Australians have a $1 trillion love affair with property – but it’s an expensive passion. With median property prices in capital cities well above affordable for many prospective buyers, fractional property investing is set to become more popular.
One example of a fractional property investment solution is BrickX – an online platform for investing in residential property in Australia, with investments starting from as little as $250, and which:
- Allows you to obtain a beneficial interest in one or more residential properties by buying ‘Bricks’ in a unit trust that holds the property you are interested in.
- A ‘Brick’ gives the holder a proportional entitlement to any benefits generated from the underlying property after the payment of all costs. Hassle-free property management.
- There is no minimum holding in ‘Bricks’, and an investor is able to list their ‘Bricks’ for sale whenever they want.
Q&A with BrickX CEO Anthony Millet
When BrickX launched to the retail market in 2016, Canstar caught up with BrickX CEO, Anthony Millet, to find out more about the platform, the launch and selecting investment properties.
Q: BrickX is quite revolutionary in Australia in terms of its affordability and accessibility. What attracted you to the position of CEO?
A: Australians have such a high affinity with property ownership and investing, yet for so many the concept of the ‘Australian dream’ is far from reality. With my strong background in finance and technology, I was looking for a unique opportunity through which I could leverage a technology solution to solving a real problem – once I came across BrickX, it really was a no brainer. When the audience you are solving for is so significant, both for first time investors and existing investors frustrated with a challenging property market, providing a solution on a social level as well as business level is a fantastic motivator for myself and my BrickX team.
Q: Australians have a love affair with property – how readily do you think investors will accept the BrickX platform?
A: We have been live as a retail business for over three weeks, and have seen a fantastic reception already, with over $100K deposited within 48 hours of our BETA launch. We’re a new proposition, and as a financial business we of course expect potential investors to want to get to know us, and do their diligence before investing. We’re solving a real problem for investors, and with no one else in Australia able to offer such easy investment access to residential property for as little as $250, we really are providing a new way to invest in property.
To give investors as much comfort as possible, we place huge importance on being transparent around data, fees, regulation. In addition we have attracted external expertise through our Adviser Panel (including Tim Lawless, Head of Research CoreLogic, and Nerida Conisbee, Chief Economist at REA).
Q: BrickX seems like a property investment-equivalent to Raiz (previously Acorns) in its streamlined simplicity. Do you hope for equally-enthusiastic take-up?
A: Absolutely, if not more. The affinity with property investment in Australia, coupled with the easy access, affordability and ability to buy and put up your ‘Bricks’ for sale when you want, makes this the quickest and easiest way to invest in high quality residential property. Like Acorns (now Raiz), we’re rapidly changing the way consumers can proactively manage their savings and investments, with greater control and freedom, and on a low-cost basis.
Q: How are properties selected for the platform?
A: All the properties we bring to the platform are identified using a rigorous data driven approach. We’re looking for properties in highly desirable areas that continually show high rental demand and have been strong capital growth performers over the long term. We’re also providing access to investors in suburbs which we know they would love to invest in, but until now, the cost has precluded them from doing so. Tim (Lawless), Nerida (Conisbee) and Peter (Chittenden), provide great macro insights and recommendations on a regular basis which help our buying team form the strategy. Once we acquire a property, we bring it to the platform, giving investors an opportunity to invest at the original cost price.
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Cover image source: Shuang Li (Shutterstock)