Opendoor builds $9 billion war chest to buy U.S. homes – Daily News

on Oct5
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By Patrick Clark | Bloomberg

Opendoor Technologies is adding billions of dollars in borrowing capacity as it races to buy and sell more homes.

The company, the largest of an emerging group of tech-powered home flippers called iBuyers, entered into an amended mezzanine debt facility with a $3 billion limit, according to an Oct. 4 filing. That move, combined with other recent transactions, allows the company borrow as much as $9 billion through non-recourse asset-backed facilities.

Read more: iBuyer home sales soar 123% in Southern California

Opendoor’s main business involves buying a home, making repairs and putting it back on the market. Access to short-term debt is a crucial ingredient in the process, which also depends on home valuation algorithms and networks of renovation contractors.

It uses senior debt to pay for 80% to 90% of a given home, and mezzanine debt for the balance, according to an August filing. The company’s new $3 billion mezzanine facility gives it room to acquire more than 40,000 homes, based on an average home price of $350,000. The company would need more senior debt to reach that figure.

Opendoor’s main competitor, Zillow Group, has also tapped Wall Street for debt, seeking more than $1 billion in two unrated bond offerings.

Opendoor was up 1.5% at $19.28 as of 1:37 p.m. on Tuesday. The stock had slipped more than 16% this year through Monday’s close.  Zillow shares have also declined so far in 2021. After nearly tripling last year, the stock has dipped more than 35%.

Soaring home prices and rents are fueling real estate companies’ appetite for houses, adding unwelcome competition for many would-be homebuyers.

Residential real estate bought by companies or institutions hit an all-time high of 67,943 properties in the second quarter, according to Redfin, a Seattle-based online brokerage.

That’s more than a twofold increase from a year earlier when the pandemic temporarily stymied the real estate market. It also represents 15.9% of all the properties sold in the April-June quarter, or just below the record high 16.1% share of sales in the first quarter of 2020, Redfin said.

The data, which goes back to 2000, includes all residential property types, including apartment buildings and condos. It excludes purchases by small, individual investors.

Related: Realtors have little to fear from iBuyers, real estate leader says

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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