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Redfin CFO says housing market 'still pretty slow' despite a couple of hopeful signs

Published Nov 20, 2023 02:39PM ET
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© Reuters. Redfin (RDFN) CFO says housing market 'still pretty slow' despite a couple of hopeful signs
 
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The housing market is still pretty slow, according to Redfin (NASDAQ:RDFN) CFO Chris Nielsen, who spoke in an online call at the Needham Annual Consumer Tech/E-Commerce Virtual Conference on Monday.

Nielsen told listeners that they have yet to see a reason for a change in the market despite there being "a couple of hopeful signs."

He noted the company's recent earnings release and said existing home sales below 3.9 million units seasonally adjusted is pretty low, and that's mostly what they have expected as they "think about the fourth quarter and also even into the first quarter of next year."

"We haven't seen a lot of reason for change, a lot of catalyst for change," commented Nielsen. However, he stated that some of the information regarding mortgages and interest rates over the last ten days or so may begin to flip the switch on that.

"We've seen a good amount of interest on the part of potential sellers, even late into the buying and selling season," he added. While new home listings coming onto the market have held up well, overall, the company doesn't yet expect things to get a lot better.

Commenting on headcount in the business, Nielsen stated that the company is "mostly pleased" with the number of agents it has across the US, although it is hiring in San Francisco and Los Angeles as they think there is more demand there than they have supply of agents at this point.

Overall, the business will be "pretty careful" regarding incremental hiring until it can get a clearer view of the housing market into next year.

The CFO noted that the company is trying to use AI where it can, and some of the more basic questions that its agents receive may be able to be handled by AI in the future.

Elsewhere, Redfin is growing its advertising revenue faster than any other portion of the business while the company is gaining website traffic faster than its competitors and improving its search rankings to drive customers back to the website.

"It's the reason that we have a lot of confidence in our ability to grow market share over time," said Nielsen. "The team's performed really well competing with others for website visits."

Redfin CFO says housing market 'still pretty slow' despite a couple of hopeful signs
 

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