With the world economy continuing on a rocky trajectory, even former crypto bulls are starting to have some doubts about when the crypto winter will end and are selling -- or at least closing their eyes and holding tight in the hope that a thaw arrives. The same attitude has afflicted non-fungible token (NFT) real estate in the metaverse.

Unlike coins and tokens, metaverse real estate (sold as NFTs) continues to provide an immediate benefit for land investors, making it an attractive asset class for the otherwise crypto cautious during this snowy season. If you've been waiting to make a metaverse play, now is a great time to get involved. Here's why.

1. Metaverse real estate is significantly discounted

Even though prices for metaverse real estate continue to fall, they still hold significant value as rentable assets. What that really means is that what you buy now and either use for your own business or rent to other businesses is likely to turn out to be a bargain when the crypto spring begins.

For example, as of August 2022, the average floor price for a lot in Decentraland (MANA -21.26%) was $2,951.90. That's down from a floor of $3,064.07 in June, and even down from an average sales price of $6,359.10 in October 2021.

2. But despite dropping land prices, virtual land rentals are still in demand

Despite the dip in land pricing, property construction continues at a steady pace, with companies like Pepperidge Farm, Snapple, and Jose Cuervo opening metaverse-based projects this month.

It's a little harder to know what these properties are renting for since most land holders won't discuss specifics. But in an interview with FastCompany, Sam Huber, virtual property developer and landowner in the metaverse, explained that his company, LandVault (formerly Admix), rents developed properties for upward of $60,000 per month, with up to 70% profit.

3. There's still interest across the metaverse

Despite prices that are largely being dragged down by sagging crypto coins, there's major interest in the metaverse. A significant chunk of the slowdown in trading seems to be due to a lack of available properties for sale, with both Decentraland and The Sandbox (SAND -22.33%) having only a small inventory available. The Sandbox, as of Sept. 19, had just 3,408 parcels, or 2.10% of its total properties, for sale through its marketplace. Decentraland had just 652 parcels and estates available on its own marketplace, or 0.67% of its total properties.

Perhaps what's even more telling is that the newest sweetheart metaverse platform, Otherside by The Bored Ape Yacht Club, which opened land sales on May 1, after the crypto chill had already set in, continues to see plenty of interest. In August 2022, the average number of daily sales on this platform was 119.87, despite increasingly limited stock. Daily average sales volume in the same month was $746,503.19.

It may be chilly in cryptoland, but the metaverse is still cool

For many, the metaverse still seems like a sort of hectic fever dream filled with people who are driving toward a future that no one else is ready for, but that's far from the sentiment of those on the ground. Brands continue to show up and claim their metaverse stakes, and even influential banks are speaking out on where the future will take us all.

In July 2022, the largest bank in Southeast Asia, DBS, published a report that saying that the metaverse will represent a $3 trillion to $11 trillion opportunity worldwide by 2030. The metaverse, in its estimation, would make up 10% to 40% of the overall digital economy by that time.

As the worlds that make up the metaverse continue to mature, the world economy levels out a bit, and the crypto winter retreats, today's metaverse real estate skeptics may well see that they've missed an easy investing opportunity.