Turn the clock back to early 2012 and if you asked anyone in property circles about 'crowd funding' you would have very likely been met with a blank look. Yet in just three years the 'democratisation' of funding property deals is now more widely recognised and barely a week goes by without a new crowd funding initiative being announced.
In March 2012, Frazer Fearnhead, a long-term subscriber to 'Property Investor News', launched The House Crowd, which was back then the world's first crowd-funding company focused on property investment. In the last three years the company has raised £9.5m with an average investment of around £9,000 from its individual investors.
I met up with Frazer just a few weeks ago at the company's office in Hale, Cheshire to talk about crowd-funding and property market trends.
Firstly Frazer, can you clarify how and why you got into property investing? "My grandfather started an estate agency that my father, a chartered surveyor, built up into a number of branches and sold to Prudential", he replies. "I used to go along with him as a kid and 'help' him do surveys, so to some extent property has always been in my blood. However, for some strange reason I decided to go into the legal profession.