Over the last five years, a wave of real estate technology companies, or proptech, have sought to merge technology and big data to upend a housing industry that’s remained antiquated for decades. Financial technology companies, or fintech, have also jumped into the space.
But the housing market is seemingly entering a new chapter. Home sales are lagging, the pace of home price appreciation is slowing, and inventory that’s been stubbornly low across the country has seen spikes in certain markets, particularly on the West Coast. Can these companies still thrive if the housing market goes from a seller’s market to a neutral or buyer’s market?
Knock, a startup with a similar model, offers the inverse; the company buys a customer’s new home so they can move right away, and then they let the sale of the old home occur on the open market. The recently launched startup Ribbon also buys homes on behalf of customers, providing all-cash offers so a buyer can compete with other all-cash offers on a level playing field.
Lenders like LendingHome and Roc Capital took home flipping from Main Street to Wall Street by funneling institutional capital into home flips across the nation. Amherst Residential launched a platform called Bungalo that buys, renovates, and flips homes to the first bidder, not the highest bidder.