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63% of 2020 Homebuyers Made an Offer Sight Unseen, Shattering Previous Record

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(NASDAQ: RDFN) — Nearly two thirds (63%) of people who bought a home last year made an offer on a property that they hadn’t seen in person, the highest share since at least 2015. That’s up from 32% a year earlier, and 45% in July, which was previously the high point, according to a new report from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Redfin’s report is based on a survey it commissioned in November and December of more than 1,900 homebuyers across 32 major markets.

“The virtual home tour is here to stay,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Homebuyers who are searching for a home out of town and don’t have the time or ability to view the home in person will use virtual tours as their primary means of viewing a home. The increased use of this technology, coupled with more people relocating, mean the sight-unseen trend will continue, and the majority of homebuyers will make offers sight unseen during their search for a home in 2021.”

Video tours with a Redfin agent have surged this year, from less than 1% of Redfin tour requests at the beginning of 2020 to about 1 in 10 today. Similarly, monthly views of 3D walkthroughs on Redfin.com have increased 563% since February.

“Live-video home tours have gone from futuristic fantasy to an everyday part of the homebuying process,” said Connecticut-based Redfin agent, Mary Ellen Wisneski. “Over video I’m able to show my buyers closeups of anything in the home and describe peculiar details they can’t experience in 3D walkthroughs or photographs—it’s like they are actually there with me.”

Much of this virtual homebuying activity is being fueled by a surge in migration as remote work becomes much more common. In 2020, 27.8% of Redfin.com users were looking to relocate, an all-time high and up 2.3 percentage points from 25.5% in 2019.

To read the full report, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/remote-homebuying-surges-to-new-high/

About Redfin 
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered residential real estate company, redefining real estate in the consumer’s favor in a commission-driven industry. We do this by integrating every step of the home buying and selling process and pairing our own agents with our own technology, creating a service that is faster, better and costs less. We offer brokerage, iBuying, mortgage, and title services, and we are the #1 nationwide brokerage website, offering a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate. We represent people buying and selling homes in over 90 markets in the United States and Canada. Since our launch in 2006, we have saved our customers over $800 million and we’ve helped them buy or sell more than 235,000 homes worth more than $115 billion.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin’s press release distribution list, email press@redfin.com. To view Redfin’s press center, click here.

SOURCE Redfin

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BenzingaEditorial

Working From Home Trend and Gaming Did The Trick for Microsoft

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On Tuesday, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) succeeded in beating forecasts far above expectations due to a boom in PC sales, increased demand for gaming and cloud services. The pandemic might have put a lot of constraints to its customers, but it also led to a structural change as businesses across the globe shifted to digital operations and saw it as key to increasing their resilience. Upon the results, Microsoft’s stock was up 5% in after-market trading.

Q2 2021 figures

Revenues increased 17percent as they amounted to $43.1 billion and exceeded $40.2 billion expected by Bloomberg. Earnings per share were $2.03, topping the expected $1.64.

The commercial cloud businesses which Wall Street sees as the main engine of Microsoft’s future growth is reaccelerating. These businesses that include Office 365 and Azure cloud platform, generated revenue of $16.7 billion in the latest quarter, which is 34 per cent up from a year before. At the same time, the launch of a new Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X lifted the gaming business as revenue of Xbox content and services was up a whopping 40% in the quarter. Personal Computing division was also up by 14 per cent as revenues amounted to $15.1 billion.

Meanwhile, the Productivity and Business Processes division reported revenue of $13.4 billion, which is a 13 percent increase. This growth was fueled by strong demand for Office 365 which grew 20 percent when adjusted for currency, which is line with the previous quarter.

Adding more fuel

Microsoft recently announced that it was investing $2 billion to be the preferred cloud provider of the General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Honda-backed (NYSE: HMC) autonomous vehicle firm Cruise. Under the agreement, Microsoft will provide cloud infrastructure for Cruise to better enable autonomous vehicles to navigate highways and surface streets in the future.

A sign of confidence

Microsoft also forecast revenue for the current quarter in the range between$40.35billion and $41.25bn. Themidpoint of the rangewould represent another quarter of 17 per cent growth, beating the 11 per cent that Wall Street forecasted.

Takeaway

Its strength in the cloud and personal computing enabled Microsoft to blow away Q2 expectations. As Mr. Nadella had put it, digital transformation is sweeping every company and every industry across the globe. Microsoft is powering this second wave of transformation that is even stronger than the first one as the world is now creating a new normal that will stay long after the COVID-19 pandemic becomes history.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

This Week’s IPOs

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This week has eight scheduled IPOs with three billion-dollar deals coming from bio tech, diagnostics, software and solar equipment, among others.

