New digital marketplace for private rented sector launches

A new digital property marketplace aimed at the private rented sector (PRS) has been launched.

Vesta is expected to transform the sector by driving both transparency and scalability throughout the market.

The management team behind Vesta includes property and fintech entrepreneurs who developed the digital property marketplace to underpin growing institutional investment that could bring the UK’s PRS in line with the US and other European markets.

The team – which is led by fintech entrepreneur and Vesta chief executive Russell Gould (pictured above) – includes Bob Wigley, chairman, who is also the chairman of UK Finance and a board member of European Banking Federation, and Chris Lacey, a non-executive director, who was previously head of residential capital markets at CBRE.

Vesta offers properties that have ‘tenants in place’, which enables sellers to earn all the way to completion, buyers to earn from day one, while tenants avoid unnecessary disruption.

“Within the next five years, we strongly believe that Vesta will be the norm for the residential investment property sector, bringing together housebuilders, buy-to-let sellers, buyers and property investors,” said Russell.

“Akin to the introduction of eBay and Amazon, the PRS has been crying out for change, and new technologies have now made this possible.

“The unique Vesta online marketplace is designed to provide buyers and sellers with more choice and a faster, simpler and assured process, while reducing the chances of gazumping.

“Buyers can make offers or choose to buy at a guaranteed price with due diligence complete and tenants in place – a refreshing change to the current outdated system.”

Russell continued: “So much of this sector is owned by small investors who buy and sell properties that are vacant and unfurnished.

“This is costly, time consuming and often a painful experience for tenants and landlords.

“With less rental and capital growth on the horizon, costly tax changes relating to both stamp duty and interest set-offs and tougher rules around mortgage terms,  there's an enormous potential in our trading platform to attract institutional investors, a government policy objective.”

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