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


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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