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Proptech

Resale property investment platform helps raise £60m to buy ‘thousands’ of homes

London-based IMMO says its technology will make buying resale homes efficient enough to unlock the market for institutional investors.

Nigel Lewis

IMMO

The march of City cash into the private rental market has taken a step forward after IMMO, a start-up that buys properties directly off vendors on behalf of institutional investors, was yesterday given a staggering £10 million by half a dozen venture capital funds, and has so far helped attract house buying funds worth £60 million.

Talis, one of the funds, says IMMO has the potential to become a global ‘mega brand’ by using technology to ‘unlock the opportunity’ for institutional investors in the resales market.

To date, City cash has steered clear of the market served by estate agents because of the difficulties of acquiring properties quickly and cheaply.

IMMO, which operates in the UK and Germany, is to buy thousands of houses direct from private vendors and then refurbish them for upmarket tenants in areas that are ‘safe neighbourhoods with great transport’.

Buy houses

The proptech company claims that its tech platform enables it to source, appraise and buy houses and apartments digitally.

IMMO’s new money has come from a variety of European property and tech investors and is to be spent on accelerating growth.

The company was launched two years ago by Hans-Christian Zappel (above, fourth from left) and Avinav Nigam (above, second from left).

“Selling a property is the biggest and often most stressful transaction in our lives,” says Zappel. “When selling to IMMO, customers enjoy a chain-free, professional experience that is fast, reliable, transparent and convenient.

“We offer attractive prices without charging fees and enable home sellers to plan their lives around this important transaction.”

The company is currently hiring for some 30 staff in the UK and Germany including an in-house property management team.

November 12, 2019

One comment

  1. Given that the government has done all it can to squeeze the private landlord out of the market, the list of recent counter measures is a long one and often discussed, in principal major investors buying into the rental sector seems a logical conclusion. But, it will be interesting to see where IMMO goes with this.

    Back in the 1990’s I remember driving around in my car with a gentleman looking to buy 20 properties in my town that day for an institution who had money to invest. We looked at about half the stock that my agency had to sell and he bought about a dozen, six of which he had never seen. He / they exchanged and completed on every deal and the price paid was full and fair market price.

    So, the experience was a good one, for me, the vendors and the buyer. I just wonder can you buy second hand property on an industrial scale, would the build to rent sector not be a better route, than refurbishing crumbling Victorian villas? This seems a strange strategy.

    I had forseen, more pension funds being sunk into the rental market, and that may well happen.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and what sector of the market IMMO will be investing in. £60M sounds a lot but if average sale price is £250,000, that is probably 220 rentals, with the other cash left over to run the scheme and cover stamp duty, conveyancing and the team that is running the show.

    Also, 220 rentals what rental would they need to achieve to make the figures stack up – thoughts anyone? On the positive capital growth is certainly a factor as well, those flats I sold for £32,000 in 1996 are now selling for £195,000 25-years down the line.

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