The boss of a new business offering a $500 entry to the property ladder via shares has defended his scheme.

Paul Jacobs, chief executive of The Ownery, said reactions had been almost entirely supportive, but as with any new scheme, the details may not be understood initially.

Investment expert David Whitburn recommended other ways to enter the market. Mark Lister, Craigs Investment Partners' head of private wealth research, questioned the fees, and economist Shamubeel Eaqub raised concern about the concentration and vacancy risk of single properties, saying a portfolio rather than shares in a single company would be better.

Jacobs defended the scheme and said fees were disclosed.


"A one-off initial fee of between 4 per cent and 5 per cent of the value of each house, plus GST, will be charged to savers at the time HouseShares are purchased.

"An annual fee of 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent of the value of each house plus GST will be charged to cover the administration of the company, the management of owners' exit and the management of each property and its tenants."

Borrowing would not be used, he said.

On risks around exit strategies, Jacobs said a plan was in place.

Offer documents reveal risks which include property price changes, buying at the wrong time, owning and maintaining a property, interest rate fluctuations and problems if too many shareholders want to sell at once.

Jacobs said it could be around June before the offer is open.

"There is a lot for people to comprehend, and we need sufficient support to fund the first house. I think we are looking at about two months."