I just saw the news that Zillow Group acquired Naked Apartments for $13 million in cash.
Zillow is definitely investing heavily in rentals. Current renters are tomorrow’s buyers, and they obviously realize it’s cheaper to acquire that traffic ahead of the pack rather than compete for it when they are actually ready to buy (when everyone else is bidding on it too).
I still believe Zillow’s biggest competitor in rentals long term will be a very unexpected player, not really in the real estate industry at all currently: AirBnB. (I’ve believed that since 2013). AirBnB has what no one else has — home owner engagement.
We’ll see how it shakes out.