Biotech

The US biotechnology company that received emergency approval from the FDA for its COVID-19 antibody and antigen tests, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (NASDAQ: OCDX), plans to raise $1.5 billion at a $4.9 billion market cap. This pure-play in vitro diagnostics business provides diagnostic testing solutions. It is profitable on an EBIT basis, with a revenue retention rate of 99% in 2019.

Customer-survey software

Qualtrics International (NASDAQ: XM) seeks to raise as much as $1.46 billion. It provides a customer and employee experience management platform to over 12,000 organizations. But, despite its sticky customers, it operates in a highly competitive environment with low barriers to entry.

Solar equipment supplier

Shoals Technologies Group (NASDAQ: SHLS) designs and manufactures products used in large solar energy projects. It is a profitable and growing company that plans to raise $1.0 billion at a $3.6 billion market cap. However, its growth depends on international growth and its track record abroad is not impressive.

Asset-light container liner shipping company

Israel-based ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (NYSE: ZIM) plans to raise $306 million at a $2.1 billion market cap. This company positions itself as a global leader in niche markets with competitive advantages that allow it to maximize its profitability.

Mortgage

Residential mortgage producer Home Point Capital (NASDAQ: HMPT) plans to raise $250 million at a $3.0 billion market cap. It utilizes a wholesale mortgage origination channel to connect with nearly broker partners, which allows it to serve roughly 300,000 customers.

Asset management

Brazilian asset manager Vinci Partners Investments (NASDAQ: VINP) plans to raise $236 million at a $944 million market cap. Its portfolio includes private equity, public equities, real estate, credit, infrastructure, hedge funds, and investment products.

Supermarket portfolio

Southeastern Grocers (NYSE: SEGR) plans to raise $134 million (100% secondary) at a $725 million market cap. The company itself won’t sell any shares as part of the offering and will not receive any net proceeds from its public debut.

Agriculture

Agricultural technology company Agrify (NASDAQ: AGFY) plans to raise $25 million at a $115 million market cap. This company is highly unprofitable but fast growing. It aims to differentiate itself with a bundled solution of equipment, software, and services that is optimized for growth.

By the looks of it, the 2021 IPO market seems to be continuing 2020’s momentum.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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FbMagazine

IBM Is Not Out of the Woods Yet

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On Thursday afternoon, International Business Corporation (NYSE: IBM) reported its weaker than expected fourth quarter, showing that its transformation struggles continue. The large software acquisition  of Red Hat that helps customers manage a growing hybrid cloud world while using AI to drive efficiency did not manage to bring the desired improvement. The pandemic led to an entirely different scenario and adjusted profits declined by nearly a third in 2020. Upon the results, stock fell more than 6% in after-hours trading. For the past year, Big Blue’s shares have declined 5.1% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average to which it is a member of, gained 6.8% with the S&P gaining 16% during the same period.

Q4 earnings

Net income was $1.36 billion, or $1.51 a share, which is significantly less than $4.11 a share in the same quarter last year and less than the $1.81 a share that analysts had expected. After taking away significant restructuring charges and similar effects, earnings amount to $2.07 a share, down from $4.79 a share in 2019’s quarter.

Analysts expected sales of $20.7 billion, but they shrank from $21.78 billion the year before to $20.37 billion. This is IBM’s lowest quarterly revenue since 1997. Looking at YoY figures, revenue has fallen 30 of the past 34 quarters. The only solace investors could possibly find is in the fact that Red Hat’s revenue increased 18% compared to last year’s quarter, but this wasn’t enough to move the needle.

2020 figures

Revenue dropped from $77.15 billion in 2019 to $73.62 billion, pulling down adjusted earnings from $12.81 a share to $8.67. Before COVID-19 started its relentless march across the globe, analysts expected adjusted earnings of $13.30 a share on sales of $79.4 billion, according to FactSet, but expectations took a sharp dive afterwards. The delivered results were even weaker. At the end of the day, companies are what their figures say they are and right now IBM’s record continues to trend in the wrong direction with shrinking earnings and sales.

2021 outlook

Although Big Blue will be getting smaller on purpose, the planned spinoff of the managed infrastructure business at the end of the year is expected to result in sustainable mid-single-digit revenue growth and a strong free cash flow. The spin-off, along with the $34 billion 2018 Red Hat acquisition and new Chief Executive Arvind Krishna are all parts of an effort to better position IBM in the cloud space which is ran by no other than Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL). As if things weren’t hard enough.

IBM expects to grow revenue this year, but the story is more complicated than that. It will take a while before its strategic acquisition makes its way to improved top and bottom lines. Unfortunately, the overall picture is that revenue shrank for the fourth straight quarter, leaving the new executive sitting in the same chair as his predecessor who had 22 straight quarters of revenue losses under his watch. Despite Krishna’s sound approach, IBM’s efforts are simply not generating the expected growth, for now. But it is certainly too soon to say his transformation strategy has failed. However, something needs to change and as soon as possible.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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