DANBURY, Conn., Oct. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Athena Real Estate is pleased to announce the acquisition of Century Oaks Retirement Community, a 71-site, age-restricted 55+, manufactured home community, located at 1718 Pass Road, Biloxi, MS 39531. The property, acquired through an Athena affiliate, will operate under the Applebrook Homes umbrella.
Century Oaks is a high-quality, well-located manufactured home retirement community along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This private, gated community features all double-wide homes and is age-restricted to 55+ adults who enjoy an active, independent living lifestyle.
Richard J. O'Brien, President & CEO of Athena Real Estate, said, "We are thrilled to acquire a beautiful property such as Century Oaks, which is in a strong location and expands our manufactured home community portfolio into a new state. We remain interested in acquiring high-quality manufactured home communities, RV parks & resorts, and self-storage facilities throughout the United States, especially in the Southeast within desirable population growth markets.”
About Athena Real Estate, LLC
Athena Real Estate, LLC is a private real estate investment firm focused on specialty collateral types, including self-storage facilities, manufactured home communities, and RV parks & resorts. Athena Real Estate and its affiliates currently operate 26 properties across these 3 sectors. Athena generally acquires properties nationwide with an emphasis on the Southeast. It has an active pipeline of acquisitions and continues to seek opportunities to grow.
Athena Real Estate is located at 98 Mill Plain Road, Suite 3C, Danbury, CT 06811 www.athenarealestate.com.
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Here's why Zillow won't be buying any more homes to renovate and resell this year
The real estate website Zillow announced it would stop buying and renovating homes through the end of the year as it works through a backlog of properties and it deals with worker and supply shortages.
"We're operating within a labor- and supply-constrained economy inside a competitive real estate market, especially in the construction, renovation and closing spaces," Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow's chief operating officer, 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," he added.
Through its Zillow Offers program, the company buys homes directly from sellers, completes the necessary upgrades and lists them for sale. This lets sellers avoid having to do repairs or set up showings themselves, the company says.
Zillow, which is known for its online real estate listings, told shareholders that it purchased 3,805 homes through the program in the second quarter of this year, a major increase over previous years.
Zillow Offers, which launched in 2019, sold 2,086 homes and made a gross profit of $71 million over the same period.
The company announced on Monday that it wouldn't sign any new contracts to buy homes through the end of 2021. Zillow said that it would still market and sell homes through the program and that it would also continue to buy houses with contracts that have already been signed but have yet to close.
The construction industry was one of many that were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the cost of building materials soar. Meanwhile, the demand for homes — as well as their price tags — has surged.
While the astronomical prices of wood have decreased from their recent highs, other materials such as steel and piping remain costly or in short supply. On top of that, there is a serious shortage of construction workers.
Both the construction of new homes and the authorization of building permits fell in September compared with the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In an interview with Marketplace Morning Report last month, Associated Builders and Contractors economist Anirban Basu said the coronavirus was still causing problems in the housing industry. "The spread of the delta variant globally has increased supply chain issues. It means higher prices for inputs; it raises the cost of delivering construction services," Basu said.
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By Anna Bahney, CNN Business
CNN — Zillow will stop buying homes through Zillow Offers for the rest of the year, as the company's iBuying program goes from full speed to full stop.
The company announced on Monday it would not contract to buy any more homes in 2021 in order to work through the backlog of homes it has already bought.
The "iBuyer" model used by Zillow and other real estate companies entails purchasing homes directly from sellers, and then re-listing the properties after doing minor work. But thanks to the current shortage on labor and materials, Zillow can't close, renovate and resell the homes fast enough.
"We're operating within a labor- and supply-constrained economy inside a competitive real estate market, especially in the construction, renovation and closing spaces," said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow's chief operating officer, in a statement.
"Pausing new contracts will enable us to focus on sellers already under contract with us and our current home inventory," said Wacksman.
Zillow will still market and sell the homes it has acquired through Zillow Offers, which has been on a purchasing tear this year. It bought 3,805 homes in the second quarter -- a record high for the company and more than double the number of homes bought in the first quarter, according to a note to company shareholders.
Zillow, known for its online real estate listings, introduced an iBuyer program, Zillow Offers, in 2018 and now operates in 25 cities. Like other iBuyers -- such as Opendoor, RedfinNow and Offerpad -- Zillow Offers uses data and algorithms about the property and the market to make a cash offer on an off-market home, and buys directly from the homeowner.
IBuyers appeal to home sellers because closings can take place anywhere from 7 to 90 days after the contract is signed and can provide some certainty and control over the sale of their home without the hassle of finding an agent and prepping the house for market. According to Zillow, the fee to the seller for Zillow Offers averages 5%, but can vary based on market conditions.
Home purchases by iBuyers now account for about 1% of the market, according to a report from Zillow. The share is still a tiny part of the whole market, but shows tremendous growth over the past few years as the iBuyer share in some cities, like Phoenix, Atlanta or Charlotte, North Carolina, now tops 5%.
Zillow wasn't alone among iBuyers in buying a lot of homes this year. IBuyers bought more houses, at higher prices, in the second quarter of this year than in any other quarter, according to research from Mike DelPrete, an independent real estate technology strategist and scholar in residence at the University of Colorado Boulder. That has surprised some skeptics who did not think the iBuyer model would be appealing to home sellers in a hot market.
His research suggests that sellers are drawn to the certainty and ease of iBuying and the market conditions fueled its growth.
Zillow's move to halt purchases is surprising, he said, particularly because it is so sudden.
"iBuyers have access to a tremendous amount of data, they can see months into the future and plan their inventory," said DelPrete. "So the fact that Zillow didn't see this coming and wasn't able to make adjustments before it had to resort to an iBuying lockdown is pretty surprising."
This shift, he said, demonstrates how difficult this business model is to scale up. Large iBuyers need to be skilled at both managing billions of dollars in capital, but also the logistical specifics of prepping a home for sale, down to drywall and painting and closing deals.
"There is only so much that technology can do," said DelPrete. "At the end of the day you need people to process a lot of transactions."
However, the halt appears to be a Zillow-specific problem, not an iBuyer industry problem, DelPrete said.
"Zillow just kept barreling down and now they've hit this wall," he said.
This is not the situation a growth-focused company wants to be in, he said.
"If you're trying to be number one in the market, slamming on the brakes is one of the worst things you can do," said DelPrete. "You want to make some adjustments before you get to that point -- slow down, switch gears. This is not the preferred outcome for Zillow."
Open Door, the leading iBuyer ahead of Zillow at a distant second, said in a statement it is still open for business.
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