Hey millennials, thinking about buying a house?

By Yair Oded

Published Sep 28, 2018 at 02:45 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

One of the greatest challenges millennials face, aside from record-high levels of neurosis and a collective sense of bewilderment, is lack of property ownership. Many of us find that as we reach our late twenties and mid-thirties, despite our best efforts, we still own…well…nothing. Statistics naturally vary, but it’s safe to say that an overwhelming portion of us, unlike our parents at this juncture in their lives, own no homes, no cars, no life insurance, no stocks or bonds, and have no substantial savings tucked away somewhere.

True—we’re a much freer generation; more mobile, less tethered. We gradually erode the conventions around and redefine what ‘work’ means, and are significantly more creative and independent in how we craft our professional careers. Alas, we live in a world where ownership still matters, and the lack of it bears serious consequences on our lives. Owning no homes means we’re highly vulnerable to the surging rent prices across the globe (and to the manias of our bizarre roommates and their pets). Having no property of any kind means we generally have no access to large sums of money if we find ourselves in an urgent need of it (for legal or medical expenses, for instance, or if we’re suddenly sacked or our slick Insta business fails). And for those of us living in the U.S., having no wealth to park somewhere also means being taxed way more heavily than those who own any sort of assets.

Yet, thanks to technology, our ability to become property owners in the foreseeable future may become more likely. At least for those with ‘basic’ purchasing power.

grey brick

A new U.K.-based startup called Proportunity has recently been funded with millions of pounds by leading estate firms in order to develop and operate a machine-learning service that will forecast the rise of property value and assist new buyers in purchasing their first home. How will this work exactly? Proportunity will employ AI technology to help a future buyer find a house tailored to their need and within their price range at an area that they project will rise in value in the years following the purchase. Using their AI tool, Proportunity is able to narrow down its property value estimates to a two-block radius. Once the buyer procures the initial 4-5 percent of the required 20 percent for a downpayment, Proportunity will provide them with the remaining 15 percent and assist them in applying for an 80 percent loan-to-value mortgage through a third lender. The buyer would then have five years to return Proportunity the 15 percent based on the new value of the property (which is how the company will generate a profit).

Proportunity’s system solves several issues faced by young new buyers. Most notably, by providing the additional 15 percent needed for a downpayment, Proportunity eliminates the hurdle of saving up 20 percent of the property value (as the latter steadily rises, many first-time buyers find themselves unable to secure a downpayment). In an interview for Techcrunch, Proportunity CEO Vadim Toader states, “One of the biggest societal challenges we face is getting the next generation onto the housing ladder…The biggest reason this is hard is that it’s increasingly difficult to save up for a deposit, even for buyers with qualifying salaries. But what if we could use technology to give people a leg up onto the housing ladder? It all starts with forecasting”.

Toader further explains to Techcrunch that he and the company’s founders are motivated by the same needs as the rest of their generation’s members, and will themselves take out a Proportunity loan: “We’re going through the process ourselves, sitting in the customer’s shoes to better understand it and fix it before releasing it to them. [I] guess it also shows we’re eating our own dog food”.

Toader lost me at ‘dog food’, although the rest sounds fairly promising. If AI-based initiatives such as Proportunity were to gain steam and credibility and prove to be a successful tool in creating a new generation of home buyers, this could propel other lenders to accommodate their services to the needs of millennials and help pave a new path to Ownership.

Keep On Reading

By Jack Ramage

Who is Dylan Page? The TikTok creator changing the way gen Z consume news

By Charlie Sawyer

Justice for Billie Piper: Why she’s worth so much more than her ex-husband Laurence Fox

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

KSI v Tommy Fury: What went down at the pre-fight conference and where to watch the boxing match

By Alma Fabiani

Bad Bunny asks journalism students to help promote his new album

By Abby Amoakuh

The worldwide war of words: Inside the disinformation campaigns surrounding the Israel-Hamas war

By Charlie Sawyer

No, controversial comedian Matt Rife didn’t compare himself to Bin Laden

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Explicit 18+ flyers of Democrat Susanna Gibson sent to voters in a sexist Republican smear campaign

By Bianca Borissova

What role did Mormons, momfluencers and pre-teen girls play in the current Stanley Cup craze?

By Charlie Sawyer

Why do people freedive and is the sport as dangerous as it’s made out to be? 

By Charlie Sawyer

Why is #FreeLiamNissan trending on Twitter and what does Elon Musk have to do with Liam Neeson?

By Abby Amoakuh

The Summer I Turned Pretty star Gavin Casalegno blasted over liking sexist and transphobic posts

By Alma Fabiani

Exposed: The fake history of pad Thai and the gastrodiplomacy behind it

By Charlie Sawyer

Deepfake video of Bella Hadid stating her support for Israel goes viral

By Abby Amoakuh

Watch the first official trailer for Netflix’s new reality TV show, Squid Game: The Challenge

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

How LinkedIn has managed to appeal to four generations at once, gen Z included

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Friends co-stars and family pay heartfelt tribute to late Matthew Perry

By Charlie Sawyer

Understanding the sneaky link: Meaning of the dating trend beyond the hook-up

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

The Satanic Temple names abortion clinic after Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s mum

By Charlie Sawyer

Watch shocking video of real-life exorcism in the middle of Times Square, New York City

By Abby Amoakuh

The things we still don’t understand about sexual assault: Why we need EU-wide Only Yes Means Yes laws