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Cryptocurrency Starts To Make A Splash In Luxury Housing. Will It Trickel To Larger Residential And Commercial Markets?

So far, much of the buzz around cryptocurrency in real estate has been the luxury segment of the for-sale housing market. But a few early adopters in commercial real estate have begun to accept crypto in transactions.

Harbor Custom Development Inc. of Gig Harbor, Washington, will soon begin accepting 13 digital currencies as payments for its listed land, development lots, houses, condos and apartment buildings across multiple states it works in.

“We see the writing on the wall that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, in some form or another, is here to stay,” said Jeffrey Habersetzer, chief operating officer of Harbor Custom Development, in an email. “Opening access to the $2.5 trillion cryptocurrency market is a logical first step for the company, and we are excited about catering to these new buyers.”

Habersetzer said the reception thus far, ahead of the program’s Jan. 24 launch, has been positive. He said he anticipates cryptocurrency buyers to run the gamut: first-time homebuyers searching for a starter condominium, move-up buyers that need more space, luxury homebuyers and Institutional investors looking for entitled land, developed lots or multifamily projects.

But, Habersetzer said, there seems to be a lot of apprehension in the marketplace right now to accept digital currency. He said the firm has partnered with a team of industry experts to create a process that’ll look very similar to a standard cash real estate transaction, with low barriers to entry to those with significant cryptocurrency holdings.

San Diego-based REIT Presidio Property Trust Inc. (NASDAQ: SQFT) last month said it would begin accepting cryptocurrency for tenant payments and common area maintenance charges. The firm is now accepting currencies that include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Litecoin.

Attempts to reach Presidio by deadline for more information about its program were unsuccessful.

“We believe that these additional payment options will be attractive to some of our current and prospective tenants, especially in new, expansion markets,” said Gary Katz, senior vice president of asset management of Presidio, in a statement last month.

Erin Sykes, chief economist at New York-based residential and commercial brokerage firm Nest Seekers International, said she thinks there’s perhaps even more opportunity for commercial real estate to adopt cryptocurrency than the residential market. But it’ll take optimization across different points of a transaction — owners, contractors, tenants and so on — for it to become widespread, she added.


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