The AnnA Villa in Paris made headlines last week for going on sale through a blockchain auction. It is a luxury villa located in the district of Boulogne-Billancourt, carried a price of €6.5 million for interested parties. Forbes reported that this property was sold to French real estate companies Sapeb Immobilier and Valorcim.
The process involved transferring its ownership to a joint-stock company, the SAPEB AnnA, and then dividing this company down to 100 tokens, which the owners received. This tokens were further broken down to 100,000 units where individual units were sold through tokens. Through this, parts of the building can be traded for as low as €6.50.
The deal was aided by Equisafe, a blockchain investment platform based in France. It was also powered by the Ethereum token and was the latest of several efforts to bring real estate deals worldwide into the blockchain. There were reports last year of a Manhattan property which was tokenized on Ethereum, but that wasn’t the lone US property sold on the blockchain; in January this year, a luxury resort in Aspen, Colorado managed to raise $18 million through security tokens.
The deal in Europe isn’t the first blockchain real estate transaction in the world. The Real Deal reported that a San Francisco property was sold through the blockchain platform Propy. The US transaction was hailed for being a transaction that carried the blockchain trademark, which prompted Michael Arrington, who was involved in the transaction, to comment that traditional processes were ‘arduous and broken.’
Propy has managed to sell its first property online in 2017, and has since been involved in or assisted in more than 60 transfers of real estate. The price of homes on the blockchain platform is on an average of $1.5 million, hinting that most buyers may be trading through bitcoin, where prices tend to be higher than real-world money.
Propy has since offered its expertise in bitcoin transactions and processes to different county governments in the US. The real estate market is in dire need of change, and the situation in the US real estate market is no different from that of the rest of the world.
With transactions such as the San Francisco sale and the AnnA Villa deal, blockchain appears to be well on its path to disrupting the real estate world. With sustained interest in the technology, it seems that the future will be here sooner than real estate observers think.