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Zillow pauses homebuying in Austin, elsewhere until next year

The company says without enough employees and supplies, it has a backlog of homes that need to be renovated.

AUSTIN, Texas — Lack of workers is impacting real estate company Zillow.

It says without enough employees and supplies, it has a backlog of homes that need to be renovated, so it’s pressing pause on buying any more houses to flip for the rest of the year through its Zillow Offers service.

Zillow Offers is a service to homeowners to sell without having to coordinate repairs or host open houses or showings. After buying a home, Zillow prepares it for sale by doing the same type of projects a typical seller would, then lists it on the open market, according to the company.

Zillow Offers has been operating in Austin since the end of 2019.

According to a statement put out on Monday, Zillow acquired 3,805 homes in the second quarter of 2021 and sold 2,086 homes during the same quarter.

“We’re operating within a labor- and supply-constrained economy inside a competitive real estate market, especially in the construction, renovation and closing spaces,” Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow's chief operating officer, said. “We have not been exempt from these market and capacity issues and we now have an operational backlog for renovations and closings. Pausing new contracts will enable us to focus on sellers already under contract with us and our current home inventory.”

The company’s stock took a hit after the announcement.

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