最有看点的互联网金融门户

最有看点的互联网金融门户
国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务

金融科技企业叫板沃伦·巴菲特 :新入局者重塑住房房地产市场

国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务

金融科技企业叫板沃伦·巴菲特 :新入局者重塑住房房地产市场

金融科技企业曾宣称其将使买卖房产更为高效,然而迄今并为(完全)兑现该承诺。

诚然,Zillow、Redfin等金融科技房产业老牌玩家甚至在潜在买家或卖方联系中介前就为其提供房源、社区、相似交易等信息。然而交易均价与以往挂牌定价相差仍然不足6%。而其他国家的交易价格不及此一半。

于是,众企业纷纷从金融科技房地产业中脱身,只有沃伦·巴菲特与其旗下伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司持续收购传统房产中介。 然而Homie、Faira、Rex、Opendoor,与 Offerpad等新生代金融科技企业正竭力使房屋买卖更为迅速、简便与便宜,欲与巴菲特及传统房地产业一较高下。

住房房地产业市场庞大。2017年,房屋售卖量超600万起,销售总额逾1.7万亿美元。这意味着,按平均5.26%的房产交易佣金计算,仅2017年佣金额就近乎950亿美元。房产平均贷款量为40%,那么佣金就约为房产抵押净值的10%。无论怎样计算,佣金额均不容小觑。至少在巴菲特看来如此。

伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司2000年入局住房房地产市场。2017年该公司完成三笔并购交易,如今已是美国第二大房产中介。2017年伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司经手的房产交易额达到1270亿美元。巴菲特表示伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司计划拓展市场:"伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司虽新近完成了收购,其旗下的HomeServices拟计划参与2018年本国3%的住房交易。也就是说仍有97%的市场有待开发。若价格合理,我们将继续增补这一基础行业内经理企业。"

以往,房产中介近乎提供房屋买卖相关一切服务。Ron Abta是一名旧金山房产中介,去年其经理的房产交易额超1亿美元。Abta表示:"互联网使竞争更为公平,在某种程度上改变了一名优秀终结可为客户提供的价值。"Abta认为中介可为客户提供而金融科技企业力所不及的方面有四:

  1. 信息灵敏度:经验丰富的中介在房产交易消息发布前就可获悉动向。
  2. 美誉度:"在交易选择丰富的情况下,可靠的中介给予卖家交易保障感",这可能胜过出价更高但并不确定的选择。
  3. 协商性:好的中介可为顾客提供商谈战略。
  4. 指导性:中介可帮助客户更好地呈现出价或有效推销房产。

旧金山房产交易均价超160万美元。"你真的愿意选择折扣经纪人吗,这可是真金白银啊。"

然而,并不是所有市场都如旧金山一般。盐湖城的房产均价仅略高于35.33万美元。按房屋发布数看,新入局金融科技企业Homie已成为该读取第二大经理商。Homie提供一系列的工具"为买卖双方实现整个房产交易自动化。"Homie并不收取佣金,而是向卖方收取2000美元(相对较低)的平台费,并为买家提供最高5000美元的退款。Homie的员工有房产中介、律师及贷款经理人。Homie凭借其前卫的短片与恰当投放的广告席卷了盐湖城,也引来了现有房产经理商的抨击。

其他新兴金融科技企业同样也瞄准了佣金。西雅图企业Faira的CEO Kamal Jain表示:"买房就应该像在亚马逊上买书一样。"使用Faira,所有的协商都可在线完成,也可在线创建并执行合约。Faira对卖家免费(若需经纪人帮助则收取1%的费用),对买家则收取0.5% 的费用。Rex则正进军多个市场,绕过了MLS房源系统及传与对经理商直接补偿的方法,采用数据挖掘售房,并向潜在买家进行推销。

另一种模式为使用自家(或投资者)资金使房产交易更为迅捷(并不低廉)。Offerpad与Opendoor已各自筹集了数亿美元资金用以直接购买房产,其某些购买地点尚不可知。其放出房屋信息后几乎可立即达成交易。这类企业利用技术助力房产评估与销售。对卖方来说,评估房产价值,如展示房屋与等待,这一售卖过程中痛点得以消除。这类企业购入房产后转而采用传统方式以更高的价格卖出。这一切都是有代价的。Opendoor表示,其收取"合理价位"6%-13%的服务费。

新一代金融科技企业的成功模式尚未得以验证。尽管Homie在盐湖城大获成功,但其近期刚进军凤凰城,尚未登陆其他城市。Faira与Rex现今体量较小(然而增长迅速)。Offerpad与Opendoor迄今旨在房产股票动荡小且价格处于上升期的市场取得成功(这种情况在房地产业并不常见)。鉴于互联网经济的规模,这类企业要想取得成功就需扩大规模。世界其他地区佣金低,因此金融科技扩展机遇良多。然而与此同时,巴菲特也将持续推介传统中介企业,照常进行业务。巴菲特资金雄厚,且房地产经验丰富,与他唱反调存在一定风险。

Fintechs have promised to make selling and buying a house more efficient. But they have yet to deliver (fully) on the promise. To be sure, the ‘old’ guards of the fintech real estate world, Zillow and Redfin, have armed a potential buyer or seller inventory, neighborhood, and comparable transaction information before they even contact a broker. Yet, the average transaction price has barely budged from its traditional list price of 6%. In other countries, the price is less than half.

