Virtual reality sees first residential investment

By Minghao Zhao, CNN • Updated 31st October 2017

As the world’s most ambitious virtual reality expansion begins to take shape, the properties the internet-connected Metaverse owners will be renting out are gradually coming online.

The still-experimental virtual marketplace (which lets the user build a world entirely online in which they can visit and move around freely) has announced 40,000 Metaverse properties are now available to rent for virtual reality exhibitions.

Metaverse property hasn’t been cheap. The cost of a single house, which can be rented out for VR viewing, goes for a hefty $10,000 in the world’s first private player, according to the Metaverse Real Estate website.

Metaverse property prices have been accordingly, and they’re attracting serious money from players.

A single property on the global Metaverse reserve is currently being valued at more than $2 million — maybe not in the same league as the exorbitant amounts their online counterparts are currently trading for, but way, way out in front of the virtual house market price.”

However, a recent placement offer, made public earlier this month, has left many Metaverse renters dreaming about the ultimate purchase, priced at $10,000 per unit. This one property has more than a million users checking out it, giving it an average of 17 million impressions per day.

“Units are snapped up almost instantly, virtually every minute and often in two, three or four minutes of interested viewings, and new property becomes immediately available all over the world,” said Jeff Reibstein, a Venice-based broker, on the website.

“As a broker specializing in premium VR for real estate, it’s fantastic to watch the popularity of this virtual reality real estate platform grow to the point where we have one million users checking out one residential property each day.”

The virtual world is still in its infancy, not even several months old in general and only recently gaining international recognition as a first in its sector.

“Right now, people are trying to position themselves,” Jonas Ricks, chief executive officer of the firm that creates Metaverse Real Estate, told The Guardian, “and I think that there’s a first-mover advantage here.”

A range of geo-demographic factors make each virtual reality experience uniquely tailored to the individuals it’s presented to — whether they’re an anthropomorphized character who jumps from era to era, or real people trying to hide behind an avatar while diving into the Metaverse.

“We’ve tried to decide on a simple data type, so that, theoretically, any sort of transaction or property listing is the same,” says Ricks.

It’s these simplifications that the developers hope will eventually lead to full-fledged VR residential opportunities (though obviously that’ll depend on the developers’ last name).

“What we want to do is really use the technology to create the best experience of connecting people, and across space and time, across any platform,” Ricks added.

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