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Zonda, a technology company that leverages extensive data resources to deliver enterprise software to commercial homebuilders, has released a front-end system for finding new-construction homes. The website is called Livabl.
The site’s audience is bifurcated, offering property insights for both consumers and the sales industry, according to an announcement sent to Inman. Its mission is to “[create] the best home buying experience by offering the most innovative listing and digital solutions.”
Justin LaJoie is executive vice president and general manager of Livabl. Things are only getting started for Livabl, and it plans on building “the most comprehensive experience for new construction homes and condominiums throughout the nation,” he said in a statement.
“We are excited to strengthen our partnerships with builders throughout North America, to highlight their developments and offer a specialized shopping experience for new home and condominium buyers,” LaJoie said.
Livabl was formerly known as BuzzBuzzHome.
Three tenets will guide Livabl’s evolution, according to the statement: Ensuring builders never pay for access, there will never be broker conflicts and to always provide a data-backed approach that emphasizes the benefits of purchasing a new home.
Zonda’s description of its portal is not lacking in excitement, using words like “revolutionary” and “unmatched.” Time will dictate the authenticity of those modifiers, but for now, users will be subject to a number of modern, valuable home search resources, such as interactive floor plans, digital site maps, 3D tours and virtual reality home renderings.
“The launch of Livabl brings to life Zonda’s vision to lead the digital revolution of homebuying,” the company said.
While Zillow, as one example, uses floor plans, digital tours and similar media enrichments as Livabl to help buyers and listing agents, Livabl’s new-home-only model does stand out, especially at a time when builders are under intense market pressure to build faster in the collective headwind of higher interest rates, depleting material availability and staffing shortages.
Still, there is some positivity within home construction. Inman reported in March that sales of newly constructed single-family homes remained mostly flat during February, marking only a modest increase ahead of the spring buying season, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sales of newly built single-family homes rose 1.1 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000, a 19 percent decline from February 2022, the data shows. While small, it’s still a gain.
A number of proptechs have emerged of late to address the slow growth and difficult buying experience. Welcome Homes is one, earning $29 million in Series A venture capital in January this year, led by Era Ventures.
Ownly is a company that provides homebuilders with a consumer-driven retail storefront from which aspiring buyers can shop for homes with a Netflix-inspired browsing experience, get pre-qualified for mortgages and sign an offer-to-purchase contract.
And Veev, backed in part by Fifth Wall, raised $400 million in Series D money in 2022 to further its factory-built home business. The San Mateo, California, company has raised a total of $600 million and said that its materials selection cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 47 percent when compared to traditional methodologies.
Like Ownly and its colleagues, Livabl intends to help builders gain more attention and soften the experience of buying new.
“The new home shopping journey has long been fragmented,” added LaJoie. “We are thrilled to unify all builders on a single platform, specifically designed for new homebuyers.”