The housing market in the tangible world is crazy, but the metaverse is still the frontier with lots of room for all. In fact, virtual real estate is inherently infinite, notes Winston Robson, CEO at WeMeta, a virtual real estate valuation company.
How did you become involved in the Metaverse and virtual real estate?
I was looking to start a company, had just quit my job, and was doing different hackathons in the blockchain and Web3 space. I tried different ideas….I remember I tried mortgages on chain, I tried Airbnb on chain, I tried a few different things. Then I came across somebody at Web 3 weekend ETH Global last May who was talking about building something for the Metaverse. That was the first time I heard about it. That was the first time I hopped into Decentraland and then I got into Crypto Voxels. I was just fascinated by the idea that these things have different land, that it was actually worth something and that people would build on it. It reminded me of a lot of Roblox and other games I used to play where you own a property that people can visit, and from there we scaled. I was trying to start a business and I had a background in real estate, data science and there was this opportunity where nobody really understood what was going on and, you know, people were talking about it and really liked it. I came in and looked at the data, saw the value there and so that is how I became involved.
Why is virtual real estate valuation such a difficult concept for investors to gauge?
This concept is difficult for many people to wrap their heads around because the Metaverse is still a challenging concept. The mere fact that the property is virtual makes it harder to conceptualize and attach a value to it. But it’s important to remember that the valuation of these properties comes not from their physical properties but from the fact that people still visit these virtual properties. With the death of a lot of people’s 3rd places due to the pandemic, the Metaverse is stepping in to fill that void, and this inherently provides value.
What are some of the most important differences between virtual and traditional real estate? How do these differences affect their valuations?
The differences are still undefined; they can be as similar or as dissimilar as the user wants it to be. Your Facebook page is virtual real estate, what’s its valuation? Quite high, actually. One of the things virtual real estate lacks is privacy. It’s almost impossible to be alone in the virtual world. Even your own phone is tracked, so there isn’t really the possibility of privacy.
The question is, what are you satisfying with virtual real estate? You can visit your virtual real estate from any physical location, which is another differentiating factory. In summation, their valuation becomes what is important to the consumer. The overarching factor though is the ability to generate revenue. Physical real estate is static but virtual real estate is inherently infinite, and thus has the potential for infinite possibility for growth, which is super exciting.
What are the important factors to consider with digital land? How does WeMeta use these factors to value properties?
Currently, digital land is evaluated in a largely location-based way. The constraints of building are really based on location the same way building physical real estate differs by location. However, there is more to the potential valuation besides location. In the near future, WeMeta plans to focus more on the amenities that these digital properties can provide, rather than just where the property is located in its respective metaverse. Over time we plan to flip the evaluation model on its head from being based on sales history of nearby properties to being based on similar experiences.
Where do you see the future of digital real estate?
You own what you own and it’s not part of a central collective. The problem right now is it’s all running on AWS but in the future it could be completely decentralized.I think the future of digital real estate is super exciting. I see it almost as a GTA or Roblox, or any game with a map that can be built upon and innovated. Unfortunately, there isn’t a techstack that we currently have that allows for this. Ethic with their Unreal engine is doing a pretty good job but it’s not a Web3 native so we’ll see how it works.
What advice would you offer to those who are interested in investing in the Metaverse but don’t know where to start?
I would first ask someone how they define investing in the metaverse, because to some extent buying stock in any company with virtual real estate could be considered investing in the metaverse. On the other hand building experiences in these decentralized spaces is a great way to start as well. Learning how to create Web3 native technology is the best way to prepare you for the future of the metaverse.
Peter Page is the Contributions Editor at Grit Daily. Formerly at Entrepreneur.com, he began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter long before print journalism had even heard of the internet, much less realized it would demolish the industry. The years he worked a police reporter are a big influence on his world view to this day. Page has some degree of expertise in environmental policy, the energy economy, ecosystem dynamics, the anthropology of urban gangs, the workings of civil and criminal courts, politics, the machinations of government, and the art of crystallizing thought in writing.
