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How Technology Affects the Economics of Housing

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How Technology Affects the Economics of Housing


July 1, 2019
iphone helps harness the potential of ibuying
Photo: Unsplash/Bagus Hernawan

Instant buying technology could provide a market-maker in the next economic downturn, Bloomberg reports.

But the real potential of iBuying is during the next real estate downturn. As the real estate market slows, the opportunity to sell instantly will become more attractive, and more properties could end up in the hands of big investors.

This ability to sell properties instantly also encourages the adoption of a second technology: click-to-buy. For many of the same reasons big investors have been reluctant to move into the home market, small-time real estate investors have traditionally taken their time and stayed in neighborhoods they know well.

Together, these two technologies could serve as a kind of market-maker: A platform that allows buyers and sellers to find each other. As an asset that can be easily bought and sold at known prices, real estate would be coveted by investors, who are willing to accept a lower return on their investment in exchange for the convenience of easy trading.

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