Innovation That Matters

Matching first-time homebuyers

Property & Construction

Faced with rocketing real estate prices, first-time homebuyers have a new option in the UK: buying with a stranger they’ve found online. Shared Spaces is a ‘co-buyer network’, enabling potential buyers to join forces with others. Like most online social networks, members begin by posting a profile. They describe their likes and dislikes, what they’re looking for in a potential co-buyer/room-mate, and which towns and neighbourhoods they’d like to move to. The website offers tips on doing background checks and advises co-buyers to have a deed of trust drawn up by a notary, outlining issues like ownership share and what would happen if one of the parties wants to sell or move out. Membership is currently free of charge. Shared buying is meant to be a short term arrangement, whereby 2, 3 or 4 people help one another get a foot on the property ladder. While living in their shared space, co-buyers usually spend less than they would on rent and are able to share purchasing and owning costs. Which means they’re able to work towards the goal of selling the place, turning a profit, and making their first solo property purchase. Coming to the rescue of consumers who can’t afford to buy a house on their own seems like a viable business opportunity if you charge membership fees and/or attract advertisers. Considering high real estate prices are a problem for first-time buyers in most countries, the opportunities for this one are global. Get started on a local version, and become the of housing! Email:



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