🏠 The housing market takes a dip - The Hustle
The Hustle

🏠 The housing market takes a dip

Plus: A good tweet, our best stuff from the week, a wild chart, RIP Tohru Okada, shower thoughts, and more.

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A24 is holding a charitable auction of memorabilia from the Oscar-nominated film Everything Everywhere All at Once. Among the items is a rock with googly eyes, which is already going for thousands of dollars.

In today’s email:

  • eBay: Is its brief renaissance over?
  • Chart: The US housing market.
  • Weekend Reads: Our best stuff from the week.
  • Around the Web: Finding motivation when you’re bored, a pizza guide, everything you can “Doom” on, and more.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear Zack and Mark discuss eBay and 90s nostalgia, TikTok and the European Commission, and Target’s delivery service.

The big idea

Is eBay’s brief renaissance over?

The site has pivoted from auctions to ESG.
Mark Dent

Unless you’re a sneakerhead or a baseball card collector, odds are you associate eBay with Yahoo, AOL, and other ‘90s internet zombies.

But eBay is still surprisingly powerful. It has more than 300x as many listings as it did in the late ‘90s and ranks second in US online gross merchandise sales, behind Amazon and ahead of Walmart and Target.

Whether it’s built for the long haul is another question, and a recent projection for a choppy 2023 has turned investors against the company, according to Reuters.

eBay was booming not long ago

After hiring a former Walmart exec as CEO and selling off assets in 2020 — including StubHub — the company began copying upstart competitors like StockX and The RealReal:

  • EBay authenticated items like handbags, sneakers, trading cards, and watches.
  • For sneakers, in particular, the company hired TikTok influencers to enhance eBay’s name recognition among younger audiences.

Combined with the pandemic-driven ecommerce surge, site visits increased: active buyers grew 7% YoY to 187m in Q1 2021, and gross merchandise sales grew 33% to $24.1B in the same time frame.

But ecommerce has fallen on hard times…

… especially for eBay. The number of active buyers started falling in Q2 2021 and was down to 134m in Q4 2022 — the seventh consecutive quarterly decline. On Thursday, the stock fell to ~$45, down from a peak of ~$81 in 2021.

One analyst told Bloomberg eBay was back in its pre-pandemic position, adding that the only people who visited the site were those “looking for an odd item.”

Surprisingly, eBay’s new strategy for relevance appears to be ESG. At the same time it shared its disappointing sales numbers, it touted itself as a major player in the “recommerce” space.

In other words, eBay expects a growing number of eco-conscious consumers will want to shop like it’s 1999.


Tohru Okada has died at 73. Not only was he in the Japanese rock band The Moonriders, he created PlayStation’s memorable logo sound.


Tok block: The European Commission is banning TikTok from its employees’ corporate devices. Some 125m people in the EU use TikTok every month.

Wingardium Leviosa: In the two weeks since launch, Warner Bros. Games said it’s sold 12m+ copies of “Hogwarts Legacy,” worth $850m+ in sales, and that people have played it for 280m+ hours.

Stocks: Warner Bros. Discovery’s Q4 revenue of $11.1B missed analysts’ estimates, and Adobe shares dipped following a report the Justice Department may block its $20B Figma acquisition.

Aiming higher: Target will invest $100m on more than six new sorting centers to expand next-day delivery. It expects to deliver ~50m packages from sorting centers this year, up 2x from 2022.

Turn left: The US Justice Department is investigating Google’s dominant position in digital mapping as part of a potential antitrust lawsuit.

NPR will cut 10% of its workforce amid a slump in ad revenue, which CEO John Lansing said is expected to create a $30m+ shortfall.

Nestlé-owned Blue Bottle Coffee will offer a unique Yemeni coffee for $80 per 100-gram tin of whole beans as part of its “Exceedingly Rare” series targeting serious coffee fans.

Still a lot, but after choosing a $723m one-time payout, the Maine winner of a $1.35B Mega Millions jackpot will get $498m after federal and state taxes.

YouTube is expanding a feature that lets creators add dubs in multiple languages to their videos. Since January, 3.5k such videos have been uploaded in 40+ languages.

The UK is facing a produce shortage due to weather and transportation issues. Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said Brits could adopt seasonal eating. Right now, that’s turnips.

On the rise: Sales of nonalcoholic beverages in the US hit $395m in 2022, according to NielsenIQ. This quick clip breaks down why we’re seeing a surge in booze-less beverages.

Oliva Heller

The housing market posted its biggest drop since 2008, but it’s still up

Despite a $2.3T dip, the housing market has netted significant growth in recent years.
Jacob Cohen

The total value of US homes declined by $2.3T in the second half of 2022.

That 4.9% dip from a record high of $47.7T in June represents the largest drop since the Great Recession, according to real estate brokerage Redfin, which analyzed 99m+ properties.

Homebuyer demand has been sluggish, partially the result of the Federal Reserve’s inflation-fighting efforts roughly doubling mortgage rates since early 2022, making it harder to afford a home.

  • In January, the median US home sales price was $383.2k, down from a record high of $433.1k last May.

Despite the drop, the total value of US homes in December was actually up 6.5% YoY, ~$13T higher than it was in early 2020.

The list of metro area housing markets with YoY percentage dips through December is short and led by San Francisco, which notched declines of 6.7% to $517.5B.

  • Its neighbor across the bay, Oakland, came in second at 4.5%. San Jose, New York, Seattle, and Boise, are the only other metros that saw YoY declines.

The good news, if you’re looking to buy a house in San Fran, is that the area’s median home sale price in January dropped 9.4% YoY… to $1.3m.

Free Resource

Another Bite is the podcast for ‘Shark Tank’ lovers…

… and anyone who wants to pitch like a pro.

This pod dives into memorable products from the hit TV show, the moments of misery and indubious dubs.

But it’s not just about reliving PhoneSoap, Scrub Daddy, and Squatty Potty — it’s about the golden concepts worth affixing to your own business.

Bump Another Bite wherever you like your podcasts.

A new series to feast on:

*Chomp* →

Welcome to Weekend Reads

Jacob Cohen

In case you missed ‘em, here’s this week’s best…

  • Tweet: An extremely relatable take on our Zoom behavior.
  • Blog: Three ways to hack your brain from a former NASA psychologist.
  • Chart: Paranormal Activity’s incredible returns.
  • Story: How the inventor of the troll doll missed out on a fortune.
  • Video: The crazy story about Crazy Eddie, the popular electronics chain that scammed America.

✉️ On this day: In 1854, the first perforated postage stamp was issued for distribution. The British stamp was known as a Penny Red and featured Queen Victoria.

🕹 Haha: A website that tracks all the different devices that can run the video game “Doom.”

🍕 Useful: A guide to the world’s many pizza varieties.

✏️ Blog: Bored at work? Here’s how to motivate yourself to become productive.

😍 Aww: And now, piglates.

Shower Thoughts
  1. Baby teeth are the one freebie we get before it’s for reals.  SOURCE

  2. It’s safer to be an airport Uber driver since your passengers went through TSA before getting in.  SOURCE

  3. We talk about what number we leave the volume on, but no one knows what the unit for the volume is.  SOURCE

  4. Our two most standard ice cream flavors are beans.  SOURCE

  5. In ‘Monopoly,’ if no one ever buys a property, everyone gets richer and no one loses.  SOURCE

via Reddit
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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “eBay Cheeto millionaire” Dent.

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