The owner of a property in Flora Hill has put his house on the market and will accept Bitcoin as the method of payment. The cryptocurrency was founded in 2009, with a number of properties accepting Bitcoin as payment or part-payment hitting the market this year. “Bitcoin, just like any fiat-based currency, can be traded for Australian dollars,” says Johnny El-Halabi, director at The Realest Estate. “The transaction would be based through standard real estate law, consistent with any normal purchase of a home.”
According to Johnny, the property’s owner is targeting millennials who have invested heavily in cryptocurrency and will continue to do so in the future. “The owner also sees the value in widening their clientele as well as diversifying their own portfolio,” he says, adding that the property can also be purchased using traditional cash/bank transfer methods.
While the modest weatherboard house has three bedrooms and separate meal and lounge areas, this transaction is more about the land and development potential in inner city Bendigo. “The owners bought it to develop, have gone through the initial council stages for the permit (and aim to) sell it to a developer who can build out the approved permit for four new townhouses,” explains Johnny.
“Development sites like this in Bendigo are getting harder to snap up and this is another one of those great opportunities. These days a lot of millennials aren’t working harder but smarter, moving towards more efficient monetary systems, which align with the intentions of property developers. This offers them the opportunity to move their balance sheet around a little, moving some of their acquired crypto wealth into a more tangible asset class.”
Bitcoin is a growing currency in all markets throughout the world, Johnny noting that European and Japanese markets have began to normalise cryptocurrency. “Real estate agents have to trade in land and brick and Bitcoin is just another viable transaction,” he reasons.
He acknowledges there are risks associated with investing in deregulated markets, however says the same sentiments can be made about Australia’s own state-based currencies, as well as the stock market.
Does he think it will have a growing interest in regional Victoria? “I’m not 100 per cent certain, but it doesn’t hurt to try,” he says. “Regional Victoria is experiencing its own boom through university opportunities, jobs, healthcare and becoming a downsized version of the big city. This ties back to the power of millennials.”
The Realest Estate has five three-bedroom townhouses in Kennington it plans to put on the market in 2018, with Bitcoin an accepted currency, together with traditional methods.