The news: The US-based digital mortgage lender bought UK fintech Property Partners to further facilitate home buying, per TechCrunch.
What do they do? Better.com offers proprietary mortgages via a fully digital loan process and access to title and homeowners insurance. Property Partners lets users buy shares in UK property portfolios best suited to their investment goals and earn rental income.
Why buy Property Partners?
Expand to a new market to entice investors ahead of its SPAC.
- Better.com will go public later this year via a $7.7 billion SPAC.
- But public market performance among proptechs has been lackluster: In the past year, both Rocket Companies’ and loanDepot’s IPOs listed below their target price range.
- As a result, Better.com is likely ramping up acquisitions to accelerate growth and enhance its value proposition ahead of its own listing.
- In July, it expanded its reach to the UK by acquiring digital mortgage broker Trussle, and Property Partners improves its chances of success here: The fintech has 9,000 UK customers with £140 million ($179.5 million) in AUM.
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- 47.9% of US millennials owned homes in 2020, trailing behind Gen X at 69% and baby boomers at 77.8%.
- This is due to rising house prices and stagnant wages, with 70% of millennials saying they can’t afford to buy a house.
- Property Partners’ fractional homeownership can help millennials boost their finances with real estate investing by buying a percentage of a home rather than budgeting for the entire property.
- Better.com plans to bring the UK solution to its US operations, helping it tap into the underserved millennial market—which is now the biggest generation in the US—to boost revenues.
- Such solutions are picking up steam: Pacaso, which sells homes starting from one-eighth ownership, reached a $1 billion valuation in March less than a year after launch. And in Germany, financial institutions are testing the use of blockchain to divide real estate assets into digital tokens that represent a percentage of ownership.