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Inside Real Estate (Nov 8th, 2017)

Compass, a real estate brokerage and technology platform, announced a $100 million Series E investment round that includes participation from Fidelity Investments. The company is now valued at $2 billion. Compass has raised a total of $325 million and plans expansion into more cities including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle. Compass saw its agent population grow by 500 percent over the last two years, and says that by using the company’s tools, agents can see a 25 percent increase in revenue during their first year with Compass. The company has said that it is building a new CRM tool and will be rolling out solar-powered real estate signage. – TECH CRUNCH

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WeWork is getting into the education business, creating a school called WeGrow in New York City. WeGrow will be a private elementary school built within WeWork’s New York headquarters. The school will be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. A current pilot program for seven five-to-eight-year-olds includes one of the children of WeWork founders Adam and Rebekah Neumann. The educational programs will center on entrepreneurship and feature business lessons from WeWork employees and clients. The first school will host 65 students from kindergarten through fifth grade and will open next fall. – BLOOMBERG

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The CoreLogic Home Price Index for September 2017 showed that home prices nationally increased year over year by seven percent. CoreLogic predicts a 4.7 percent year-over-year increase for September 2017 to September 2018. “This appreciation reflects the low for-sale inventory that is holding back sales and pushing up prices,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. The CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index rose approximately three percent over the last year. CoreLogic data shows that 36 percent of the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas have overvalued housing stock. – MANSION GLOBAL

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Airbnb is partnering with Pillow Residential on services for landlords enrolled in Airbnb's Friendly Buildings Program. The first landlord to become part of the program is Veritas Investments, a large residential landlord in San Francisco, which will allow tenants to list their units on Airbnb. The service will require the renters to share ten percent of the profits with their landlord. Veritas has said it will funnel some of that money back into building upgrades. The project will begin with five buildings throughout San Francisco and Veritas owns 200 buildings citywide. Other landlords in San Francisco already participate in the Friendly Buildings initiative and approximately 13,000 units are enrolled overall across the US and Canada. – SF CHRONICLE

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Gridics, a real estate software company, has raised $1.6 million in additional seed capital led by BH3, a real estate developer with projects in South Florida and New York City. Gridics created the Zonar.City platform, a map-based zoning visualization software that combines text with a 3D interface to explore usage scenarios. The company raised $1.1 million earlier this year when it landed a contract with the City of Miami. The company will use the new funding to accelerate work on the Zonar.City platform. – THE REAL DEAL MIAMI

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New Zealand plans to ban foreign buyers from purchasing existing residential real estate in New Zealand starting in 2018. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cited foreign speculation driving up housing prices as a reason for the move. Auckland, New Zealand ranks as one of the least affordable markets in the world and home ownership in the country has dropped to its lowest level since 1951. The government will amend the country’s Overseas Investment Act to prevent non-residents or non-citizens from buying existing residences. – QUARTZ

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Zillow Group’s Q3 report revealed that the company saw record traffic over the summer with more than 187 million users visiting Zillow Group’s mobile apps and websites. The company reported that it is on track to have its first billion-dollar revenue year. Based on a strong quarter with earnings of 19 cents per share on $281.8 million revenue, Zillow upped its annual revenue guidance to $1.065 billion. Revenue from the Zillow Premier Agent program represented 24 percent of the revenue. – GEEKWIRE

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HOT PROPERTIES OF THE WEEK

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West have sold their six-bedroom estate in the exclusive Bel Air Crest community in Los Angeles, Californa for $17.8 million. The couple purchased the property in 2013 for $9 million and embarked on extensive renovations which reportedly cost over $2 million and transformed the home from a Mediterranean-style house to a more contemporary home. The buyer is Marina Acton, a Ukrainian entrepreneur with Hollywood aspirations. The Wests bought a home in Hidden Hills for $20 million and recent photos show it is still being remodeled and updated. – MARKETWATCH

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Sammy Hagar is listing his nearly 10-acre estate in Hawaii for $3.299 million. Hagar purchased the property in 1995. It features a three-bedroom home, guesthouse, and a pool that includes a center island and tiki bar. The kitchen has been upgraded and Hagar, who is a gourmet cook, installed a brick oven outside. Hagar also added a tilapia pond and a 400-foot-deep well dug into volcanic rock. Hagar has owned multiple properties in Hawaii and recently opened the newest outlet of his Sammy's Beach Bar at Hawaii’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. – LA TIMES

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Castletown Cox, an Irish castle inspired by Buckingham Palace, has been listed with a price of €17.5 million ($20.28 million). The massive residence in Kilkenny was built in 1767 for Michael Cox, the Archbishop of Cashel and sits on 513 acres. The 10-bedroom home has more than 36,000 square feet of living space with large reception rooms, a music room, a billiards room, and a wine cellar. It is surrounded by elaborate historic gardens. The property was the subject of a trustee dispute over the summer as different parties objected to the sale.  – IRISH POST

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