Looks like more folks are "battening down the hatches" as Zillow's Barton said. Here are some excerpts from Seattle real estate startups regarding their cut backs. I have to say I hope these companies make it through the rough patch. Redfin's MLS search is one of my favorites and Zillow is always fun to check out from time to time.
The unprecedented economic events that are playing out on a global stage began in our own industry and have made a prolonged recession likely, in our judgment. We are a young company that is not yet making a profit. Despite having sizeable cash reserves, we deemed the responsible course was to meaningfully reduce expenses, so that Zillow emerges from the other side of the recession in a very strong position, even if the recession lasts many years.
Even a month ago, we were raising 2009 revenue projections. All our markets, now including Chicago, contributed profits. But the past few weeks have seen a major reversal. As the stock market wiped out prospective down-payments, tours and offers dropped 30%. Transactions that were done came undone. October will still be pretty good, then we’re headed for a big dip.
For what it's worth, I remain hopeful things will turn around in the new year. I know a number of my clients are pondering if January is the right time to make a purchase. A few are waiting for after the election to decide on what to do. It remains to be seen if the news will get better, worse, or stay the same leading up to the new year.