New Property Marketplace to Transform the £1.4 trillion Private Rented Sector
February 1, 2018
Vesta has today launched a new digital property marketplace for the private rented sector (PRS), recognising the huge opportunity that exists in one of the UKs largest and growing property sectors. The marketplace, for buying and selling properties is expected to transform the PRS, encouraging both transparency and scalability in a historically fragmented market. The Vesta management team, which includes market leading property and fintech entrepreneurs, has launched the new marketplace to support growing institutional investment, which could bring the UK’s PRS more in-line with the US and other European markets.
The new marketplace also offers properties with ‘tenants in place’, ensuring that sellers earn all the way to completion, buyers earn from day 1 while tenants avoid disruption to their lives. The Vesta marketplace launches at a time when recent research shows more than 40,000 tenants in England were evicted in 2015 – the highest level ever recorded. Large numbers of “no fault” evictions have driven up the number of tenants being forced to move home.
Russell Gould, Vesta CEO
Russell Gould, Vesta’s Chief Executive, comments:
“Within the next five years, we strongly believe that Vesta will be the norm for the residential investment property sector, bringing together house-builders, buy-to-let sellers, buyers and property investors. Akin to the introduction of eBay and Amazon, the PRS has been crying out for change, and new technologies have now made this possible. The unique Vesta online marketplace is designed to provide buyers and sellers with more choice and a faster, simpler and assured process while reducing the chances of gazumping. Buyers can make offers or choose to buy at a guaranteed price with due diligence complete and tenants in place – a refreshing change to the current outdated system.
“So much of this sector is owned by small investors who buy and sell properties that are vacant and unfurnished. This is costly, time consuming and often a painful experience for tenants and landlords. With less rental and capital growth on the horizon, costly tax changes relating to both stamp duty and interest set offs and tougher rules around mortgage terms, there's an enormous potential in our trading platform to attract institutional investors, a government policy objective.”
Vesta is the brainchild of a strong team of experienced fintech and property experts who saw the need for a new model to enable the buy-to-let sector in the UK to thrive, while promoting the needs of tenants, investors and landlords alike. The team, which is led by fintech entrepreneur Russell Gould, includes Bob Wigley, Chairman - who is also Chairman of UK Finance and a board member of European Banking Federation and Chris Lacey, Non-Exec Director - who is an innovator within the Residential Investment Market and until recently was Head of Residential Capital Markets of the world’s largest international property advisor, CBRE.
Chris Lacey, Non-exec director of Vesta
Chris Lacey, Non-exec director of Vesta, said:
"The UK's housing market is badly dislocated and it's a major cross-party government objective to tackle huge nationwide undersupply, affordable housing across all tenures and better occupational terms and conditions for tenants. A large number of tenants get regularly and unnecessarily displaced when landlords are buying and selling, and this solution removes that issue. What is more, the trading platform has the opportunity to bring investment market confidence, more efficiency and liquidity and the potential for consolidation and professionalisation. Not only is this much more accessible, it also offers better scalability in buying and selling portfolios relative to the traditional estate agency or auction house service. It's market exposure and investor reach is a game changer.”
Vesta is sourcing its properties through partnerships with some of the leading landlords, housebuilders and developers in the UK who have been attracted to Vesta’s unique features, cost-effective platform and streamlined processes. The business, which has already secured the marketing options over 177 tenanted properties, including some blocks, worth approximately £50m, has just successfully raised another round of funding to launch in the UK residential investment market.
Vesta will also offer fractional investment vehicles where property investors can invest into a fully managed, tenanted portfolio consisting typically of two or more properties. The minimum investment is £1,000 (plus fees) and dividends will be paid quarterly. This new and accessible way of investing in residential property provides property investors with a return on their investment but without the need to manage properties.
The innovative and bespoke Vesta web platform delivers a faster, more efficient, secure and robust buying and selling experience than the existing estate agency model provides. Using the latest in marketplace technologies, each property comes with full documentation including tenant history, searches, valuation reports and surveys which will aim to increase completions, speed and reduce the chances of gazumping.
Additional features of the Vesta online marketplace include:
- Certainty – A customer can buy a tenanted rented property, using the Vesta “Sure Sale” process which has 3 key pillars – 1) Transparency via documentation and visible offers, 2) Commitment via the buyer and seller flat fees, and 3) Deal Protection that prohibits any new offers from 3rd parties after negotiations have been concluded between buyer and seller.
- Buy it now – While offers can be made, Vesta also provides a buy it now price that the seller has pre-agreed will be automatically accepted as soon as the buyer’s fee has been paid, which eliminates the negotiation process
- Lower Fixed Fees - private landlords can sell their BTL properties to a dedicated professional marketplace, at lower fixed fee of just £900 (+£300 for Vesta-managed viewings) with tenants in situ.
- House-builders and developers - Can sell their show homes, stock units and new homes (including build-to-rent) to UK and international investors
- Professional management - Vesta runs the operational maintenance of the properties, if landlords prefer.
- Select profitable locations - Buyers can select properties across a range of geographies and choose where they believe they can get best returns in rental yield and or capital value increase.
For more information about Vesta’s core products and the Vesta process, visit the Vesta website at www.vestaproperty.com.