Whatever happens to the property industry after a vaccine is developed, things aren't going to go back to exactly how they were before COVID-19 began its global rampage.
Zillow recently reported that its platform saw listings plummet 19% from March 1 to April 5, and 27% down compared to the same time last year. Total listings rose 2.5%, showing that those deciding to keep their listings up are taking on a wait-and-see strategy.
In the city hit the hardest by the pandemic, New York listings fell 49% from March 1 to April 5. New listings as of April 5 were down over 50%, year-over-year.
In Seattle, Zillow's home turf, and the first city to see the Coronavirus months ago, total inventory of houses bought through Zillow Offers is up almost 38% because they aren't being sold off.
This represents a dismal pattern and uncertainty for the Zillow Offers feature— something that is the epitome of Zillow's allure. CEO Rich Barton says that this doesn't mean that Zillow Offers is done for, but there is no guarantee that the service will start up again immediately after things begin to go back to normal.
There are companies keeping up their iBuying services regardless of the crisis happening in the real estate sector. Arterra Realty is keeping its iBuying scheme in motion, using a pool of funding from investors to purchase homes. Startup HomeVestors has only digitized the entire experience to support consumers staying at home.
Zillow, like other iBuyer giants within the US sector, has suspended its iBuyer services until everything blows over. Whether Zillow can jump back from this and continue its Zillow Offers scheme, is yet to be seen.