Rather than fleeing from this industry under attack, no one other than Warren Buffett and his company, Berkshire Hathaway, continue to acquire traditional real estate brokers. However, a new breed of fintech companies, with names like Homie, Faira, Rex, Opendoor, and Offerpad, is trying to make home selling and buying quicker, easier and cheaper – and are taking on Warren Buffett and the traditional real estate industry while doing so.

The residential real estate market is huge. In 2017, over 6 million homes were sold, and the aggregate value of the sales was over $1.7 trillion. This would have generated almost $95 billion in commissions in 2017 alone at an average of 5.26% for real estate commissions. When you consider that the average home has 40% of its value in debt, that commission represents almost 10% of a home’s equity. Any way you cut it, that’s a lot of money. At least that’s the way Warren Buffett sees it. Berkshire Hathaway entered the residential real estate market in 2000. With three acquisitions made in 2017, Berkshire Hathaway is now the nation’s second largest real estate broker. It represented buyers or sellers on $127 billion of transactions in 2017. And, according to Mr. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway plans to expand its footprint: “Despite its recent acquisitions, [Berkshire Hathaway’s] HomeServices is on track to do only about 3% of the country’s home-brokerage business in 2018. That leaves 97% to go. Given sensible prices, we will keep adding brokers in this most fundamental of businesses.”

Traditionally, real estate brokers have performed virtually all services related to buying and selling a home. According to Ron Abta, a San Francisco real estate agent who represented buyers and sellers on over $100 million in transactions last year, “The internet has leveled the playing field, somewhat, and changed the value a good agent can give the client.”  According to Mr. Abta, there are four things agents can provide that a fintech company cannot:

  1. Access: experienced agents knows what will be coming to market before it is listed.
  2. Reputation: “in a situation with multiple offers, a credible agent gives the seller surety of close,” which may even beat out a higher but less certain offer.
  3. Negotiation: good agents will help their client with negotiation strategies.
  4. Coaching: agents can help their clients better position their offer or better market their house.

In San Francisco, the median home sale price is over $1.6 million. “Do you really want to go to a discount broker?  That’s real money.”

However, not every market is San Francisco. In Salt Lake City, the median home price is just over $353,000. A new fintech entrant, Homie, is now the second largest broker based on number of listings. Homie provides a set of tools to “automate the entire real estate transaction for buyers and sellers”. Rather than charge a commission, Homie charges sellers a (relatively low) flat fee of $2,000 and refunds up to $5,000 to buyers. It has real estate agents, attorneys and loan brokers on staff. And along with its edgy video and well-placed billboards, Homie has taken the Salt Lake City market by storm – enough to attract the ire of the incumbent real estate market broker, as evidenced by the billboard (pictured above).

Other emerging fintech players are attaching the commission as well. According to Kamal Jain, CEO of Seattle based Faira, “You should be able to buy a home like you buy a book on Amazon.” With Faira, all the negotiation is done online and a binding contract is created and can be executed electronically. Faira is free to sellers (or 1% if they want an agent to assist them), and charges buyers 0.5% to buy a Faira listed home. Rex is entering a number of markets, bypassing the MLS and direct compensation for traditional brokers, instead using data mining both to find potential listings and then to market those listings to potential buyers.

Another class of competitors is using their own (or their investors’) capital to help make the real estate transaction faster (but not cheaper). Offerpad and Opendoor have each raised hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase homes directly, many times site unseen. They present an offer and can close virtually immediately. These companies use technology to help the assess the value of and then sell the homes. The value, for the seller, is much of the pain of the home selling process – such as showing the home and waiting – is eliminated. After buying the home, they then turn around and sell the home in the more traditional way at a higher price. All of this comes at a cost. According to Opendoor, they charge a service fee of 6-13% on top of their “fair offer.”

The success of this new generation of fintechs is still untested. Although Homie is succeeding in Salt Lake City, it only recently launched in Phoenix and is not yet available elsewhere. Faira and Rex have small (but rapidly growing) volumes to date. And Offerpad and Opendoor have been successful so far in markets where housing stock is tight and prices are rising; (and that doesn’t always happen in real estate markets). Given the internet economies of scale, these companies need to expand in order to succeed. Based on lower commissions charged in the rest of the world, there is a lot of opportunity for that to happen. But in the meantime, Warren Buffett will keep rolling up the traditional agencies and continue with business as usual.  Betting against Mr. Buffet carries its own set of risks, as he is not short of capital and has plenty of experience with real estate cycles.


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