Co-ownership platform to tackle housing affordability launched

Yesterday marked the launch of Kohab, the world’s first digital platform, community, and marketplace for co-ownership.

The platform aims to help families, groups of friends, and like-minded buyers purchase a home together by connecting them with the right property, real estate agent, legal, mortgage and insurance providers in a single place. Among these providers are partners such as Sparke Helmore and National Australia Bank, known for their expertise in property co-ownership.

Kohab Founder and CEO, David Dawson, said, “We believe that co-ownership is an often-overlooked method of owning property and may hold the key to that dream being reignited, allowing many Australians to take the first step on the property market ladder.”

The focus towards shared home ownership comes at the heels of the findings of the recent research that revealed that, for those who currently don’t own property, the challenge of saving enough for a deposit and being unable to afford a property in their preferred location were cited as the main reasons for being unable to accomplish that life goal. At the same time, it also reported that 27 per cent of respondents would consider buying a property with someone else, whilst a further nine per cent would consider co-ownership if they were equipped with more information. Consideration of co-ownership was even higher in the key cities.

“The phenomenal growth of brands such as Uber and Airbnb have clearly demonstrated that the share economy is alive and thriving. These types of concepts have created a seismic shift in how society views co-sharing in general. As such, Kohab aspires to be the global platform and marketplace for property co-ownership,” David said.

The platform will help potential buyers in three main ways: by co-living (whereby one or both parties choose to live in the property), co-investing in property, and co-lifestyle which involves facilitating two or more parties to share a holiday home or second home.

Its simple processes aims to steer buyers through the key steps to co-ownership; including the set-up of the Kohab co-ownership agreement. This standardised legal agreement has been specifically developed by legal firm Sparke Helmore (in collaboration with Kohab), to provide a safe, transparent and secure way to buy and sell property together. Co-buyers are also referred to Kohab’s mortgage and insurance partners, helping them navigate through the co-ownership journey easily.

Those who become part of the Kohab community are not charged anything while the introduction of co-ownership mortgage products holds each party responsible for their part of the loan only. This means individuals do not have to guarantee their co-buyers mortgage repayments and if buying ½ or ¼ of the property, their deposit and repayments are based only on that percentage ownership. Soon it will also enable existing property owners to unlock equity and sell a portion of their property, which may appeal to existing investors or an older demographic.

Dawson said, “With Sydney and Melbourne now ranking the second and fifth most unaffordable cities in the world, Kohab will offer one of the key answers to the housing affordability issue in Australia. We want to see more Australians ultimately owning their own home, and we are committed to educating the market on co-ownership options and facilitating those opportunities.”

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