Back in September, we reported on a major milestone in bitcoin’s evolution into a respectable medium of exchange for large purchases: A Dallas real estate agent had negotiated the first all-bitcoin purchase of a US home on record. Few details about the home or the identity of the buyers were released. However, given bitcoin’s blistering rise since then – the value of a single coin has more than doubled – it’s reasonable to assume that, whoever they are, they probably regret pulling the trigger on their dream home, seeing as, if they had just waited two more months, they could’ve bought two. Indeed, the unknown seller of the home reportedly earned $1.3 million from the bitcoin they accepted as payment in the transaction.
At the time, we predicted that it wouldn’t be long before settling real-estate transactions in bitcoin would be commonplace, something we imagine could help further inflate real-estate prices in trendy markets like San Francisco, while also potentially attracting real-estate speculators to also dabble in bitcoin.
As if according to some preordained plan, Cryptocoins News reported this weekend that real-estate agents in both Miami and New York City are warming to bitcoin, and some have even convinced their clients to accept payment in the digital currency.
Eric Fernandez, owner of Sol/Mar Real Estate, recently listed a $3.5 million penthouse condo at the Blue Diamond in Miami Beach, Fla. saying the owners would accept payment in bitcoin or Ethereum, according to the Miami New Times.
Fernandez believes it is only a matter of time before bitcoin acceptance for real estate purchases gains popularity.
Fernandez is not the only real estate agent who expects more homes to be bought with digital currency. Bitcoin is achieving cult status for international buyers. Some believe Miami will lead this trend.
Another Miami realtor, Stephan Burke, who listed a Coral Gables mansion for sale in August, said the seller would accept bitcoin. Burke pointed out that Miami is an ideal market for bitcoin since it offers investors from South America, Canada, Asia and Russia a way to quickly purchase property.
* * *
Manhattan realtors are also jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon, according to Ben Shaoul, of Magnum Real Estate Group.
We were approached by a buyer who has been collecting bitcoin for many years and was interested in using it to buy property.
Since then there have been a further two to three customers who have approached the developer to see if they can purchase luxury condos with the cryptocurrency. Prices for these properties range in price from $700,000 to $1.5 million.
The United Kingdom has also recorded a few examples of sellers accepting payment in bitcoin for their homes, with at least one case of a seller accepting payment only in bitcoin.
Last month, a Notting Hill mansion in London was put up for sale with the asking price of $17 million, believed to be a first for the metropolitan city. In this case, though, the seller is only accepting bitcoin. In the last week it has been reported that a 49-year-old man has put his £80,000 house up for sale, with the option of accepting the digital currency.
Meawhile, a UK co-living company has announced that it will begin accepting down payments made in bitcoin, making it that much easier for traders hooked on effortless, outstanding returns to speculate in another bubble-prone market: UK housing.
Of course, bitcoin’s somestimes-extreme volatility presents risks. But the NYC realtors say they’re not worried.
“Would you stop investing in stock markets? No, you wouldn’t. Each person is going to have a risk assessed judgement on whether or not they want to invest in bitcoin,” one realtor said.
And now that traders can easily purchase futures contracts allowing them to profit off of declines in the bitcoin price, sellers can purchase protection to offset some of the risk.