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Is the quick house flip making a comeback?

Posted by Helena Grossberg on May 6, 2013
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NEW YORK – May 1, 2013 – More Americans are again on the hunt to snag a home at a bargain price, fix it up, and then try to resell it for a quick profit. These home flippers mostly vanished during the housing downturn, but flipping is starting to return thanks to slowly rising home values. Realty Trac says flipping increased for the second year in row, rising a slight 0.33 percent in 2012 from 12 percent in 2011. The company defines flipping as buying and selling a property within six months.

According to RealtyTrac, the average gross profit in a flip was $37,375 in 2012; and some of the best places to flip homes in 2012 were Orlando , Fla.; Richmond, Va.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Charlotte, N.C. For example, Orlando home flips were purchased for $100,397, on average, and then sold for $174,895 – earning a gross profit, on average, of nearly $75,000. Flippers are more cautious this time around, however. They tend to come in with an all-cash deal, and many also hold onto properties longer than they once did.

On average, the flipping time from purchase to resale stands at about 106 days today, according to RealtyTrac. “That seems to be the sweet spot for a profitable deal,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Back in the housing bubble, many flippers were solely relying on price appreciation, sitting back and selling for big profits within a month or two.

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