Real estate markets slow in most nearby communities – Calgary Herald
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Slowing demand and rising supply in outlying communities like Airdrie have set in along with cooler temperatures of late summer, recent data shows.
Calgary Real Estate Board statistics from last month show sales falling year over year in most communities while supply is rising.
“In all those markets, we’ve seen improvements in inventory,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB.
“Still these markets remain quite tight, but we are seeing some price adjustments and that’s because they came up so high during the pandemic.”
Airdrie is the largest and most in-demand market with the highest sales last month, 169 transactions, down almost eight per cent year over year. Still, the community saw inventory rise more than 10 per cent with now more than 1.69 months of supply, an increase of nearly 20 per cent from last year.
Other communities have also seen sales fall and supply rise. These include Cochrane, which had 75 sales, down about 17 per cent from August last year. Its supply is now more than two months, up about 26 per cent year over year.
Okotoks had 53 sales in August, down about 19 per cent year over year while supply grew to more than 1.8 months.
Despite falling demand and growing supply, prices still grew year over year in these communities. The benchmark price in Airdrie increased almost 19 per cent to $493,500. In Cochrane, the benchmark price grew by more than 16 per cent to $517,400 while the benchmark reached $549,300 in Okotoks, also an increase of more than 16 per cent.
Chestermere saw the biggest drop in sales year over year at more than 48 per cent.
Only High River experienced a slight increase in activity with sales last month up 2.5 per cent versus the same span last year.
Spotlight: Making sense of the current real estate market in Newmarket – NewmarketToday.ca
Buying a home at any time is a huge undertaking. It requires a lot of preparation, time and access to expertise.
Homeowners—and those who wish to become one for the first time—have it even harder right now, with conditions seeming to change from month to month.
REALTOR® Dave Starr specializes in home buying and selling in Newmarket and the surrounding areas. With over 35 years of experience in the real estate industry, he is happy to share what he’s learned with others.
Slowing things down
So how would he describe the current state of the market in Newmarket? “It’s finally more normal and realistic,” he says. “A prospective buyer has a little more breathing room to make sure that their financing is in place and they can also consider a home inspection.”
A seller will benefit by working with a more seasoned agent, he says, because they have had prior experience with similar markets. He likens the situation to a professional athlete who has played in the playoffs before or competed in a large-scale event like the Masters in golf.
Earlier in the year, the market was not realistic.
That tended to leave buyers, sellers and agents scrambling. “The end result can be a situation with buyer’s remorse, where the buyer no longer wants to close on their purchase. The banks sometimes struggle with appraisals, which can also result in a non-closure,” he says. “In the fast-paced market that took place earlier, some agents potentially made more mistakes, especially since they weren’t experienced enough to handle multiple offers.”
Home inspections and interest rates
While some homes may not require a home inspection, there are lots that definitely need one. “In an extremely busy market, buyers could potentially end up with an unwanted surprise—at a great expense,” says the REALTOR®.
He likens it to the necessity of having speed limits on our roadways. The faster you go, the more chances you have of getting into an accident.
“We are now facing an increased mortgage rate, which many would not like to see, but the truth is it will help balance the market overall. Lower interest rates basically were one of the reasons for the inflated house prices and homeowners were simply taking on larger mortgages than ever,” he says.
For years many homeowners would tell him the same thing: that mortgage money was cheap to them. His answer to that never varied: “You do know you have to pay it back at some point.” If the rate were guaranteed for a lifetime, it would be a different story, but of course that’s not the way it works.
The market over the summer was slower but typical; that has become the norm over the past few years.
The fall market is already starting to pick up, with increased activity, though the number of listings in Newmarket is quite low. Rental availability is both quite expensive and experiencing a shortage.
Says Starr, “The market moving forward should remain stable. Buyers and sellers will have more time to make the best educated decision for their needs and wants.”
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, he welcomes any calls or emails.
Let Dave Starr Real Estate help you make your next move. Call 416-520-3231 and get the Starr treatment you deserve.
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