Zillow to become cash buyer of homes

Real estate platform Zillow on Thursday announced that it will become a cash buyer of homes in the Phoenix and Las Vegas markets, and a source says that it expects to hold between 300 and 1,000 residences on its balance sheet by the end of 2018.

Why it matters: This could become direct competition to upstart Opendoor, which reportedly is raising new funding at a $2 billion valuation. But for now it's a fairly limited trial, and expands on a pilot program for home-sellers that was launched last year in Las Vegas and Orlando.