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Redfin Reports Better-Than-Expected Earnings As Real Estate Tech Startups Seize Momentum

Better-than-expected second-quarter earnings lifted shares of discount real estate brokerage Redfin in after-hours trading Thursday.

Revenue for the quarter was $197.8 million, up 39% from a year ago, while the company reported a net loss of $12.6 million, compared with income of $3.2 million in the second quarter of 2018. Net loss per share was $0.14. All measures were better than analyst estimates.

“The second quarter is a turning point for our company,” CEO Glenn Kelman said in a statement, pointing to expansion of the company’s mortgage business and “instant-offers,” Redfin’s on-demand home-buying service. “The years of work we’ve invested in each of these businesses are now positioning us to be the first to deliver a complete solution at a national scale for people moving from one home to the next.”

Since 2006, the Seattle-based company has expanded to 90 markets, selling more than 170,000 homes worth upwards of $85 billion with a promise of lower transaction costs. Redfin pegs its market share at 0.94%.

But progress on its loftier goal—to make the whole residential real estate process more consumer friendly through tech—has been slow. Most U.S. housing is bought and sold the same way it has been for decades. Thursday’s better-than-expected report comes as a number of real estate companies new and old are announcing new digital-first services they also claim will remove friction.

The startup Opendoor said earlier Thursday that buyers can now use its app to browse, book self-guided tours and submit bids on any home for sale in Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix and Raleigh-Durham. Opendoor’s primary business so far is high-tech home-flipping. Homeowners sell their homes to the company online, and then Opendoor spruces up the place and tries to quickly resell it. Zillow believes a similar model will make up the majority of its business within five years.

Compass, a direct Redfin competitor in pairing human agents with homegrown software, on Tuesday announced it had raised a $370 million round of funding at a $6.4 billion valuation. (Redfin’s market cap is about $1.6 billion.) Last week, Realogy—parent company for brokerage brands including Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Sotheby’s International Realty—announced a partnership with Amazon to connect home buyers with agents.

It is not yet clear whether Redfin will come out ahead when, and if, technology manages to really change the makeup of the residential real estate market. Shares have gained 27% so far this year, although the closing price of $17.72 on Thursday was down from a 2019 peak of $23.45.

For the third quarter, Redfin is forecasting revenue between $223 million and $233 million, which would equal year-over-year growth of between 59% and 66%. Net income is expected in the range of $3.4 million to $6.4 million.

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I am a staff writer covering real estate. Come for the outrageous homes, stay for the insights on what gets built and why. Previously I wrote about the future of money including fintech, Millennials and the economy at large, as well as news from the markets.I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where I majored in English and minored in art history but mostly worked at the student newspaper – The Daily Pennsylvanian. You can follow me on Twitter @SamSharf and email me at ssharf@forbes.com.

Source: Redfin Reports Better-Than-Expected Earnings As Real Estate Tech Startups Seize Momentum

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Foreign Investment In U.S. Real Estate Plunges

The U.S. housing market has hit another stumbling block, as purchases of homes by foreign buyers dropped a dramatic 36%, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors.

The data comes from an annual survey of residential purchases from international buyers, which found that foreign buyers, led by the Chinese, purchased existing properties with a total value of $77.9 billion from April 2018 through March 2019, compared to properties totaling $121 billion in the preceding 12 months.

Investors from China exited the market most dramatically, with purchases falling 56% to an estimated $13.4 billion worth of residential property.

There are many reasons for the plunge, including less economic growth abroad — growth slowed to 3.6% in 2018 and is on track to slow to 3.3% in 2019 — tighter controls on outside investment by the Chinese government, a stronger U.S. dollar and a low inventory of homes for sale, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist and fellow Forbes.com contributor, who called the magnitude of the decline “quite striking, implying less confidence in owning a property in the U.S.”

Most foreign purchases were in Florida, followed by California, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina and Illinois.

While this is bad news for the overall U.S. market, it won’t make a crucial dent in the New York market, as foreign investment hasn’t been part of the market for some time, those in the industry say.

Leonard Steinberg, a broker in New York City with Compass, referred to the recent high-profile Manhattan purchases billionaire hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin, who closed on a $233 million penthouse earlier this year, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who recently bought three condos for a combined $80 million.

“The reality of it is the Chinese billionaire or Russian oligarch were a small fraction of the market,” Steinberg says. “Your best foreign buyers are American buyers—just from other parts of the country.”

Svetlana Choi, a broker with Warburg Realty, said there is still foreign investment in New York, just not for ultra-luxury properties.

“While there are still Chinese investing, they would prefer to invest in an apartment building in Flushing that can bring a far larger return, than an empty super expensive apartment in New York City,” Choi says.

Noemi Bitterman, also of Warburg Realty, notes that as the market continues to decline, more investors may come through.

“My feeling is that now is definitely a time to buy because current prices reflect fair market value and not inflated prices as we saw six to 12 months ago,” Bitterman says. “The market has adjusted and prices are where they should be.”

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’ve been working as a journalist in the New York metro area for more than a decade and have developed a specialization in luxury real estate

Source: Foreign Investment In U.S. Real Estate Plunges

NYC’s Housing-Market Weakness Spreads From Manhattan To The Outer Boroughs — peoples trust toronto

Throughout vast swaths of New York City, members of the city’s vast middle class work force can barely afford even a modest apartment. Yet for years after the post-crisis housing market recovery began, that reality did little to slow down the rise in home valuations as foreign capital and rock bottom interest rates fueled a […]

via NYC’s Housing-Market Weakness Spreads From Manhattan To The Outer Boroughs — peoples trust toronto

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