News from iBuyers around the world today. Redfin has released a report on MLS and public-records data analysis for home purchases and sales made by some of the most known iBuyers in the country. Offerpad, another American iBuyer, has big news about going public and announced new members to its board. And Polish iBuyer, SonarHome has raised money in a recent funding round led by venture capital fund Market One Capital.
The report, which was based on analysis of big-name iBuyers including RedfinNow, Opendoor, Zillow Offers, Offerpad, and Bungalo, showed that the US’ top iBuyers purchased 4,383 homes in the first quarter of this year. This number is down 6.1% year-over-year, but up 20.6% from the prior quarter, showing the resilience of the iBuying sector.
Allister Booth, an acquisitions specialist at RedfinNow in Los Angeles, explained:
"Business really started ramping up in January and February. Since then, we've just had a constant barrage of deals.
"We're back to full speed and are buying more homes than we were last year. After we buy and renovate those homes, we know we'll be able to sell them because there are so many more buyers in the market right now than there are homes available."
Redfin found that Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C. are the biggest markets for iBuyers, where iBuyers purchased 2.9% of the homes that sold in Raleigh in the first quarter. Charlotte saw 2.7% in the same quarter, with Durham, N.C., and San Antonio, T.X. with 2.6%.
Offerpad is bouncing back diligently since the shaking beginnings of the pandemic. The company has just announced that four new members will be joining the company’s board of directions later this year. These members include an executive from Zillow and the former CEO of Move, Inc.
The company is also planning a future IPO for the third quarter of 2021 after it completes a merger with SPAC Supernova Partners. The merger will see a fully completed board, with CEO Brian Bair taking the reins as Chairman.
Bair will join sitting board members Ken DeGiorgio, the current President of First American Financial Corp., who joined Offerpad’s board earlier this year; and Roberto Sella, a Managing Partner at LL Funds.
By the end of 2021, the board will welcome Katie Curnutte of Zillow, Sheryl Palmer from Taylor Morrison Home Corp., Ryan O’Hara from Move, Inc., and Alexander Klabin of Sotheby’s Financial Services.
According to Bair, the next step is for Offerpad to focus on growing its presence in new and existing markets.
Working towards bettering its offers, SonarHome has raised US$6.6 million in an investment round led by venture capital fund Market Once Capital, with participation from Kogito Ventures and a number of private investors.
SonarHome is an iBuyer within the Polish market that uses machine learning algorithms to price its apartments and allows property owners to sell on the open market or to institutional investors.
SoanrHome says the added capital will go towards the further development of its automatic pricing technologies that are driven by A.I. and machine learning. The company plans to also expand its presence across Poland and the Central Eastern European region, with the markets in Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, and Bucharest as its main goal.
Furthermore, the company has plans to go on a techy hiring spree in order to support the boost in technology it will need to bring a better iBuying option to those in the region.