Zillow Group stops buying new homes due to coronavirus

US real estate marketplace Zillow has stopped buying new homes in the 24 markets where it operates.

Zillow Offers works by purchasing homes, refurbishing them and selling them on. It will continue marketing and selling the homes it already owns.

Rich Barton, chief executive of Zillow, said: “Our top priority is ensuring the safety and health of our employees, customers, and partners.

“Given the concerns for public safety and rapid developments by governments that restrict local real estate activities, we determined it was prudent to pause our home buying to preserve our capital.

“We plan to restore Zillow Offers full operations once health concerns pass and local health orders are lifted.

“In the meantime, we are working to support our customers and partners in these uncertain times when home has never been more important.”

Zillow Group ended 2019 with 2,707 homes in inventory.

As of March 19, the company’s home inventory balance had been reduced to approximately 1,860 homes.