Would-be home-owners - who can't afford a house on their own - are linking up online to combine their savings and get on the property ladder.

The online startup, Miuwi, says it acts like a dating service, linking first-home buyers and property investors so they can pool their money and buy homes in a shared-ownership deal.

The project - which jokes it is the Tinder of property investing - believes it has hit on a model that can open up home ownership to many young Kiwis at a time when ownership rates are at their lowest levels in 60 years.

With Auckland regularly ranked among the world's most unaffordable housing markets and community groups estimating up to 90,000 Kiwi families can no longer afford homes in the city, company co-founder Brad Parsonson said the situation had become dire.


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Many young Kiwis no longer even thought about home ownership, he said.

But after going to an "inspiring tech conference" Parsonson and co-founder Nicola Valentine - who have backgrounds in property and financial services - felt that technology could offer a solution.

For Parsonson, the solution involves a database of buyers and a system to match them in compatible home-buying partnerships.

The buyers don't need to be looking for their first home - the service works just as well for investors, he said.

Miuwi's role is to help buyers decide if they match up, complete background credit checks, assist them to get the house they want, draw up the legal documents and connect them with insurance and home loan products.

Miuwi currently doesn't charge a fee, but receives a commission from the companies whose services the buyers use.

One of the first to use the service are Aucklanders Baylee Niwa and her friend Becky.

While they knew each other, they chose to use Miuwi because of its all-round service it offered.

The buying process had seemed intimidating to them as they watched other friends get stressed out when purchasing their first home.

When they found their three-bedroom, two bathroom Birkenhead home, Miuwi sent in a real estate agent to negotiate the price for them.

A lawyer then helped them commission a building inspection report, draw money out from their KiwiSaver and oversee the legal contracts - including a side contract between the two friends.

The side contract includes details of what happens if one of the women decides to move out or goes travelling or even if one dies.

They have decided that if they sell the house, each should get their respective deposits back and then split any profits gained 50-50.

Becky, 27, used to believe she had to wait for the right boyfriend before she could afford a house.

Together they could then cobble together enough money for a home loan deposit - or so she thought.

But then her long time pal 28-year-old Niwa, proposed a different idea, telling her about start-up company Miuwi, which playfully calls itself the Tinder of property investing.

It helped the friends combine a $90,000 deposit to buy a three-bedroom home in Birkenhead and walked them step-by-step through the buying and legal process.

When they take possession of the home in two weeks, they will live as flatmates while renting out the master bedroom to another person for more than $350 per week.

This should then leave them with about $350 per week each in mortgage repayments.

Becky said she would never have got a foot on the property ladder so young without Miuwi's help, and - unlike a boyfriend - she can't see herself ever breaking-up with Niwa.

"If I had a partner and you break up, then we would need to get rid of our house," she said.

"Whereas if me and Baylee do go our separate ways, we can still rent the house out and make a secondary income."

And the friends aren't just investing their life savings together, much like an old couple they will also be living together day-in and day-out as flatmates.

"Becky and I really trust each other and are really good friends. We'd always put that friendship above anything else," Niwa said.

And unlike if they bought a house on their own and were forced to budget hard and live on Auckland's fringes, by sharing the cost they can afford to live close to the city and their jobs and still enjoy avocado on toast and coffee.

"We are both single females under 30 years old. We don't want it to mean we can't go out for brunch or dinner or to have a few drinks," Niwa said.

"Sharing the cost means we can still have a little bit of disposable income to enjoy life."