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Zillow buys homes in Palm Beach County, later puts them on the market

Some homes being sold for less than purchase
Lake Clarke Shores home bought by Zillow
Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 17:41:47-05

LAKE CLARKE SHORES, Fla. — The popular real estate website Zillow is hanging a "for sale" sign on as many as 30 homes in Palm Beach County as the company moves away from its buying-reselling program.

Along West Lake Drive in Lake Clarke Shores is a house for sale that has an interesting back story.

"This house just sold for $434,000 about a month ago. Zillow was the buyer, and they have it on the market now for $411,000," said Deidre Newton, a real estate agent and owner of The Landmark Group.

The home is about 1,900 square feet with three bedrooms and is being sold with the help of Newton. She admits the home needs updating.

Real estate agent Deidre Newton
Real estate agent Deidre Newton speaks about Zillow's purchase of homes in Palm Beach County.

The house is one of about 30 homes in Palm Beach County that was apparently recently bought by Zillow and is now selling.

"What I think most of us in the business are concerned about is Zillow is the market leader, and they're selling property," Newton said. "They're buying it, now selling it and very little, very little profit in between."

In a letter to stockholders last week, Zillow announced they were getting out of the house flipping business, citing volatility in pricing and the difficult labor and supply chain environment.

"All of them are pretty similar as far as recently sold and back on the market," said Newton of the Palm Beach County homes, which vary above and below $400,000 and are spread out from Boca Raton to Palm Beach Gardens.

Lake Clarke Shores bought by Zillow
This Lake Clarke Shores home was bought by Zillow for more than $434,000.

Newton said those prices may not be called a bargain but will most likely lure buyers in a market still sizzling.

"I think robust prices are still happening in Palm Beach County. I think this inventory of 30 houses will make a difference, so I'm still upbeat on Palm Beach County real estate, Newton said. "It's a great place to live."

Newton said the Zillow homes could have a positive impact on the local housing market demands.

"We need inventory. There's a lot of people still looking for houses in Palm Beach County. These are moderately priced houses," Newton said.

Newton speculates an investment group may try to buy most of the homes.

Zillow is selling homes it bought all across the country.

The company will continue to offer real estate info over its app.

Zillow's website estimates the average price for a home in Palm Beach County is up 21.3% from a year ago at $380,668.