Americans are looking for new ways to buy and sell houses, according to a new report from real estate software company zavvie, which offers a white-label platform to help sellers compare offers from iBuyers. The report, titled “Modern Marketplace Report: 2022 Year in Review,” tracks the growth of these business strategies and their impact on real estate last year.
The modern marketplace solutions include buying through open market with traditional mortgage, along with “cash offer” (power buyer) and homeownership accelerators for those who cannot qualify for a traditional mortgage, per the report. Solutions for buying include open market listings, “buy before you sell” (power buyer) and instant sale for iBuyers and investors.
According to zavvie, the power buyer model of buying houses before selling them increased by 33% last year compared to total transactions in the U.S., which declined by 38%. Power buyer purchases peaked at $683,000 in Q1 of 2022, nearly double the national average home price of $348,000 — but dropped to $500,000 later in the year.
Demand for listing concierge presale renovation companies also increased, with these companies growing their businesses by an average of 490% in 2022. The average project investment by these firms was $47,000 and provided an average return on investment (ROI) of 100%, according to the report.
iBuyers, on the other hand, purchased 53% more homes in Q1 of 2022 than the same quarter in 2021. However, the uptick tapered off by Q4 of 2022, according to the data.
Despite this, zavvie’s Modern Marketplace Index shows a gradual increase over the last two years in the new ways of home buying and selling, which climbed from 2.59% last year to 2.67% in January 2023.
In addition, nearly 40% of the requests processed by zavvie were for instant cash offers.
Stefan Peterson, zavvie’s co-founder and chief data officer, said these solutions, which may help agents create new inventory, are continuing to grow.
“Real estate brokers and agents know that in today’s market, to win over the customer, they must have these vital tools in their kit — or they will lose out to a competitor who does,” Peterson said.
Almost half (49.8%) of the properties that received modern marketplace offers were completed — but the modern marketplace solutions were used in only 2.7% of all real estate transactions.
Despite this data, many businesses in the iBuying landscape are currently struggling. Redfin shuttered its iBuyer operations in November 2022, and both Offerpad and Opendoor suffered financial losses last year. Opendoor, whose CEO, Eric Wu, resigned last month, lost nearly $1 billion in 2022 and has focused on offloading inventory in the time since.
The report also shows that iBuyers saw a reduction in share prices by about 90% last year, while institutional buyers, including single family residence investors Amherst, Invitation Homes, Mynd, and Bridgetower, paused or reduced their acquisitions.
Amherst, Invitation Homes, Tricon and First Key bought about three times as many homes as iBuyers, according to the report, and limited their acquisitions in the second half of 2022.
Meanwhile, power buyers like Flyhomes, Homeward, Knock, and Orchard, conducted layoffs, and power buying firm Ribbon suspended all operations until spring 2023 after laying off 170 employees, or 85% of its staff.
Rent-to-own, or homeownership accelerator solutions, on the other hand, grew in 2022 and are now available in 36 states. In 2022, homeownership accelerator companies increased their transactions by 15%, while there was an overall decline of 38% in real estate transactions nationwide.
Companies that flourished
According to the report, EasyKnock, which allows homeowners to access the equity in their homes, grew its revenue by 89% last year compared to 2021. It operated in all 50 states in 2022 and complete transactions in 47 states.
In addition, UpEquity grew its power buying business by four times and launched in 10 states.
Meanwhile, listing concierge service Curbio raised $90M in total funding. Curbio also launched in 11 new markets.
“Ultimately, the consumer will determine if a business is delivering good value,” Peterson said. “The vast majority of consumers who have used one of the Modern Marketplace solutions are glad they did and would do it again.”
zavvie, which currently operates in 47 states with more than 65,000 real estate agents, estimates that modern market solutions are now available in almost every state in the nation.