Real Estate Tech News



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.
Scott Wiener’s SB50 transit-housing bill clears key hurdle after some changes

Scott Wiener’s SB50 transit-housing bill clears key hurdle after some changes

SACRAMENTO — State lawmakers advanced a proposal to make it harder for local officials to block construction of apartment buildings around public transit after its author agreed Wednesday to carve out separate rules for more lightly populated counties. Sen. Scott Wiener, the San Francisco Democrat behind the bill to spur denser housing development in California cities, announced a deal with Sen. Mike McGuire that folded the Healdsburg Democrat’s similar but more limited measure into Wiener’s SB50. The combined bill, which passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee with bipartisan support, would allow residential buildings of at least four or five stories within half a mile of rail stations and ferry terminals, provided those projects meet other local design standards.
House Prices in U.K. Cities Grow at Slowest Rate in Seven Years

House Prices in U.K. Cities Grow at Slowest Rate in Seven Years

Home prices across 20 major U.K. cities rose by a feeble 1.7% in March compared to a year ago, the weakest growth in nearly seven years, according to a monthly index from real estate data firms Hometrack and Zoopla.  Buyers have pulled back considerably in recent months in response to political and economic uncertainty, causing house prices to stagnate across an index of the country’s major cities. The latest reading is the lowest since May 2012, according to Zoopla’s report.  London and cities in the South of England are largely driving the slowdown. Homeowners in Southampton were watching their home values grow by an annual rate of more than 3% a year ago, once-stable growth that has now dropped down to less than 1%.
IRS, Treasury Release Second Round Of Opportunity Zone Regulations

IRS, Treasury Release Second Round Of Opportunity Zone Regulations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the issuance of the second set of regulations Wednesday afternoon, concurrent with a press conference held at the White House with addresses by President Donald Trump, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The announcement addressed what topics within the opportunity zone law were areas of focus in this round, but didn't give many specifics. The full guidance document was posted on the IRS website at around 2 p.m.
Americold Realty Trust buying cold storage provider Cloverleaf for $1.24B

Americold Realty Trust buying cold storage provider Cloverleaf for $1.24B

Atlanta-based Americold Realty Trust (NYSE: COLD) said Tuesday morning it plans to buy privately-held Cloverleaf Cold Storage from the company's management and an investor group led by private equity funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE: BX) for $1.24 billion. Founded in 1952 and based in Sioux City, Iowa, Cloverleaf is the fifth largest cold storage provider in the United States by refrigerated cubic feet and serves over 360 customers. Americold will acquire 22 facilities totaling 132 million refrigerated cubic feet. Cloverleaf’s properties are in nine states in the central and southeastern United States, and are complementary to Americold’s existing geographic reach, Americold said.
NAR slapped with second class-action lawsuit to end buyer broker compensation

NAR slapped with second class-action lawsuit to end buyer broker compensation

A second class-action lawsuit has been filed in protest of the buyer broker compensation rules set forth by the National Association of Realtors. The suit, filed in the Northern District of Illinois on Monday by Minnesota-based corporation Sawbill Strategic, alleges that NAR, Realogy, HomeServices of America, RE/MAX and Keller Williams violated federal antitrust laws by requiring property sellers to pay the buyer’s broker an inflated fee. The suit is nearly identical to one filed last month by a Minnesota home seller, which NAR called “baseless” and filled with “an abundance of false claims.” The suit alleges that the defendants conspired to drive up seller costs and reduce competition by requiring a home seller to pay compensation to the buyer’s broker, even though their involvement in the transaction is minimal.
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