Consumer research firm Canstar has announced that real estate investment venture BrickX has become the first-ever startup to win its innovation award.
The awards, usually dominated by large financial firms, recognised BrickX for lowering the cost of entry into real estate for retail investors.
“BrickX offers retail investors a genuinely simple way of buying into retail property for investment amounts of less than $100,” said Canstar wealth general manager Josh Callaghan. “BrickX makes investing in real estate possible for everyone without the need to save a significant deposit or use equity in their home.”
BrickX joined six other companies — Westpac, Suncorp, NAB, MLC, Macquarie Bank and Rural Bank — as this year’s winners in the category.
FinTech Australia chief executive Danielle Szetho celebrated the win as a coup for the startup sector against the traditional players, saying fintechs are now “moving into the mainstream”.
“BrickX’s award is a landmark moment for the Australian fintech industry,” she said. “The award helps show the importance of the Australian fintech industry in providing innovative solutions which lead to increased choice to consumers.”
BrickX purchases properties then divides the cost price into ten thousand units called Bricks that are on-sold individually to investors. This allows investors to buy into a part of a property with Bricks that may cost less than $100 each, especially appealing to web-savvy younger generation buyers that may feel locked out of the hot Sydney and Melbourne real estate markets.
The company, which now boasts more than 3,000 investors, currently has seven residential properties available for investment, located in Sydney’s Bondi Beach, Enmore, Annandale, Mosman and Double Bay; plus Melbourne’s Prahan and Port Melbourne.
Bricks can be listed for sale instantly through the BrickX platform for others to purchase, with the seller setting the price. Callaghan recognised this liquidity and secondary market as attractive features.
BrickX chief executive Anthony Millet previously told Business Insider that the average time to sell a Brick through the secondary market is just 26 hours, making it much more liquid than traditional real estate. The median sale time, according to the live stats on the company website, has now come down to 2 hours and 55 minutes.
The startup, which also won the platform innovator of the year gong at the Fintech Business awards in February, gets its revenue from a 1.75% transaction fee on each purchase or sale of a Brick, and a 6% property management charge on rental income.