The iBuying market doubled in Q3 of 2021

Published December 13, 2021
Last updated March 7, 2023

The iBuying market doubled in Q3 of 2021. U.S. homeowners sold 27,244 homes worth a total of $10.6 billion via iBuying.

The iBuying market is still expanding rapidly and doubled between Q2 and Q3 of this year. Zillow’s latest real estate market report states that homeowners sold more than 27,000 homes worth $10.6 billion via a iBuying service. 

The iBuyer market share reached 1.9% in Q3, surpassing the previous high of 1% set in Q2 2021. Homeowners in Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston and Charlotte sold the most homes using an iBuying service in Q3.

As home prices rose across the country, the homes iBuyers purchased were more expensive than ever, and the markup when those homes were sold fell significantly from previous quarters’ markups.

Instant buyers, commonly known as iBuyers, are home-buying and -selling services that typically buy off-market homes directly from sellers at market rate and, after making light repairs and updates, quickly list them for sale on the open market. In the 36 largest iBuyer markets, homeowners sold 27,244 homes in Q3 using one of the largest iBuying services. 

That represents 1.9% of all U.S. home sales last quarter, and exceeds the previous record of 14,961 homes set in Q2 of this year. Those iBuyers sold 10,728 homes during the same period, also a record high. 

Amid record home value appreciation, iBuyers paid more for homes in Q3 than in any previous quarter. The median price of home sales using an iBuying service was $376,000 last quarter, up from $333,000 in Q2 and 13.9% higher than the overall Q3 U.S. median sale price of $329,970.

Of homes that were bought and sold by an iBuyer in Q3, the median markup — the difference between the purchase price and sale price — was 1.8%. That is down from a revised 6.7% markup for homes purchased by iBuyers in Q2 and eventually sold, and a peak of 8.6% for homes purchased by iBuyers in Q1. In eight metros, the typical home bought by an iBuyer in Q3 sold at a loss. The biggest median losses were in Austin (-7.7%), Fort Collins (-3.7%) and Colorado Springs (-2.5%). 

Phoenix overtook Q2 2021 leader Atlanta as the market with the most homes sold using an iBuyer, followed by Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston and Charlotte. Homeowners in Phoenix sold $1.47 billion worth of homes using an iBuying service last quarter, the first time a market has broken the $1 billion mark. 

In three metros, more than 1 in 10 homes sold last quarter were sold using an iBuyer: Greensboro (13.9%), Phoenix (12.1%) and Tucson (11%). The fastest-growing iBuyer markets in terms of number of iBuyer purchases are Colorado Springs (+266.2% since Q2), Austin (+184.4%), Fort Collins (+159.4%), Miami (+152.1%) and Cincinnati (+149.5%).

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