Real Estate Tech News


Existing-home sales fall for the second straight month in April

Existing-home sales fall for the second straight month in April

The numbers: Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 5.19 million rate in April, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That was 0.4% lower than March and 4.4% lower than a year ago. What happened: Sales of previously-owned homes have been choppy recently; following a big surge in February, they retreated in March. For April, the MarketWatch consensus was for a 5.35 million selling pace, not a decline. The median selling price in April was $267,300, a 3.6% annual increase. At the current pace of sales, it would take 4.2 months to exhaust available supply, well below the 6-month threshold that’s traditionally been considered a marker of a balanced market. Properties stayed on the market for an average of 24 days in April.
kea invests in Livspace, a one-stop platform for interior design based in India

kea invests in Livspace, a one-stop platform for interior design based in India

Fresh from raising $70 million last year via big names including Goldman Sachs and TPG Growth, Livspace, an India-based startup that offers a one-stop-shop for interior design, has lured yet another marquee investor: Ikea. The startup said today it has taken an undisclosed investment from Ingka Investments, the VC arm of Ikea parent Ingka Group, which operates 90 percent of Ikea’s retail footprint. Livspace CEO and co-founder Anuj Srivastava declined to provide a figure for the deal, but he told TechCrunch that the stake involved is a minor one while there is no plan to bolt a larger round on to this investment. Deal Street Asia first reported news of the deal.
Amazon Unveils Rendering, New Details For First Phase Of HQ2 Project

Amazon Unveils Rendering, New Details For First Phase Of HQ2 Project

The first phase of new development at Amazon HQ2 is beginning to take shape.  Amazon, in a blog post Thursday, released a rendering and description of the first two new office towers it plans to build at its National Landing campus.  The tech giant said it filed development plans for the first phase this week. The plans call for two towers reaching 22 stories with 2.1M SF of office space and 50K SF of new retail space. ZGF Architects designed the Phase 1 buildings, which are planned to achieve LEED Gold certification. 
NY congressional delegation fights back against Trump family separation rule in public housing

NY congressional delegation fights back against Trump family separation rule in public housing

New York lawmakers are pushing back at what they see as the Trump administration's new family separation policy for public housing. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced last month that he was ratcheting up paperwork requirements to prove legal residence in the country, and ending a policy that allows legal residents to let close, undocumented relatives live with them. Under the old rules, a family just had to tell the government if one of its members was not eligible for assistance, and benefits for that person would be cut.
Zillow To Expand Controversial Home-Buying Business To 20 Markets Including Los Angeles, Austin And Miami

Zillow To Expand Controversial Home-Buying Business To 20 Markets Including Los Angeles, Austin And Miami

In its first-quarter earnings report out Thursday, Zillow Group showed stronger-than-anticipated growth in the home-buying business it launched last year. The program, known as Zillow Offers, has been met with skepticism by Wall Street and housing economists, but the Seattle-based company clearly sees the model as its path forward. Zillow purchased 898 homes and sold 414 in the first three months of 2019. Revenue from the homes segment was $128.5 million, with a pretax loss of $45.2 million. Zillow ended the quarter with 993 homes in inventory, worth approximately $325 million. By comparison, from April 2018—when the home-buying program launched—through December 2018, Zillow purchased 686 homes and sold just 177, generating $52 million in revenue and losing $27.2 million.
Purplebricks boss moves out as expansion scaled back

Purplebricks boss moves out as expansion scaled back

The low cost online estate agency said it was to leave its Australia business behind and review its operations in the US, admitting it had attempted to grow the firm too quickly and made a series of mistakes. It said that Mr Bruce, who founded Purplebricks with his brother Kenny in 2014, was to be replaced by chief operating officer Vic Darvey with immediate effect. A company source suggested that Mr Bruce was leaving as he had taken the firm as far as he could. He retains an 11% shareholding.
Grupo Zap Introduces I-Buyer Model To Reignite Brazil's Real Estate Market

Grupo Zap Introduces I-Buyer Model To Reignite Brazil's Real Estate Market

Online firm Grupo Zap is chasing a billion-dollar opportunity by introducing the instant home buyer (i-buyer) model in Brazil, with plans to nearly double its workforce and enhance data analytics capabilities to support the new business. With Grupo Globo, one of Latin America's largest media conglomerates as a majority shareholder and the likes of Monashees and Kaszek Ventures as backers, Zap owns the two largest real estate marketplaces in Brazil and provides a range of data-driven services to the industry.
RE/MAX beats estimates with $71.2M revenue in Q1 2019

RE/MAX beats estimates with $71.2M revenue in Q1 2019

The real estate franchise giant also revealed that during the first quarter of 2019 its agent count increased by 3.9% RE/MAX blew analysts’ expectations out of the water Thursday, reporting $71.2 million in revenue during the first three months of 2019. Leading into the report, analysts had expected RE/MAX revenue to merely hit $65.25 million, an increase of 24 percent year-over-year. In a statement Thursday, the company explained that revenue during the beginning of the year “increased almost exclusively due to acquisitions, which constituted primarily the Marketing Funds which the company acquired on January 1, 2019.”
Airbnb-backed OYO moves into Europe, buys Leisure Group from Axel Springer for $415M

Airbnb-backed OYO moves into Europe, buys Leisure Group from Axel Springer for $415M

OYO, the fast-growing budget hotel startup out of India that’s backed by Airbnb, SoftBank, Grab and Didi, has made an acquisition to expand its footprint into Europe, specifically around self-catering home rentals. The company has picked up @Leisure Group from Axel Springer for about $415 million (€369.5 million). Axel Springer had a 51 percent share of the company and said it would be receiving €180 million in the deal, including the repayment of a shareholder loan of around €60 million, and a spokesperson for OYO confirmed to TechCrunch that the full price was €369.5 million.
Airbnb to collaborate on New York City hotel

Airbnb to collaborate on New York City hotel

Airbnb is partnering with a major New York real estate developer, RXR Realty, to convert portions of New York City commercial properties into a “new category of urban lodging.” They are essentially hotel rooms with living rooms and kitchens that can only be booked through the Airbnb platform, representing Airbnb’s biggest move yet into the traditional hotel space. The two companies are starting with the iconic Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan, converting ten floors into “high-end apartment-style suites.” They are also exploring collaboration at other RXR properties, including a development across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.


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