Hong Kong-based property portal Spacious.hk has recently expanded into the global market in a bid to cater to more affluent Asian property investors – and it’s got some very unusual features that may just prove deadly to the competition.
Former Goldman Sachs equity technology developer Asif Ghafoor, the brains behind the start-up, launched the site in mid-2013 as a remedy against Hong Kong’s non-user friendly property rental websites. He designed Spacious.hk to provide reliable, easy to navigate, rental and sales listings for the Hong Kong market.
The portal’s ‘Haunted Houses’ feature is a especially interesting, if a little macabre, where it pinpoints the properties currently being listed where deaths have recently occurred.
Using his 11 years of experience of writing equity trading algorithms, Spacious founder Ghafoor has brought a number of other interesting features to the site which features a wide array of metrics.
According to The South China Morning Post, portal users can compare the value of a property against others in the building and neighbourhood whilst using the heat map feature to see where the concentration of English-speaking people live, the average age of their neighbours, or even where the highest proportions of single and divorced people live.
Including innovative features has so far been positive for Spacious’ rapid development: the start-up has witnessed a 30 percent month-on-month growth since its establishment nearly two years ago, and some 70,000 users visit the site every month.
Sporting more than 9,000 rental listings in Singapore and some 3,000 rental listings from 20 real estate agents in Shanghai, Spacious’ overseas Asian footprint has considerably grown in recent months.
Given the success of the online realty project in such a short time, the young company has unveiled global expansion plans in key neighbouring markets; Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei were the first to be added in January, and now Miami and London will also be included in Spacious’ growing roster, according to a recent report by The South China Morning Post.
Some Miami properties have already been added to the portal through local agents Brokers International Realty, including a USD19.5 million waterside villa. Meanwhile, London sales listings will soon be added through brokerage Keller Williams.
Ghafoor primarily attributes the site’s overnight success to Asian outbound investor appetite for property. “People in a place like Hong Kong are always looking for investment opportunities and real estate is the most important asset class in Asia,” he said.
Image by Ron Reiring and used under a Creative Commons licence