The iBuyers: High(er)-Frequency Trading Comes to Home Buying

Byrne Hobart
May 31, 2019 · 20 min read

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: companies have found a way to grind out steady above-market returns by leveraging superior risk management. The only catch is that they’re making a levered bet on residential real-estate appreciation.

That is, of course, the story of AIG, Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit, various German banks, and a host of smaller but equally unfortunate participants in the great housing bubble. It’s also a capsule summary of the emerging “iBuyer” business. When I first heard about that…