This week we heard the the news that homes.com was acquired:
Homes.com has a similar business model to massive real estate website Zillow, at least as far as Zillow’s core business goes. Homes.com is a property listing portal that helps agents and brokers market properties. The platform supports more than a half-million agents and brokers, and the website receives about 5 million unique visitors each month in the form of buyers searching listings.
For the time being, Homes.com is a much smaller business. Zillow’s real estate platform received more than 200 million unique monthly users in the fourth quarter of 2020 and was visited 2.2 billion times altogether. And Zillow has a rapidly growing business of directly buying and selling homes, while Homes.com is solely a home search platform. What’s more, keep in mind that CoStar is buying Homes.com for $156 million — Zillow’s market cap is about $34 billion.
However, it’s not just Homes.com anymore. Once it’s brought under CoStar’s umbrella, it will join forces with brands like the LoopNet commercial real estate marketplace (an area where Zillow doesn’t operate), Apartments.com, Apartment Finder, and most importantly, the Homesnap real estate agent workflow software business.
Homesnap is another recent acquisition, purchased by CoStar in December 2020. The Homesnap platform offers a marketing platform for agents, and CoStar plans to take advantage of the combination with Homes.com. As CEO Andrew Florance said in the press release announcing the acquisition, “Our plan in bringing Homesnap and Homes.com together is to help agents market their listings in support of the ‘your listing, your lead’ philosophy — which stands in contrast to most players in the industry.”
Can any home-search portal keep up with Zillow? They would need to spend the big bucks on advertising like Zillow does, just to be in the running. Zillow already has the name-brand recognition, a huge lead in monthly visitors, and they have the killer instinct and willingness to spend big on advertising – including key product placement. Displaying their for-sale signs in their ads will further establish them as a national brokerage in the mind of the consumer:
It is unusual to have so few active listings for sale. Yet, we are having more sales than ever, with the quality homes all selling in the first week – leaving very few active listings.
Casual observers don’t find any decent homes just lying around, making it difficult to stay engaged. You gotta really want to buy a house these days, which should help keep the demand in check – it’s just for serious players only.
But there are plenty of those, and we should hit October levels of sales in each of the next few months:
Above is the map produced by the City of Carlsbad to help identify the areas where they can increase production of multi-family units, and try to reach their low-income housing goals.
I circled in red the larger developments:
The owners of the Mall have proposed rezoning their parking lots and adding 993 homes there, plus the neighboring Verizon/Michael’s shopping center has proposed redeveloping it into 242 residential units – a total of 1,235 homes.
The #4 site in the middle was once going to be a WalMart (who owns it), but it never gained traction. A developer from Phoenix has proposed building 474 homes on the 39 acres there.
There are six parcels totaling 21 acres on both sides of Poinsettia at Brigantine. Under the current zoning, 50 homes could be built there, but the developer as applied for upzoning so they can build 327 multi-family units.
If re-zoned, these projects will include NO single-family houses. Because the city is pressed to hit their goals, it looks like most of these units will be restricted to low-to-moderate income residents.
Here’s the first quarter breakdown so you can see how your area compares with others:
NSDCC First Quarter Sales By Area
Town or Area
New Listings, 1Q
Active Listings Today
In yesterday’s 1Q history, there wasn’t any year that got down to a ratio of 2:1 new-listings-to-sales.
All of these except Del Mar are much stronger than 2:1!
The number of active listings is bleak, if you are a buyer, and glorious if you are a seller!
If we do get our regular seasonal increase in inventory over the next two months, it should goose sales even higher. The buyers who have been in the hunt but haven’t won a bidding war yet are highly motivated to get it done!
Compared to all the other 77-year old rockers putting out pandemic music, this is pretty good:
He’s long been known as the nicest man in rock, but we think Dave Grohl is also the busiest. In the last week, Grohl has announced plans for his book The Storyteller, a new star-studded TV series entitled What Drives Us, and now, a collaboration with Mick Jagger where he plays guitar, bass and drums.
The slightly punk-tinged song, titled Easy Sleazy, is a celebration of the end of lockdown, with Jagger saying “I wanted to share this song that I wrote about eventually coming out of lockdown, with some much needed optimism – thank you to Dave Grohl for jumping on drums, bass and guitar, it was a lot of fun working with you on this – hope you all enjoy Eazy Sleazy!”
Grohl added on social media, “It’s hard to put into words what recording this song with Sir Mick Jagger means to me. It’s beyond a dream come true. Just when I thought life couldn’t get any crazier……and it’s the song of the summer, without a doubt!!”
Dave’s new series, “What Drives Us”, featuring Ringo Starr, St. Vincent, Lars Ulrich and more will air on April 30 via The Coda Collection in the US and Amazon Prime worldwide (Exene is in it too!):
The multi-gen home will be a very popular choice for many. From cnbc.com – an excerpt:
Things have changed in the last few years, however, and a new trend has emerged. Rather than downsizing or right-sizing, retirees are starting to upsize. They are moving to bigger homes in their golden years.
According to a recent Merrill Lynch/Age Wave study of more than 3,600 respondents, 49% of retirees didn’t downsize in their last move, and 30% actually ended up moving into larger homes.
And they are doing it for all sorts of reasons — from finding a home that better suits them to buying a home with room for a live-in parent or visiting family members.
According to a recent Del Webb survey conducted among 50- to 60-year-olds, 22% are looking to move to bigger homes. The study also found that 43% want to remain in their existing home or move to a new location with comparable space.
This change marks the first time such a significant majority of retirees have gone against real estate norms.
Let’s take a look at the reasons behind this culture shift and the financial considerations that come into play if you intend to upsize your home.
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