PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The large selling off of homes owned by real estate website giant Zillow is also happening on the Treasure Coast.
As many as 20 homes in St. Lucie County are listed on the Zillow website.
Earlier this week, 30 Zillow-owned homes were up for sale, some at prices less than what the company paid to buy the homes.
Last week Zillow told shareholders it was getting out of the Zillow Offers program of buying and reselling homes, citing volatile prices and the difficult labor and supply chain environment.
Zillow has had its eye on St. Lucie County for a while. Jacob Bailey at Baron Real Estate said he noticed it four years ago.
"I noticed in 2017 they owned hundreds of properties, up to 300," Bailey said.
Zillow is now ditching homes it owns, ending their house-flipping business.
Among them is a home on Southwest Karin Street in Port St. Lucie listed at $414,900. Records indicate Zillow bought it two months ago for $404,000.
Currently, on its site, Zillow lists for sale about 20 homes it owns that are similar to ones listed in Palm Beach County.
Real estate expert Ken H. Johnson at Florida Atlantic University said the post-pandemic period is a tough time for rehabbing and reselling homes, but it's also possible Zillow is sensing a housing downturn.
"I think this signals they have a lot of information about the peak of the housing market," Johnson said. "You do not want to be buying when housing prices are about to flatten out or go down."
He said if there is a downturn, South Florida home values likely will hold up better than in other areas.
"A, we're short of inventory, so that will support pricing, and B, this is an incredibly popular area of the country to move to," Johnson said.
Bailey said the housing market is still strong on his part of the Treasure Coast.
"We're the last frontier of South Florida. If you look at the map, Boca and Fort Lauderdale 15 years ago, it's not too dissimilar from how our area looks now, so who's to say," Bailey said.
Whether the market cools or remains hot, real estate experts said Zillow is not looking to make any large profits on these homes, so they will likely sell fast.
"We are selling more homes, for more money and quicker," Bailey said.