Is Zillow's Collapse A Warning Sign? - Part 2

In part one of this article, we discussed how the recent decline in Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor share prices could reflect a concern that the risks involved in holding large home inventories while attempting to "flip houses" could present for these Real Estate firms. The recent 50% price drop in the share price levels should send a fairly strong warning to investors that these "flipping" processes contain a moderate degree of underlying risk and extended costs in a super-heated and potentially peaking Real Estate trend.

It has been reported that Zillow increased the purchase of homes for their Ibuyer program, from 86 homes in Q2:2020 to 808 homes in Q3:2020, to 3805 homes in Q2:2021. We’ll learn more about their Q3:2021 home buying efforts when Zillow announced earnings.

It has also been reported that Zillow sold more than $1 billion in bonds to investors to fund this operation that includes using their Zestimate algorithm to buy homes quickly, renovate/flip them, and put them back on the market. The super-heated Real Estate market has driven these firms into speculative trading of houses in an open and often hostile market environment. Taking a bigger leap is Opendoor, which purchased 8,494 homes in Q2:2021. This is a massive inventory of homes that may require many months or years to renovate/sell.

Zillow Collapse

Is this trend a buying opportunity for Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor – or a warning? Continue reading "Is Zillow's Collapse A Warning Sign? - Part 2"

Is Zillow's Collapse A Warning Sign?

Watching Zillow (ZG) move from over $200 per share to recent levels below $90, reflecting a more than 55% collapse in price, while the housing market continues to rally may be an indication that traders/investors have already discounted the future peak in the U.S. capital markets and Real Estate assets related to the current market environment. Zillow is not the only symbol experiencing this broad price decline. Redfin (RDFN) has also declined more than 54% over the past 7+ months.

Is the peak in real estate flippers prices sending a strong warning for traders/investors?

The peak in these stocks happened near February 16-22, 2021. This date, interestingly enough, aligns with a peak in global capital markets using my proprietary Smart Cash Index and a very clear peak in the Chinese Hang Seng Index.

Recent news that Zillow halted the purchases of homes using its "Zestimate" and Ibuyer programs, which act as a purchase, renovate, flip-type of market service allowing home sellers to get an almost instant purchase offer from Zillow has raised questions in my mind related to the potential risks involved in owning large quantities of real estate assets in a shifting market.

This news article suggests Zillow has over 2800 US homes available for sale. We are not aware of how many homes have been purchased and are waiting for completed repairs/inspections before they go on the market. Continue reading "Is Zillow's Collapse A Warning Sign?"

Is Real Estate The Next Shoe To Drop - Part 3

Our continued research into the state and status of the Real Estate market continues to point to a process that is starting to unfold in the US which may put price and activity levels at risk. Within the past two segments of this research article, we’ve highlighted how market cycles and recent market data point to a Real Estate market that may be in the early stages of a downward price cycle.

Additionally, within Part II of this article, we highlighted the human psychological process of dealing with a crisis event which also suggests a deepening price contraction event may take place within the next 12 to 24+ months.

US New Home Sales Data Was Just Released

We believe the psychological process is just starting to become evident in the current data. For example, the US New Home Sales data was just released and it shows the sharpest decline in activity since June 2010 (nearly 14 months after the actual bottom in the US stock market in March 2009).

Real Estate

Our researcher team believes investors/traders and many consumers have become complacent with the current data and are simply in denial in attempting to relate future economic outcomes to the current set of circumstances. There has never been anything like this to disrupt global economic activity and consumer engagement over the past 100+ years. Not even the Great Depression or WWII was on this scale. Continue reading "Is Real Estate The Next Shoe To Drop - Part 3"

Is Real Estate The Next Shoe To Drop - Part 2

As we continue to delve into the looming Real Estate crisis that will likely hit the US and globe over the next 12 to 24+ months, we want to focus on the human psychological process of dealing with a crisis event and how that relates to economic engagement. In the first part of this research article, we discussed how the time-line and events that have unfolded over the past 120+ days have setup a continuing global crisis event. The best of our knowledge, there has been nothing like this, other than massive wars like WWII, that have taken place on the planet over the past 75+ years.

This presents a very real possibility that human psychological processes have engaged throughout the planet that may disrupt how effective the recovery efforts are in the near future. If humans engage in a traditional psychological crisis-cycle process, then there is little chance that the economic recovery will reach 2018-2019 levels very quickly. Let’s review the psychological process of a crisis event.

The Normal Psychological Reactions To A Crisis Event Are

Vicarious Rehearsal: People that are distanced from the crisis event (location or expectations) tend to react in a way that reflects their belief that “it won’t result in any dramatic changes to their lives”. Thus, they continue behaving and acting as they would without the crisis.

Denial: The process of denial takes on many forms. Some people simply ignore the warnings or information related to the crisis. Others become agitated or confused. Some simply chose to believe the threat is not real and others may believe the threat does not relate to themselves.

Stigmatization: Sometimes, segments of society may become stigmatized by their community as anger or blame drives people to believe infected people or segments of society that may promote the crisis event are identified. We’ve already seen some of this type of activity throughout the globe take place. Continue reading "Is Real Estate The Next Shoe To Drop - Part 2"

Is Real Estate The Next Shoe To Drop?

The past few weeks and months have been very interesting to see how the global central banks and governments have attempted to position themselves ahead of this COVID-19 virus event. We continue to suggest that we are just starting the process of navigating through this potentially destructive virus event. We believe the sudden onset of the virus pandemic has sent a shock-wave throughout the globe in terms of expectations and valuations that are, just now, starting to become “real”. Let us try to explain our thinking and how this relates to Real Estate.

The COVID-19 virus event is a global crisis event that is currently in the very early stages of consumer psychological processing. All types of crisis events prompt some forms of typical human reaction. We believe the Real Estate market may be the next big asset revaluation event as consumers continue to process the COVID-19 virus crisis and the consequences of this event.

Real Estate Cycles

Real Estate cycles typically transition through the following phases as supply and demand functions work through the markets. Pay attention to the middle of this cycle chart. In the Expansion and HyperSupply stages, once supply peaks and prices somewhat peak/stabilize, a transition takes place in the market where buyers chase premium properties and push price levels moderately higher. The Recession Cycle is typically a disruptive cycle that is the result of an economic/income disruption. When people can’t earn enough to satisfy their debt obligations and or provide for their families, then the Real Estate cycle begins to contract.

Real Estate

An event like this, the COVID-19 virus event, would typically start out as a regional/local event. This did happen as it roiled certain areas of China in late 2019. Watching how China attempted to manage and hide the extent of the virus explosion within their country was painful to watch. Continue reading "Is Real Estate The Next Shoe To Drop?"