Economics/Class Relations

Homebuying could change forever

July 2, 2023
Hi, I’m Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. If you’re new here, welcome! This is Insider Today’s Sunday edition, where I take a look back at the last week and share some of the top Insider stories you may have missed. It’s a pleasure to be in your inbox.


Here’s what’s on the agenda:

But first: It’s shaping up to be a cruel summer for Airbnb and Vrbo hosts. Read on for more.
— Matt Turner


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Short-term rental reckoning

Arif Qazi / Insider
A record-breaking number of Americans are expected to fly this weekend. Many of them will be traveling to stay with friends or family, but some, like me, will be heading to short-term rentals. I’ll be staying in an Airbnb in upstate New York with friends.

Demand for short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo surged coming out of the pandemic and has continued to increase into this year. One analytics site forecast a 10% increase in nights booked on these platforms for the year.

But with many more listings available, the increased supply has more than offset the pickup in demand. That’s left hosts having to hustle, dropping prices and worrying about whether last-minute guests will come through.

The slowdown is particularly pronounced for hosts with properties in the “meh middle” of listings.

While luxe rentals with hot tubs and firepits book months in advance and cheap and cheerful locations attract budget-conscious travelers, the properties in between are getting squeezed.


Real-estate reshape

Robyn Phelps/Insider
The real-estate industry is facing an existential threat. Two class-action lawsuits say home sellers are getting bilked out of billions of dollars every year through a circuitous method of paying real-estate agents.

If the plaintiffs succeed, the rules about how agents get paid could be rewritten. It could result in increased competition among agents, dramatically lower commissions, and as much as $30 billion a year in savings for consumers.

Homebuying as we know it could change.

Workforce ‘Uberization’
Tyler Le/Insider
Workers aren’t the only ones quiet quitting. In the age of remote work, employers are doing it, too. After the pandemic showed that staff were capable of doing their jobs from home, some employers are now hunting for the cheapest remote workers possible.

They’re stocking up on part-time employees, temps, independent contractors, and outsourced positions both at home and abroad. A professor at Stanford University described it as the “Uberization of the workforce.” In other words: fewer full-time jobs, more low-paying gigs.

How companies are gig-ifying the American workforce.

Also read:

Family office secrets
Consuelo Vanderbilt is a seventh generation Vanderbilt heiress. Vital Agibalow
Family offices manage billions for the likes of the Waltons and Bezoses — but how much do you know about their inner workings? Likely not much.

Insider’s Ben Bergman did what few have managed: He spoke with six people running family offices and they pulled back the curtain to reveal what goes on behind the scenes. They discussed “managing personalities,” focusing on wealth preservation, and more.

Read the full story

Also read:

‘Extinction event’
Arantza Pena Popo/Insider
Startups are about to have a “Darwinian moment.” As venture capital dries up, founders are bracing for a “mass-extinction event” toward the end of this year.

Already, many startups have spectacularly flamed out — and those left standing often have less than 12 months of runway in the tank. When their funding runs out, data points toward one scenario: a startup bloodbath.

What’s in store for startups

Also read:


“Here employees take pay cuts as our company and leadership make record profits. It’s not right, no other way to look at it.”

— A leaked message from an internal Microsoft message board, posted by an angry employee after CEO Satya Nadella thanked the troops for a “landmark” fiscal year.

SCOTUS, OpenAI, & more


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