Metaverse Real Estate: How Does Buying Virtual Property Work?

Updated on August 29th, 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Everything is becoming virtual nowadays. From artwork and concerts, to marketing and meetups, virtual tools have entered most people’s daily routines. But what about real estate? Is it possible to own digital property in a virtual world? Yes. Enter: metaverse real estate

Buying property in the metaverse isn’t like traditional real estate – a family buying a house in Phoenix, AZ, or renting an apartment in Seattle, WA, for example. So what is metaverse real estate, and how does it work? Read on to learn more about life in a virtual world and untangle what’s behind all of the hype.

The Sandbox real estate map

What is metaverse real estate?

Metaverse real estate (also known as digital real estate and virtual real estate) is made up of parcels of land in a virtual, interactive world – simply put, pixels on a computer. People buy and sell this land with cryptocurrencies, generally as an investment. 

Metaverse real estate is part of the metaverse, which is a collection of online platforms where strangers can connect with each other, businesses can release digital products, and people can buy, sell, and lease virtual property. The most popular metaverse websites, like Decentraland and The Sandbox, host space for buying, selling, and leasing real estate.

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How does metaverse real estate work?

To buy land in the metaverse, people log onto their favorite hosting website, hover over pixels in your price range, and see details about the current owner and its sale history. They then place an offer and wait to see if it gets accepted. If it is, they receive a unique piece of code on a blockchain that finalizes their ownership. 

When you own a parcel of land, you can do anything you want with it as long as you have the money. You can sell it with a metaverse real estate agent, build a skyscraper with a developer, create a dance floor, or craft a public park.

Apart from consumers, many companies are also trying to buy a stake in the metaverse real estate sphere. Samsung launched a metaverse store location known as Samsung 837X, Adidas purchased a plot intended for exclusive brand content, and Atari owns virtual land where people can play their video games.


How do people enter the metaverse? 

The metaverse is a lot like a video game. To enter it, people create an account, log in, talk with friends, and see the world. If they’re interested in real estate, they also look at what blocks of land are available. Importantly, there is no central metaverse platform. Instead, it’s made up of standalone video games.

How do people buy and sell land in the metaverse, and how much does it cost?

Prices depend on the platform and the day. Many metaverse platforms set a predetermined amount of real estate blocks for sale to demand more value. These values fluctuate daily depending on digital assets’ worth and user demand. Similar to the real world, location plays an important role in determining value. For example, blocks located next to a famous company or celebrity often go for a premium.

Generally, buying property in the metaverse is risky, and buyers should be cautious.

Is metaverse real estate popular? 

Popularity revolves around news cycles, social media trends, and cryptocurrency values. In general, many metaverse websites are currently platforms whose prices are fueled by hype. They’re also often broken, glitchy, and prone to economic manipulation. Behind all the marketing, virtual real estate is a small community.


What do cryptocurrencies have to do with the metaverse?

People buy and sell real estate in the metaverse with cryptocurrencies, most commonly Bitcoin and Ethereum. One of the metaverse’s founding principles was to be a platform that didn’t depend on large, centralized companies. Therefore, it needed a decentralized currency, like cryptocurrency, for the platform to function.


What will metaverse real estate become?

As technology gets more complex and graphics become more lifelike, virtual worlds will get closer to mimicking the physical world. Companies will likely continue to innovate and blend virtual and physical worlds as more people engage with their brands. Metaverse real estate may become the next hotspot for investing. However, a lot would need to change. 

The idea that there will be a single, unified “metaverse” (think “Ready Player One”) is currently impossible. Here’s why:

  • Profit: Companies would have to cooperate to unify their virtual worlds, leading to shared profits, among other things.
  • Computing power: Interoperability is a long way away. The computing power necessary to fuse hundreds of gigantic virtual experiences together and make them interact with each other is mind-boggling. Not to mention the difficulty of bringing hundreds of millions of people across the globe into one giant world. 
  • Interaction: How will people interact with the metaverse? Currently, VR goggles are large, inaccessible, and uncomfortable. Technology is not yet advanced enough to make entering a lifelike virtual reality easy.

Most people use the internet every day to help with an increasing number of tasks. Twenty years ago, this seemed impossible. Twenty years from now, many people believe it will be hard to go a day without entering the metaverse. So what will metaverse real estate eventually become? Only time will tell.

Redfin does not endorse any of the activities or products mentioned. This material is not intended to provide legal, tax, or investment advice. Redfin strongly recommends that consumers make independently-informed financial decisions that are right for their situation.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Jamie Forbes

Jamie is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about home trends, finance, and climate. His dream home is a small, modern, and minimalist forested home where he can hear the wind blowing at night.

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