Canada firm backed by former BOC chief Poloz launches home-buying platform

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Key, a Toronto-based real-estate technology company advised by former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz, said it was launching a digital platform to make home-buying easier by lowering down-payment requirements and removing the need to qualify for a mortgage.

Key said buyers can co-own a house by paying 2.5% of a property’s value, lower than the typical 20% requirement, and then make monthly payments that would partly be rent and partly go into increasing the buyer’s stake in the property.

The company, which counts Plazacorp and Luge Capital as investors, said it would pay the rest of the cost of a house under what it calls a co-ownership model.

Housing prices in Canada have sky-rocketed during the pandemic. In the past year, Canadian Real Estate Association’s home price index has gone up 23.4%.

“Rising homeownership costs are forcing many aspiring owners to contemplate renting for decades to come,” said Poloz, who chairs the company’s advisory board.

Key said it would partner with property owners, investors, and governments to secure condominium apartments in buildings and soon offer single-family homes.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Aurora Ellis