Real Estate

Opinion: In L.A., real estate envy is all too real. I can't stop looking at Zillow

I was leaving a friend’s housewarming party on a street of nice single-family homes in Los Angeles a few years back when my curiosity got the best of me. I pulled up Zillow on my phone, entered her address and blinked at the property’s purchase price. I suppose I could have just asked her. In Los Angeles, talking about the cost of real estate is common, and I’ve often heard people comparing their refinance interest rates or saying how much they had to pay over the asking price. But by pursuing the information privately, I could digest my feelings about not being in a position to afford a house of equal value because I came from a different family of origin, because I was unmarried, because our writing careers had unfolded differently.

This emotional aspect of homeownership isn’t discussed in articles that make the choice between buying and renting seem

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Real Estate

Zillow files antitrust suit against real estate listing services

Seattle-based Zillow is suing real estate listing services across the United States, arguing the services are forcing out a Zillow subsidiary to maintain illegal monopolies.

If you’ve used Zillow to schedule a home tour recently, you’ve likely accessed a widely used, Zillow-owned scheduling platform called ShowingTime. That platform is now at the heart of the lawsuit filed in federal court in Arizona last week, in which Zillow and ShowingTime claim several multiple listing services are violating federal antitrust laws and attempting to secure a monopoly, harming real estate agents and home shoppers by phasing out ShowingTime. 

The suit names the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, the Milwaukee-based Metro Multiple Listing Service and MLS Aligned, a collective owned by six listing services. Those six include the Arizona and Wisconsin companies, as well as a listing service covering Oregon and a small part of southern Washington. (The lawsuit does not name

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