While the coronavirus pandemic has left behind carnage in many real estate sectors, the single-family industry has proved to be resilient. As a result, Zillow has continued to expand and has launched its iBuying solution for homeowners (Zillow Offers) in Jacksonville, Florida on September 9th. Jacksonville is now the 25th market in the United States Zillow Offers operates in.
Zillow acquires single family residences at scale in selective markets nationally through their iBuyer platform: Zillow Offers. Zillow Offers displays a portal where homeowners can access the true market value of their home and if they decide to, can request an offer for their home and within 48-hours receive a competitive, as-is, all cash offer for their home. Homeowners essentially by-passing the strenuous experience of listing your home with an listing agent, paying hefty fees to sell, having to make home upgrades and staging homes. Upon acquisition of the home, Zillow then either conducts the appropriate renovations to ‘bring new life to the home’ to then either re-list onto the market or rent the home to tenants and add the home to their investment portfolios. Zillow Offers has saved home sellers time and money since 2014.
Zillow Offers however is very selective of the markets they operate in, this being that not every market garners attractive single-family growth prospects. So it is a great luxury if Zillow Offers expands into your local city. Early September, Jacksonville, Florida is now one of the few lucky markets. Despite the industry wide slow down experienced from COVID, Zillow announced in March it was planning to expand to Jacksonville and Oklahoma City, and it looks like it is still on track of fulfilling this by year end. Zillow and it’s iBuyer competitors halted all property acquisitions through the first two months of COVID, however the single-family industry hardly felt the affects and rebounded entirely since. Zillow has thus resumed iBuying in all 24 markets after launching new health-safety initiatives, and now feels confident to accelerate its expansion into new markets.
Florida is a very attractive market for single family investors as it provides idiosyncratic amenities unfound anywhere else in the country. Florida’s primary cities have all the features of large urban metropolitans, year-long warm weathers, less densely populated cities, and substantially lower costs of living with median home prices merely $50,000 greater than the national average of $285,000. Coupled with the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has caused people to rethink their priorities on where they want to live and play. Cities like Jacksonville, Florida offer residents a dense suburban feel tethered near 22 relaxing beaches and a strong labor markets have attracted residents who have flocked from the large city cores. It is no wonder that Zillow is bullish on the market and anticipates long term appreciation as Jacksonville is now the 3rd city in Florida Zillow offers homebuyers this unique opportunity of selling their home.