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Tech start-ups to take the sting out of saving for a deposit

Chris Ferris, CEO of Coposit
3 min read
Chris Ferris says Coposit not only helps first time investors buy property quicker, but it also opens a new sales channel for developers.

Tech start-ups to take the sting out of saving for a deposit

A pair of new tech start-ups have emerged with a shared vision of addressing the increasingly difficult challenge of saving for a deposit.

A pair of new tech start-ups have emerged with a shared vision of addressing the increasingly difficult challenge of saving for a deposit. 

With Australian house prices recording annual gains at their fastest rate in more than three decades, first homebuyers and first-time investors are finding that saving for a deposit is more challenging than ever.

CoreLogic data showed Australia’s median house price rose by 20.4 per cent in the 12 months to the end of September, the fastest annual growth recorded since the late 1980s.

That rapid rise has put property investment out of reach for many young Australians, particularly those located in Sydney and Melbourne, where median dwelling prices are $1.056 million and $775,142, respectively.

Saving for a deposit is also challenging in Australia’s smaller capitals, with Brisbane’s median dwelling price sitting above $625,000, while median values in Perth and Adelaide are both above $520,000.

Analysis by the Federal Treasury shows it takes the average Australian nine years to save for a deposit in a capital city, and with prices tipped to rise even further, that timeline is also expected to continue to blow out.

Australia's banking regulator has also moved to restrict the flow of finance into the property sector, writing to banks this week to increase the rate at which they stress test mortgages from 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent by the end of October.

Helping to reduce the timeline involved in procuring a deposit is the key mission of new property app Coposit, which will launch in November.

Coposit allows buyers to buy a property with a $10,000 deposit, with the remainder of the deposit split into weekly payments, with no interest or fees.

The platform gives prospective buyers the opportunity to browse listings, enquire about properties, pay and manage deposits and exchange contracts digitally.

Chief executive Chris Ferris said Australia’s younger generations were the company’s key target demographic, while homeowners and investors seeking to manage their cash flow and debt exposure would also benefit from the app.

“Coposit has been years in the making, we could see how increasingly difficult it is becoming for people to get into the property market, especially in Sydney where real estate prices have been dramatically rising,” Mr Ferris said.

Mr Ferris, who has more than 10 years of experience in property development in Sydney, said developers of off-the plan apartments and house and land packages would also benefit from the app.

Coposit was trialled in Sydney's Seven Hills at The Hills Village, a development by Civic Properties, where Mr Ferris spent eight years prior to developing the app.

A total of 74 of the 97 apartments sold in The George Apartments at The Hills Village were purchased using Coposit, with 78 per cent of those buyers electing to make weekly 'coposits', and 23 per cent saying they wouldn't have been able to buy without the app.

Mr Ferris said Coposit effectively opened a new market of potential buyers while also streamlining the sales process.

“With our property development background, we know where the pain points are for developers in the sales process and issues around pre-commitment levels and project finance,” Mr Ferris said.

“At the same time, we saw an untapped opportunity that exists in the wait time for buyers, particularly while new homes and apartments are being constructed.

“Currently deposits are paid up-front and sit in a trust account pending settlement, which could be years away.

“This period of time lends itself ideally to buyers effectively paying off their deposit.”

Coposit will initially be launched in New South Wales, with a national rollout to start with Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.

Meanwhile, another start-up was recently launched to facilitate two or more individuals to share ownership of a property.

Dubbed as a matchmaker for property buyers, Proppie links users based on their budget, desired location and preferred ownership share, with its offering similar to that of Perth-based startup Mortgage Mates, which was launched in 2019.

Open to owner-occupiers as well as investors, Proppie provides added security through a legally-protected co-ownership structure, with frameworks in place if a party wants to sell.

Other features of the platform include rental security and access to a conveyancer for legal advice at all stages of the property purchase.

Founder Ayumi Uyeda said Proppie’s vision was to help more young Australians get into the property market.

“It wasn’t until my millennial step daughter confided in me that purchasing a property alone was near impossible that I realised I had to do something about it and build Proppie,” Ms Uyeda said.

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