Real estate in the iconic beachside suburb of Bondi has been out of the reach of most Australians for many years.
Or it has been out of reach, until an innovative new scheme hit the market recently where investors could buy a share in a Bondi apartment in small lots of $100, or one brick at a time.
The online startup BrickX is pitched at those investors who are locked out of buying all of an investment property, but want to be involved in the property action regardless.
BrickX recently bought a Bondi flat for $1.35 million and is selling 10,000 “bricks” for $100 each to investors on its online platform.
This followed the first offering by the company, an apartment in nearby Double Bay.
Under the BrickX rules, no one investor can buy more than 5 percent of the property.
Investors receive a monthly income stream from the rent, based on the percentage they own, and they can sell their bricks whenever they want.
The properties are valued every six months.
Chief executive Anthony Millet says BrickX is driven by the lack of housing affordability, and by the desire for people to get into the market.
He said that the company had recently surveyed its investor base, and found that 49 percent doe not own residential property as owner occupiers or investors.
The BrickX concept is similar to that of another provider, DomaCom, whih enables investors to participate in the property of their choice with other like-minded investors.
When funding for a property is completed via a “bookbuild” process, DomaCom purchases the property, puts it in a sub-fund and issues the investors with units reflecting the percentage of their ownership in the property.
Both concepts are twists on the idea of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which is a major sector on the ASX in its own right, although usually focused on commercial property.