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​Zillow halting the purchase of Austin homes amid labor, supply shortage

(Zillow)

The housing market rollercoaster in Austin is on a dip—real estate giant Zillow is taking a pause on flipping homes in the Austin area, citing a lack of labor and bursting inventory.


The company is pausing its iBuyer service, which buys homes and makes light repairs before flipping them on the market, through the end of the year, according to a statement by Zillow Offers.

The iBuyer program allows homeowners to request an offer on their house and generates a "Zestimate" based on algorithms.

The company, which has been working in Austin since 2019, said it acquired a record-breaking 3,805 homes in the second quarter of 2021 and sold 2,086 during the same quarter. Zillow said it will stop purchasing new homes until it has the chance to work through already existing properties.

"We're operating within a labor- and supply-constrained economy inside a competitive real estate market, especially in the construction, renovation and closing spaces," Zillow's chief operating officer Jeremy Wacksman said in a statement. "We have not been exempt from these market and capacity issues and we now have an operational backlog for renovations and closings. Pausing new contracts will enable us to focus on sellers already under contract with us and our current home inventory."

Zillow's stock dropped by 9.45%, down to $86 per share immediately following the announcement. Meanwhile, competitor Opendoor's stock jumped by almost 8% to $25.27 per share, correspond with Zillow's dip.

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1923 Lake Austin mansion demolition request pitting preservationists and some neighbors against owner and city preservation office
Austin Monitor

By Jonathan Lee

The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.

The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'

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Freaky Floats and other Austin food & drink news
Austin Motel

What's new in Austin food & drink this week:

  • Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
  • Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
  • Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
  • Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
  • Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
  • Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
  • The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
  • Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
  • P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.