If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a property tycoon with investments all over the country, it just got a bit easier. Scraping together deposits and worrying about complicated tax issues needn’t be a problem, with a new company offering investors the chance to buy into properties one brick at a time.
The latest property up for grabs from BrickX is a Bondi Beach pad. For just $96 you can secure yourself one of 10,000 ‘bricks’ – which are essentially shares in the property.
It’s a rental though, so don’t think you’re entitled to pop in and watch one ten thousandth of the TV, or fill the bath one ten thousandth full and take a dip.
The BrickX investment scheme, which launched publicly just two months ago, markets its scheme as a “stock exchange” for residential property. The property in the iconic 2026 postcode is the sixth in its portfolio.
The company’s “fractional ownership” system allows investors to purchase individual ‘bricks’, with each property split into 10,000 (so no, you can’t lay claim to a single physical brick either).
Brick owners are free to buy and sell bricks at any time, just like a stock exchange, and are allowed to own up to 5% of the bricks in any single property.
So if you have a spare $48,000 lying around, you can secure yourself 500 bricks in this renovated ground-floor two-bedder housed in a small Art Deco building in Bondi, featuring a sunroom, floorboards, and a shared garden courtyard. Perhaps most importantly, it has a consistently high level of tenancy demand.
Bondi is certainly an iconic location, but BrickX CEO Anthony Millet says the company’s property experts look far beyond this when selecting places to purchase. The numbers look good for Bondi, and not just in the short-term; it doesn’t have ominous apartment oversupply warnings looming over it in the same way that Melbourne, Brisbane and other areas of Sydney do.
“We look at suburbs that have consistently high tenancy demands, scarcity of stock for rent and buying a limited opportunity for over-development, in Bondi there’s not much you can develop in meaningful way,” he said.
After two months of operation, BrickX has expanded from 100 investors at launch to 1400, half of which, according to Mr Millet, are in the category of hopeful first-home buyers.
Feeling locked out of the market by soaring property prices, more investors are instead turning to the “fractional ownership” market, Mr Millet said.
“Frustration is a common theme from those who want to invest, and either don’t have enough cash, or are looking for an alternative to traipsing round open houses with so many others, and missing out,” he said.
“First homebuyers are 50 per cent of our investors, but there are also people who own their own homes and want to invest a smaller amount without buying the whole thing, and divest in an easier way than owning an entire property.”
So if you fancy a bit of Bondi action, why not give it a look? As with any other investment, make sure you do your own budgeting and research before committing to anything.