by Shalini Nagarajan
The real estate market is seen as a profitable avenue for investors wanting to have diverse investment options. But soaring house prices have overtaken wage growth, rendering home ownership almost unaffordable to swathes of the global population.
The concept means that buyers can opt-in for a share of one chunk of real estate for as little as a dollar. They can then simply choose to sell their share as and when the value of the property rises or falls.
In 2021, accountancy firm Moore Global predicted tokenization is “absolutely going to be a disruptor in global property markets.” It would turn into a $1.4 trillion industry even if a small fraction of those markets were tokenized in the next five years.
We may be far from that target, but some companies are already using blockchain-powered tokenized models that allow users to invest in fractions of properties.
- Tokenized REITs, or Real Estate Investment Trusts: ownership of shares in a portfolio of real estate assets
- Tokenized rental properties: purchase tokens representing ownership either in a single property or multiple properties
- Tokenized mortgage-backed securities: acquire tokens representing ownership in a single mortgage or multiple mortgages, which gives access to the same rate of return as traditional MBS investments
Marius Grigoras, CEO of crypto launchpad for startups BHero, said he’s seen the direct impact DeFi is having on the real estate industry.
“The tokenization of real estate assets has introduced more liquidity and access to investments previously available only to high-net-worth individuals,” he told Blockworks.
Bob Ras, co-founder of Sologenic, a network for tokenizing securities, said tokenized real estate is gaining attention because smart contracts reduce the need for paperwork. They also cut down the cost, time and effort involved in buying property. Fractional ownership also offers investors exposure to high-value assets at lower costs.
“Rather than investing thousands of dollars, investors can participate with as little as a few hundred dollars. This trend is expected to continue, with more potential homeowners turning to tokenization for cheaper investment opportunities in real estate,” Ras told Blockworks.
Atlanta home tokenized on Ethereum
Fintech and single family-focused rental platform Roofstock recently sold a Georgia home to ReaIT, a platform that offers fractional real estate investment in tokenized assets. The transaction was facilitated via an Ethereum-based NFT on OpenSea.