Over the past year, house prices around the world have been rising, thanks to a combination of government stimilus measures, a drastic reduction in international travel (boosting bank balances) and super low interest rates.
Australia is once again one the most expensive housing markets in the world, with many being priced out of the property market completely or having upwards of a ten year wait to save for a deposit, making it difficult to break out of the rent trap.
One local startup looking to make a difference in this area as Mortgage Mates, otherwise referred to as the ‘Tinder of Housing’.
Matching mortgage mates
Simply put, the service ‘matches’ two or more ‘mates’ based on a unique algorithm that finds similar preferences and lifestyles for people to own a home together. This means splitting the mortgage payments, bills and other living costs whilst also building their own personal wealth and social connections.
Recently re-launched and upgraded by social housing advocate Daisy Ashworth, the re-designed website now has newly-added features that she believes will “support even more individuals into safe and secure housing across Australia”.
The website is now able to better match ‘Mates’, with the ability to enter key personal characteristics as housemates, such as whether you smoke, whether you own or would like to own a pet and the type and style of work you undertake. By matching with people who share the same or similar lifestyle preferences, Mortgage Mates believe that this will create for a safe, and harmonious living environment.
Their mission? Affordable, better living environments for all Australians.
The team believes that co-living is one way that they can break the rent trap. Whether someone is a returning homeowner looking to re-enter the market after a relationship breakdown, or a young person looking for their first home after leaving the family unit, Mortgage Mates want to help.
Is it safe?
A natural concern for such a platform is safety. How can you ensure that your potential co-owner is who they say they are?
Daisy emphasises that the platform regularly advises its users of certain protective options to maintain their physical and financial safety. Some of the items they suggest ‘mates’ access or provide to each other are:
- National Police Checks.
- Working With Children Checks (where appropriate).
- Credit checks.
Right now, the platforms has individuals signing up from across Australia and transitioning onto the new website. For the Australian market, an in-app game is in development to support new housemates or potential mortgage mates with getting to know each other in a happy, safe and friendly way.
There are plans to expand to the UK, with its website due to launch before the end of the year. There has been interest expressed by providers in the USA and Ireland as well, which Daisy says they “will look to promote co-ownership in a number of countries in the near future”.
You can hear more about Daisy and Mortgage Mates on a recent Startup podcast: episode 58.
Visit the new Mortgage Mates website for more.