Zillow Stops Buying Homes – [St. Augustine Market]



Zillow has stopped buying properties through their Ibuyer program.  They started this program 3 years ago with the intentions of buying a property at a discount (offering a quick and easy sale), do some light renovations, and put the home back on the market for a profit.  They have since halted buying properties because they in some cases overpaying for many properties.   Before Zillow shut down its iBuying arm, it was looking to offload 7,000 homes to an unnamed buyer — or buyers — for $2.8 billion, Bloomberg reported.  This would be a massive sale to another similar ibuyer; which means less available homes for personal residences.  In a market that is stressed for more inventory this influx of homes could help some markets.  

 Back in September, Zillow released a bullish 2022 forecast which predicted U.S. home prices would climb another 11.7% over the coming 12 months. But now the real estate listing site says that their previous outlook was too low. On Wednesday, Zillow published a report predicting U.S. home prices will climb 13.6% between Oct. 2021 and Oct. 2022. 

 Along with ZillowGoldman Sachs is very bullish: The investment bank foresees home prices climbing 16% by the end of 2022. Meanwhile, Fannie Mae expects growth to remain fairly strong, predicting 7.9% growth next year. But there are some 2022 housing bears. Look no further than CoreLogic, which is forecasting just a 1.9% price growth over the coming 12 months, and the Mortgage Bankers Association, which is actually forecasting a 2.5% price drop by the end of 2022. 

 Freddie Mac Estimates that we are short about 4million homes nationwide.  In 2018, we estimated that there was a housing supply shortage of approximately 2.5 million units, meaning that the U.S. economy was about 2.5 million units below what was needed to match long-term demand. Using the same methodology, we estimate that the housing shortage increased to 3.8 million units by the end of 2020. 

So what does that mean for St. Augustine?

If you compare this with Northeastern Florida, we have seen an 18.3% increase in the median sale price of properties.  Our inventory levels are still at historic lows.  At the end of October we had a 3,900 homes on the market; compared to last year the inventory of homes was at 5,300, that is a 27% difference in inventory.  Days on market went to down to 29 from 35 for the month of October.  When you look at the list to sale ratio, we are still very high at 99.4%; down slightly for the yTD of 99.6%.  Keep in mind this is on average so the best properties are still going to multiple offers while some others there is a slight wiggle room under 100% of list.  

Single-family rent prices are increasing rapidly, as demand for single-family housing and inventory constraints forces some buyers to rent, increasing competition and pushing rents up across the nation. Meanwhile, sales of new construction single family homes recently hit a six-month high, rising 14% nationally.  

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