The ibuyers are borrowing money like crazy to build their inventory of homes to flip. Opendoor doesn’t have the brand-name awareness of Zillow, so they are advertising a lot and buying homes directly off the MLS. Zillow has everyone’s email address so they are able to reach their users directly. Both have been fairly well-compensated during the 12-month frenzy – will it continue? From this article:
Opendoor Technologies Inc., which buys homes from consumers and lists them for resale, is in talks with lenders for a new revolving credit facility of roughly $2 billion, according to people familiar with the effort.
The company, which is rapidly accelerating the number of homes it purchases, plans to use the proceeds to help increase acquisitions, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.
A representative for Opendoor declined to comment.
Opendoor, led by Chief Executive Officer Eric Wu, pioneered a data-driven spin on home-flipping known as iBuying. After the company buys a home, it makes light repairs and seeks to resell it, profiting by charging sellers a 5% fee for the convenience of an easy sale.
The company acquired 8,500 homes in the second quarter, more than double the number it bought in the first three months of the year, according to an statement Wednesday. It also had roughly 8,100 additional houses under contract at the end of June.
Opendoor uses debt to fund acquisitions, and had just under $4 billion in borrowing capacity under existing revolving credit facilities as of the end of June. The company had drawn $1.8 billion on those facilities, according to a filing.
Zillow Group Inc., Opendoor’s main competitor, has also moved to increase its firepower for home purchases. The company borrowed $450 million through a first-of-its-kind bond offering earlier this month.
Zillow’s recent activity has been more consistent than Opendoor’s, so let’s look at the Zillow numbers to see if the convenience they offer sellers is paying off. Zillow currently owns 138 homes in San Diego County, and of those, 72 are active listings and 38 are pending. They have sold 48 homes this year – here are the 13 they have closed since July 1st:
They have a consistent 2-month turnover between the day of purchase, and the day of sale, so it’s a quick $553,600 profit, or an average of $42,585 per sale – though they had to pay out close to half of that in buyer-agent commissions (all fix-ups are included in their purchase prices). It’s a good thing that sellers aren’t in a hurry – Zillow is currently six weeks behind in responding to purchase requests.
Sellers are leaving some money on the table, but as long as Zillow is flipping every home, buyers will still have the same amount of inventory to consider – it’ll just be at a higher price.