Homes may no longer be for homeowners.
One of the most consequential trends playing out in residential real estate is the evolution of the single-family home into a measurable, tradeable, increasingly liquid asset — something that is beginning to look, feel and act like a commodity. Should it continue down that route, the implications for the U.S. housing market — and for aspiring homeowners — are massive.
The latest startup riding this wave is Roofstock, which raised $240 million last month at a $1.9 billion valuation. Roofstock is a marketplace for single-family homes: It helps investors identify, trade and manage homes on its platform in exchange for a piece of the action. Founded by “Starwood mafia” alum Gary Beasley, it wants to place itself at the center of what it calls a $4 trillion asset class. It’s pursuing that goal in several interesting ways.
In this latest episode of Paydirt, The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani breaks down Roofstock’s grand ambitions and analyzes how the company, through iBuying, tokenization and fractionalization, aims to become the platform of choice for institutional investors targeting the single-family rental space. He also looks at how regulation on the horizon could hurt the startup’s growth, and how it’s responding.
Do companies such as Roofstock make the housing market even more inaccessible to mom-and-pop buyers, or do they help make it more transparent?