Things are happening in the algorithmic home-flipping business right now.
A few weeks ago I wrote about Zillow pausing this part of its business. It was then later revealed that the company was set to take a loss on many/most of the homes that it had purchased through this “iBuying” division. In October, it listed some 250 homes in Phoenix and on average they were priced about 6.2% below what they had bought them for.
So it is perhaps no surprise that today the company announced that it will be the exiting the business of buying high and selling low. Turns out this isn’t good for business.
But does this mean that the model doesn’t work or that Zillow simply didn’t have its algorithms tuned correctly? Following the news, competitor Opendoor took to Twitter to reassure everyone that the digitization of real estate is still well underway:
Opendoor also announced today that it will be expanding technical hiring into Canada — starting first with Toronto. The plan is to hire upwards of 100 people over the next several years. Presumably this is about access to talent, but presumably it also means that Opendoor is looking toward one day expanding into Canada.
Disclosure: I continue to be long $OPEN.