In the Spotlight with Neel Kawale

We caught up with Neel Kawale, co-founder and CEO of Haüskey and asked him about the differences between the US and UK off-plan markets and the main challenges that the London property market faces.

Related topics:  In The Spotlight
Property Reporter
18th March 2022
Neel Kawale - 935

PR: How did you get into the property industry and what is your current role?

NK: I’m the co-founder and CEO of Haüskey, a global off-plan property digital marketplace. We help buyers and investors purchase properties for less, and help developers to sell more through our unique monetary incentives and market-leading technology.

We originally began as a Canadian off-plan real estate marketplace headquartered in Toronto. However, we’ve since expanded into the UK with operations based in Manchester and the US, with operations based in Miami. I oversee all global operations, working closely with my market teams to make buying and selling off-plan property easier and more cost-effective.

I’m passionate about creating disruptive and new-to-market technology and have nearly a decade of experience in management consulting, enterprise software, next-generation technology and venture capital.

I built Haüskey as I felt both the process and fees associated with buying and selling off-plan properties could be significantly improved. I knew we could provide big cost and timing efficiencies in every step of the property-purchasing journey through our unique platform. And that’s how Haüskey was born!

PR: What would you say the main differences are between off-plan investment in the USA and UK?

NK: In the UK, the off-plan property market is largely investor-driven, with many properties bought in mass to expand investor portfolios. However, the US market tends to be driven by a more even ratio of homebuyers and investors.

The UK is considered somewhat of a ‘safe haven’ for investors, remaining one of the top hotspots for property investment from overseas buyers - and rightly so. Property in the UK continues to provide good capital growth and there is strong rental demand across the nation, especially for new build properties.

The off-plan property market in the US is highly segmented and largely driven by fast-growing economic areas. For example, Miami and Austin, Texas offer some of the best returns on investment in the country, with stable rental markets and favourable business and tax regulations. These locations in particular are also supported by well-established infrastructures and good climates, which is another big consideration for investors within the US market.

From a regulatory and tax perspective, there are also significant differences within the UK and US that need to be adhered to when it comes to purchasing and selling property. This leads to different sales velocities within the different states and countries.

PR: What are the main challenges facing the London property market at the moment?

NK: One of the main challenges facing the London property market at the moment is continuing to manage the impact of the period of inactivity (or somewhat restricted activity) following the pandemic.

Over the past 18-months, there has also been some reluctance for people to buy or sell during the pandemic and although some UK regions thrived, London appeared to be hit quite hard with this.

That said the London property market has always been incredibly resilient – perhaps one of the most resilient and buoyant property hotspots in the world.

We’re currently seeing an increase in customers looking to invest in the capital, and I think we’ll see a resurgence in property prices and investment in the near future.

PR: How does Haüskey differ from its competitors?

NK: We’re committed to ensuring our customers get the best property, from the best developers and for the best price – all through our unique platform.

As a digital-native company, we are BitPay enabled, allowing buyers and investors to turn their cryptocurrency into tangible assets. We also provide market-leading money back cash-rebate incentives on a large number of our properties, in the form of cash or cryptocurrencies. This – alongside the overall cost savings of purchasing off-plan property – makes buying through Haüskey a more affordable and cost-efficient option for buyers and investors alike.

Haüskey is also very active in other international markets, meaning we can provide a ‘one-stop-marketplace’ for buyers and investors looking to purchase in the UK and overseas locations.

Our dedicated teams around the world can provide expert guidance and advice to help buyers find the right properties for them, and at the right price.

PR: What are the main risks to buying off-plan in the current economic climate?

NK: There are risks associated with purchasing any property and in some cases, these risks have been exasperated by the pandemic.

For example, general inflation on material and labour costs is at an all-time high and has understandably put pressure on the property market. There have also been supply chain challenges and government restrictions, which in some cases have impacted construction timings.

But the many benefits of buying an off-plan property often outweighs this, such as purchasing property below market value (and often using a down payment system to avoid hefty deposits) with high rental appeal and promising yields.

From a home buyer perspective, the current climate has also driven the Government to provide additional support schemes helping more people to get on to the property ladder.

PR: What are your predictions for the UK property market in 2022?

NK: Technology will of course continue to advance, making every step of the real estate transaction more efficient, transparent and cost-effective. And as hybrid working continues to be the ‘new normal’ for many, online purchases will continue to rise, including big purchases such as properties.

From a spending perspective, I think we will see an increase in the use of crypto-based payments for tangible assets such as property, and even for ongoing payments such as rent. We may also see the rollout of NFT Smart Contracts, which could reshape the property market as we once knew it.

Then as the highly anticipated HS2 line comes closer to completion, I suspect we’ll continue to see increased investor capital in some of the key cities on the line such as Birmingham and Manchester.

More like this
Latest from Financial Reporter
Latest from Protection Reporter
to our newsletter

Join a community of over 20,000 landlords and property specialists and keep up-to-date with industry news and upcoming events via our newsletter.