More than 100 New Zealanders have chipped in at least $100 each, to buy themselves a little piece of Oamaru.
The purchase of Lot 33 Ashburn St last month was the first successful deal for new crowd-funding platform Opoly.
By investing a minimum of $100, 115 members of the public became co-owners of the 1065sq m section at a purchase price of $105,000.
Each investor had a number of the 1050 shares, relative to their investment and the property would be sold in three years.
Opoly co-founder and chief financial officer Isaac Williams said an estimated return, based on the last five years of growth in Oamaru property values, was 12.23%.
“Oamaru is one of the areas we are constantly going to be looking out for, because we feel growth is going to keep increasing,” Mr Williams said.
“The sections being made available by council are not enough to keep up with demand and this will continue to push up prices.”
Shareholders had initially shown no particular interest in the North Otago town, and a poll revealed a high percentage had wanted to buy in the Waikato or Hawke’s Bay, but prices were too high, he said.
“We feel Oamaru is such a cool place, which a lot of people in the North Island might just be getting exposed to.”
Most of the investors in the Ashburn St property came from Auckland (32), Wellington (27), and Canterbury (13). There was also one overseas investor.
The goal of the crowd-funding initiative was to make property investing accessible for all New Zealanders.
The concept was called “blockified property” and was the brainchild of Opoly co-founder Felix Watkins.
When deciding on a new property to buy, Mr Williams said the company looked in areas where there had been population growth, or it was forecast, and where population density is increasing.
“The population density metric shows us that over time, the area is getting more and more crowded, and this leads to price increases.”
Opoly was partnered with PledgeMe to provide extra confidence to its investors, but was in the process of developing an app so shares could be purchased more easily.
Opoly bought the Ashburn St lot through LJ Hooker Oamaru principal Stephen Robertson, who was “very accommodating”, Mr Williams said.