Real Estate Tech News



Zillow Offers expands to Portland, its first Pacific Northwest market for direct home sales

Zillow Offers expands to Portland, its first Pacific Northwest market for direct home sales

Zillow Group is set to start buying houses in the Pacific Northwest for the first time. Zillow Offers, the service that lets customers request cash offers for their homes directly from Zillow on its website, kicks off Monday in Portland and Vancouver, Wash. As Zillow has made instant offers the centerpiece of the business, it has expanded to 12 markets across the country, with plans to grow even further. “Sellers across the country have shown that they are looking for an easier, less stressful way to sell their home,” Zillow Brand President Jeremy Wacksman said in a statement. “We’re excited to launch our first market in the Pacific Northwest today, giving potential home sellers in Portland and Vancouver the certainty and transparency they want when selling their home. Zillow Offers provides a seamless transaction experience, helping sellers move on to the next step in their life.”
The Masses Are Drawn Toward Funds Chasing Real Estate Tax Breaks

The Masses Are Drawn Toward Funds Chasing Real Estate Tax Breaks

The wealthy masses are starting to bet their money on a new U.S. tax break after more than a year of indecision. The latest data point: Bridge Investment Group announced Tuesday it has $509 million that it is deploying in projects in opportunity zones. The money was gathered from about 500 investors, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing the private fundraising. The minimum investment was $250,000, but average check size was closer to $1 million, the person said. The new fund shows that 18 months after Republicans pushed through a tax overhaul with generous incentives to invest in low-income communities, money managers are indeed having some success enticing large numbers of clients to pool cash for qualifying projects.
Realogy slams Compass with explosive suit

Realogy slams Compass with explosive suit

Compass — the $4.4 billion Softbank-backed brokerage that’s shaken up the real estate landscape over the past seven years — was hit with an explosive and wide-ranging lawsuit Wednesday by a key rival accusing it of price-fixing and collusion, “predatory” poaching and unfair business practices. Realogy, in a 68-page complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court, alleges the firm routinely engages in “illegal schemes to gain market share at all costs and to damage, or even eliminate, competition.” In stark terms, Realogy details its main rival’s modus operandi for attracting agents with astronomical splits and navigating non-competes in what it says is “predatory recruiting and poaching” practices. 
China tightens curbs on property firms raising money offshore

China tightens curbs on property firms raising money offshore

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Friday it is tightening restrictions on property companies seeking to raise funds offshore, in its latest move to reduce potential financial risks. The country’s state planner said any new offshore bond issues by real estate firms must be used only to replace medium- and long-term offshore debt maturing in the next year. “This rule has a powerful regulatory impact,” said Yan Yuejin, a research director with Shanghai-based property services firm E-House China R&D Institute. “In other words, property developers are now restricted from using overseas debt to repay domestic debt, to replenish liquidity, and to acquire land.”
Stearns Lending declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Stearns Lending declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Just nine months ago, Stearns Lending was very much in growth mode, acquiring an equity interest in Citywide Home Loans, rolling out new loan programs and acquiring other new lending channels. But the tide appears to have turned as Stearns is now facing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Stearns Holdings, the parent company of Stearns Lending, announced Tuesday that it is launching a “comprehensive financial restructuring plan” that will see the company reorganized through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to the company, the plan is being conducted in agreement and coordination with Blackstone, the private equity giant that acquired a majority stake in Stearns Holdings back in 2015.
Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi List Oceanfront Contemporary

Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi List Oceanfront Contemporary

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, two of Hollywood’s most prolific ultra high-end house flippers, have put their oceanfront estate in Carpinteria, Calif., up for sale at $24 million, a 29% increase above the $18.6 million the property mad couple paid for the one-plus acre spread not even two years ago. Long owned by prominent L.A. developer Robert F. Maguire III but seized in foreclosure and purchased by DeGeneres and de Rossi from the bank, the property is co-listed with Compass broker Suzanne Perkins and Riskin Partners Group at Village Properties.
American Dream mega-mall announces opening date

American Dream mega-mall announces opening date

The American Dream mega-mall will open October 25, according to an announcement from developer Triple Five. The entertainment and shopping complex -- located at the Route 3-New Jersey Turnpike interchange in East Rutherford -- will open its doors on a Friday in the fall after many delays. "We know that the community has been eagerly awaiting the launch of this incredible global destination” said Don Ghermezian, President of American Dream. “We have a one‐of‐a‐kind property that will reshape the way people think about entertainment, theme parks and shopping.” The Ghermezian family operates Triple Five Group, which also owns The Mall of America in Minnesota -- currently the largest mall in the country. When American Dream opens, it will be the largest mall in America at roughly 3 million square feet.
Big home, big deal: The Manor in Holmby Hills sets an L.A. County price record at $119.75 million

Big home, big deal: The Manor in Holmby Hills sets an L.A. County price record at $119.75 million

Los Angeles’ ailing luxury real estate market just received a shot in the arm: The Manor, a 56,500-square-foot chateau in Holmby Hills, has sold for $119.75 million — the highest home price in Los Angeles County history. The astronomical sale closed Tuesday, according to the Multiple Listing Service. It represents another notch in the belt for the county, which saw its price record shattered last year by the $110-million deal for Hard Rock Cafe co-founder Peter Morton’s Malibu beach house.
U.S. pending home sales increase in May

U.S. pending home sales increase in May

California will increase its spending on public education, expand healthcare services and stash away more money than ever for an economic downturn under the state budget signed Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom — a plan that was stalled for two weeks over how it would address the state’s growing housing crisis. The $214.8-billion budget is the largest in state history. The majority of its provisions take effect next week, though some new services won’t be funded until January in an effort to lower the short-term cost. Newsom touted the budget agreement in a live event on Facebook from his Capitol office, reciting a long list of the plan’s highlights and boasting that he had followed the course set by his predecessor, former Gov. Jerry Brown.
New Joint Center housing report foresees steady rental demand over the next decade

New Joint Center housing report foresees steady rental demand over the next decade

As the nation’s economy continues to improve, the number of Americans forming households in the U.S. has recovered to a more normal pace. Ironically, the multifamily engine that helped sustain the housing market under bleaker economic conditions has been sputtering a bit as things have gotten better. That assessment comes from The State of the Nation’s Housing 2019, the annual tracking of the nation’s housing pulse conducted by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. As has been the case in past reports, this year’s survey found persistent disparities in supply and demand, especially in affordable housing stock. Home values varied widely, too: they were more than five times greater than incomes in roughly one in seven metro areas (primarily on the West Coast), compared with less than three times in about one in three metros (primarily in the Midwest and South).
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