Is cryptocurrency the way to get young people involved in real estate?
Most Millennials Can’t Afford Homes
We need to remember that younger generations – while they didn’t necessarily grow up during this time – are familiar with the Great Recession and the subsequent crash of the housing market in 2008.
In addition, the costs of living have risen significantly over the last seven years, and median home prices – particularly in urban areas – are rising through the roof. Combine this with the notion of finding a well-paying job and mounting student loan debt, and most millennials seem either uninterested or unable to add “getting a house” to their to-do lists.
For most millennials, the real estate industry has changed significantly since their parents were young, and for the most part, they’re “iffy” when it comes to buying new homes. They’ve seen too many drops in market prices, and 2009’s foreclosure boom is probably still fresh in their minds.
A Real Game Changer
However, where millennials have an advantage is through technology. Roughly 97 percent use the internet – compared with 83 percent of older generations – and approximately 90 percent own smartphones against baby boomers’ 67 percent. This makes them prime targets for cryptocurrency, and it could be the magical tool that gets them involved in real estate.
Millennials can invest in real estate through security tokens, a new kind of cryptocurrency that offers users stakes in traditional investing options like commercial real estate. Security tokens basically work as digitized stocks and paper shares and allow people to share investments by giving them small shares in a single venture.
For millennials, this is a more accessible way of getting their hands on real estate without tacking on 30-year monthly mortgage loans to their debt piles. While this doesn’t necessarily give them a new home, it does lead to higher returns, which can increase their chances of purchasing real estate in the future.
Changes to the System
Today’s housing market is also controlled predominantly by traditional financial establishments like banks, brokers and payment processors. These kinds of organizations make money by collecting fees through handling our transactions. Like all blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, security tokens work to reduce overhead and eliminate middlemen, upping the person’s privacy and reducing the amount of money they owe.
A recent example of a security token-real estate venture occurred when project funding site Indiegogo partnered with the St. Regis Aspen Resort in Colorado to offer users access to partial stakes in the property via ether or bitcoin. Users could buy shares in the resort for approximately $1 USD price point.
Lastly, approximately 30 percent of millennials believe that cryptocurrency is a smarter investment than stocks and bonds, and real estate companies would be wise to consider the prospects of digital assets if they seek further participation from millennials.
Does this sound like something you would participate in? Why or why not? Leave your comments below!
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