Vesta launch property marketplace for private rented sector

Michael Lloyd

February 8, 2018

Vesta has launched a digital property marketplace for the private rented sector (PRS), to support growing institutional investment.

The new marketplace also offers properties with ‘tenants in place’, ensuring that sellers earn all the way to completion, buyers earn from day one while tenants avoid disruption to their lives.

Russell Gould, Vesta’s chief executive, said: “Within the next five years, we strongly believe that Vesta will be the norm for the residential investment property sector, bringing together housebuilders, 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to buy at a guaranteed price with due diligence complete and tenants in place – a refreshing change to the current outdated system.

Vesta’s team is led by 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.

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.

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.

Gould added: “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.”

Additional features of the Vesta online marketplace allows a customr to by a tenanted rented property using the Vesta “Sure Sale” process which is about transparency, commitment and deal protection.

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

Private landlords can sell their buy-to-let properties to a dedicated professional marketplace, at lower fixed fee of just £900 (+£300 for Vesta-managed viewings) with tenants in situ.

Chris Lacey, non-executive 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.”

People can sell their show homes, stock units and new homes (including build-to-rent) to UK and international investors and Vesta runs the operational maintenance of the properties, if landlords prefer.

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.

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