There seems no end to the articles with data and opinions that younger generations will increasingly be resigned to renting.
Low interest rates have created a situation with no let-up for the younger generation: property prices keeping marching up and away from people’s ability to earn and save.
Without ‘the Bank of Mum and Dad’ there are decades worth of savings in store for renters before the possibility of home ownership becomes a reality.
Many are trying to capitalise on this trend – quite literally – and it’s often best to follow the money for a glimpse at the shape of the future.
The big news in the UK was the massive fundraising by Zero Deposit.
Beyond being backed by Zoopla, the company has an all-star cast of investors.
It’s no small signal that the last company that had all the smart investors was Zoopla itself.
Intriguingly – in the same week that Zero Deposit announces its large fundraiser – Curran Mckay announced he was stepping down as CEO of Reposit.
Curran, who was on stage pitching Reposit alongside other proptech companies only last week, did not give details of why he was leaving the company he founded. There was also no comment on what he would be pursuing next.
This is strange considering how many commentators in the industry believe that insurance products in the rental space will provide a large amount of new revenue to the property industry.
You only need look to the US for a signal of how insurance products are likely to spread beyond deposit replacement.
Jetty, a New York-based insurance start-up last week raised $11.5m from investors including Peter Thiel – the billionaire Paypal founder who was the first investor in Facebook all those years ago.
This fundraising is on top of the $4m in seed capital raised in April.
The company’s balance sheet is underwritten by Munich Re – the same company underwriting deposit replacement insurance for Zero Deposit.
Described as “the world’s first insurance designed for people who live in cities”, the “Passport” products offered by Jetty include the company acting as a guarantor for 5% to 10% of annual rent and a deposit replacement insurance.
As a sign of things to come, the insurance company covers claims for Airbnb hosting – illegal for tenants in many buildings.
With Munich Re powering proptech companies in the UK as well the US, agents can soon expect to offer specialised insurance to cover renter possessions in addition to the new wave of deposit replacement insurance products.
But unlike US counterparts, we’re still a long way behind on naming conventions: Jetty’s competition in the US is Lemonade.com – which itself has raised a cool $60m in the two years since it was founded.