While the real estate industry has been one of bright spots in a struggling economy, sales by the nation’s leading iBuyers plummeted 88% in the second quarter, according to a new report from Redfin.
The top iBuyers, including RedfinNow, Opendoor, Zillow and Offerpad, purchased only 880 homes during the quarter, down from 7,410 in the second quarter of 2019. Those purchases cost iBuyers an estimated $195 million, a sharp decline from the $1.6 billion spent at the same time last year.
The numbers reflect the companies’ decision to suspend purchases at the beginning of the pandemic.
“The pandemic has brought a lot of folks into the market who need liquidity, certainty and a safe and contactless way to sell their home,” according to Jason Aleem, vice president of RedfinNow. “RedfinNow is working with several move-up buyers who need a bigger house with room to work from home, as well as parents moving closer to their adult children.”
Aleem also noted that iBuyer bidding wars have ramped up during the pandemic, where homeowners seek offers from multiple iBuyers “so they can feel confident they are getting the best possible price in this blazing hot market without a bunch of foot traffic coming through. As a result, iBuyers are making more competitive offers.”
In Houston iBuyers made up 0.2% of the market, down from 2.4% a year prior. A total of 40 homes were bought by iBuyers in Atlanta in the second quarter, down from 622 in the second quarter of 2019. The median number of days on the market for iBuyer homes dropped to 14 in 2020, from 45 in 2019.