Sales of new homes have been climbing at a steady pace, while existing homes on the market for sale are declining. This has caused real estate prices to appreciate significantly, thus further supporting indications of a real estate recovery. New home construction picked up significantly by increasing 12% Y-O-Y in December. 2012 saw the largest number of new homes constructed since 2008. “The 48-month crisis may finally be coming to an end”, believes William C. Skelley – Founder and CEO of iFunding, which is an online marketplace where individual investors choose pre-vetted real estate projects and invest alongside some of the World’s most successful property owners and operators. “iFunding has brought the extremely inefficient process of raising capital for real estate online to make it more efficient and transparent. On average we only accept 1% of projects that are submitted to us. If we like a deal, most importantly the track record of the sponsor, we will underwrite it, create the legal documents and allow the investor to analyze, sign legal documents and wire money, all online via our website”.
Source: National Association of Realtors
With the evolution of the Internet age, consumers are no longer relying simply on real estate agents to help them with their real estate search process. Sites such as Zillow have disrupted this process and shifted the commissions from traditional home brokers, towards an online marketplace. It has helped bring a lot more transparency to the home buying and selling process. But that’s not where it should stop. The team at iFunding has recognized that over the past decade the world has become increasingly digital. Every investment decision is now complimented with relevant research using social media and interaction with communities online. Crowdsourced information using social media is influencing every customer’s decisions.
In Real Estate, individuals don’t just want to leverage technology for buying and selling homes, but they want access to investing in projects that may be under construction too. With the industry on the horizon of making a comeback, financing for commercial real estate is beginning to open up again. “I am currently working with over ten banks who are getting aggressive lending the sector, especially lending to existing, income producing assets” Skelley notes. Investors now can access the password-protected platform and interact with a community of like-minded individuals to evaluate the attractiveness of those opportunities that are listed and benefit from the rebound in the real estate market.