The condos for sale in Manayunk are, for lack of a better word, unexceptional. The last four units remaining at Falcon Condominiums are described in their official listing as “ideal for live/work lifestyle of entrepreneurial start-ups.” What makes these condos special? Their listing price. It’s not that the price is particularly low or egregiously high – it’s that the price is listed in bitcoin, the most popular crypto-currency on the World Wide Web. The condos are currently being offered for 987 – 1,040 bitcoin, the value of which fluctuates on a weekly (or even day-to-day) basis.
Bitcoin: coming soon to real estate transactions?
Keller Williams Real Estate’s Susanna Kunkel, listing agent for the four properties, believes that they are the first Bitcoin real estate listings in Philadelphia. While Kunkel herself has never dabbled in bitcoin, she admits that she is trying to catch the attention of a certain type of buyer: as Philly.com put it, “the high-tech denizens of North Third Street in Old City, known to some as ‘Nerd Street.'” Kunkel says that the listings show such buyers that they are respected.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to buy a home with bitcoin, however. First of all, there is the problem of the fluctuating exchange rate. Philly.com mentioned that, last Thursday, one bitcoin was worth $423.75. By Saturday, however, that rate had dropped to $370. The Manayunk condos are listed on the MLS, which doesn’t use Bitcoin, for $365,000 to $395,000. Experts say that the risk of rate fluctuation would be on the buyer. Also, many lenders might not accept Bitcoin to pay off the debt on a house. Therefore, the previous owner would have to own the home free and clear. The Manayunk condos are new, so that isn’t an issue.
Still, many other real estate agents in the area were left scratching their heads when it came to the subject. In the Philly.com piece, Jeff Block of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach said that he hadn’t heard of bitcoin and didn’t think they would fly in the high-end market with which he deals.