer a range of products for investors who meet a range of criteria. 

Important: Property investments carry risks, you could lose all of your money invested in these types of products. This is a high risk investment and is much riskier than a savings account. Prospective investors are strongly advised to seek independent financial advice from an authorised person who specialises in advising on non-readily realisable securities. This guide does not constitute advice or a personal recommendation. Investing is a complex subject and this guide is intended to give a broad overview only of Property Bonds. You should not make or refrain from making any decision based solely on the contents of this guide. We have made every attempt to ensure the information in this article is correct and accurate as at the date of publication but cannot guarantee it.

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Kevins Column

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