Wednesday 27 April 2016 9:20 am

Crowdfunding website offers new ways to invest in UK property development

A new crowdfunding platform is offering investors the chance to buy a stake in potential housing development sites.

Intro Crowd, launched today, offers the opportunity for investors to buy shares in companies owning the land plots for as little as £1,500.

Gregory Baker, Intro Crowd’s chief executive, said: “The government has pledged to build one million new homes over the next five years and the challenge is finding the land on which to build them. We believe our investors can make a contribution to reducing this shortfall.”

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He added: “There are plenty of ways to invest in property, but our platform allows people to invest in strategic land, which are sites on the edges of towns and villages."

The startup said it will be targeting sites it sees as promising, which are next to existing settlements in areas with fast-growing populations.

The sites will be listed on the crowdfunding platform along with site plans, a report and an indication of the future land value from chartered surveyors.

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After funding is complete, investors hold shares in the company that owns the land and when the plot is sold they collect the net profits.

Intro Crowd has already purchased its first land site in Cam, near Dursley in Gloucestershire.

Baker said: “This is an investment for ordinary retail investors as well as sophisticated and high-net worth clients. It is an opportunity to diversify their portfolios into an alternative asset class.

“However because there is no guarantee that the land we purchase will secure planning permission, we make it absolutely clear that this should be considered a high risk, long-term investment and that an individual’s capital will be at risk. It should form part of a well-balanced, well diversified portfolio.”