The Brisbane university graduate took a major gamble but it ultimately paid off as he is moving into his new home next month.
A 23-year-old has managed to break into Brisbane’s soaring property market because of an ace up his sleeve — cryptocurrency.
Loi Nguyen first started investing in blockchain in 2017 when he was in his second year of university.
Cryptocurrency boomed from 2020 onwards and Mr Nguyen realised he could afford a home in Queensland’s red-hot real estate industry.
This week, his $430,000 offer for a one-bedroom apartment in inner city Brisbane was accepted.
Mr Nguyen will settle in two weeks and move into the property next month.
He had to fork out $86,000 for a 20 per cent deposit on the flat.
“About half of that was made up of crypto,” he told news.com.au.
After finishing high school, Mr Nguyen worked full-time for a year as a bank teller but was on a pitiful salary of $28,000.
“I’m doing a lot better now,” he said with a laugh.
But during that time, the then-18-year-old learnt an important lesson about money that he credits with enabling him to enter the property market so young.
“I saw people being diligent with their savings and also saw people being very reckless,” he explained.
“You had people consistently putting savings away every week and others put stuff on the stock market.”
He decided to follow in their footsteps and had soon bought stocks as well as sinking a couple of hundred bucks into bitcoin and ethereum, the two most prominent crypto tokens that were becoming well-known by that point, in 2017.
Then, in 2018, crypto crashed, hard, and he thought that was that.
After his working gap year was over, Mr Nguyen started an economics degree.
“Crypto came back into my life when I did a course at uni on inflation. I learned that bitcoin can be disinflationary,” he explained.
“I was earning less than half a per cent on my savings account at the bank.
“I wanted to protect my purchasing power, protect my current savings, make sure my money didn’t dwindle away.
“I knew I had to be smart otherwise I would never enter break into the property market.”
So, even with many people giving up on cryptocurrency, Mr Nguyen followed a dollar cost averaging investment strategy, putting aside money every day for his stocks and cryptocurrency.
“I recognise I took on a lot of risks,” he admitted but it ultimately paid off.
When Covid-19 hit in 2020, cryptocurrency started to pick up again, as panic took over in more traditional markets.
“Crypto is quite volatile, its value rose so quickly that it overtook the value of my stock portfolio,” Mr Nguyen recalled.
He then started concentrating his efforts more on cryptocurrency, sometimes spending up to $50 a day on purchasing blockchains.
He spent an estimated $18,000 over the course of many months until he owned an entire bitcoin, then continued to put more money into bitcoin and ethereum.
At its peak in November last year, a single bitcoin was worth $96,000.
As banks do not currently recognise cryptocurrency as an asset, Mr Nguyen knew he would have to cash out in order to show he had the money behind him for a home loan.
Using the same principle of dollar cost averaging, he pulled out his cryptocurrency slowly over time, when it was worth between $80,000 and $50,000.
Before purchasing his property, he cashed out about $43,000 in cryptocurrency, which makes up less than half his overall portfolio.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own property to be able live in it,” Mr Nguyen said.
“Cryptocurrency allowed me to do that earlier.”
It comes as real estate agents are seeing more and more young people investing in cryptocurrency to help them break into Australia’s turbocharged property market.
Adam Flynn, the state director of real estate firm Coronis Group Victoria, believes millennials and Gen Z-ers would be better off investing their savings into cryptocurrency if they want to become homeowners.
Mr Flynn, who owns a property portfolio worth $7 million, has invested a substantial portion of his own wealth into cryptocurrency.
It is possible for younger Aussies to purchase a home, if they get started on earning and saving straight away, according to Mr Flynn.
“Just get involved as soon as you’ve got enough of a deposit whereby any lender will finance you and there is nothing wrong with borrowing money, especially at the moment with interest rates so low as capital growth takes care of everything,” he said.