Zillow Group Inc. benefited from a rapid recovery in housing demand in the second quarter as house-hunters used virtual tours to seek larger living spaces during the pandemic.

Zillow reported second-quarter revenue of US$768 million, beating an average analyst estimate of US$618 million.

Key Insights

  • Zillow offered real estate agents discounts on marketing services to help customers ride out the pandemic. The company’s core business generated US$192 million, down 17 per cent from the a year earlier.
  • With Americans stuck at home, Zillow’s mobile app and websites saw a 12 per cent boost in monthly users during the quarter. That came as low mortgage rates and demand for bigger living spaces helped turn housing into a bright spot for the U.S. economy. Existing homes sales surged in June.
  • Due to the pandemic, Zillow acquired just 86 homes through its Homes segment, which functions like a Big Data-driven home flipper. The company sold 1,437 homes, generating US$454 million in revenue, though the segment still loses money.
  • The company is benefiting from consumers’ growing willingness to shop for homes online, Chief Executive Officer Rich Barton said in an interview. “Zillow will be the beneficiary of dragging the industry into the future,” he said. “This feels like a tectonic shift to me and not just a cycle.”

Market Reaction

Zillow shares were up 56 per cent this year through the close of trading on Thursday.