During the pandemic-spurred housing boom, Zillow Offers emerged as a particularly aggressive iBuyer, or instant buyer, of homes in Sun Belt markets, offering homeowners more than the market value of their properties, with no catch. Zillow has now conceded that it has been paying too much for properties, even in a market characterized by soaring home values. Saying it had lost $1 billion on iBuying, Zillow has shut down its Zillow Offers unit.
“We’ve determined the unpredictability in forecasting home prices far exceeds what we anticipated and continuing to scale Zillow Offers would result in too much earnings and balance-sheet volatility,” Chief Executive Rich Barton said.
Zillow used an algorithm to make home price estimates, called the “Zestimate,” and determine what it would pay home sellers.
Are Zestimates accurate?
Zestimates are somewhat like the National Hurricane Center’s projection for a hurricane’s path: both provide a single price or point, but those prices and points are actually the median of a range.