More than 6 percent of all home sales across the nation were flips in 2016, the highest rate since 2006. Flipping profits were the highest since 2000. What can the numbers tell us about the real estate market and the potential for flippers in 2017? Let’s look at the stats….
The Flipping World Right Now – The What, the How, and the Why
Definition of a Flip. A home sale is considered a flip if it is sold twice within a 12 month period. Using that definition, home flips reached their highest rate in ten years in 2016.
National and Regional Flip Numbers. The national average of flipped houses was 6.1%. Las Vegas had the highest rate of flips with 10.5%. They were also the leader in 2015 with 9.6%. Detroit and Chicago saw the highest rate of increase, and the city with the lowest rate of flips was Wichita, KS.
Flipping Profits Up - Especially in DC Metro. Flipping profits were up generally across the country, reaching their highest rates in many cities since 2000. And many of the neighborhoods with the highest returns are in the DC Metro. According to DC Urban Turf, Washington DC area neighborhoods such as Petworth, Del Ray, Brightwood, 16th Street Heights, and Anacostia continue to give flippers returns on investment of between 75 and 133 percent!
Types of Flips. Flips in 2016 generally involved more actual improvements than previous years. What does that mean? Flips fall into two general categories: value-added and speculative.
Speculative Flips. When a buyer buys an undervalued property (often at foreclosure, auction or private sale), then sits and waits until the local market goes up, then sells without putting any substantive work into it.
Value-Added Flips. when a buyer buys a distressed property and does the deferred maintenance and/or improvements needed to actually increase the value of the house and make the house more appealing to a larger group of buyers.
Percentage of Flips That Added Value Using permit data from BuildZoom, Trulia calculated the share of flipped properties that had building permits issued in the twelve preceding months. In Las Vegas, that number was 11.6%. Remember that many renovations don’t need permits and not all contractors get them, but this number (percentage of flipped houses with building permits) is the largest since 2000. Which suggests that more flippers are truly adding value to properties.
Home Values Rising: According to RealtyTrac End of Year Report, the national median home price was up across the nation with some double digit increases and some record prices. “Among 201 metropolitan areas with a population of at least 200,000, 89 metro areas (44%) reached an all-time home price peak in 2016. 44% of housing markets reached a new all-time peak.” House flipping profits are closely linked with home sales prices, so this is generally great news for the flipping industry.
Want to know the top DC Metro neighborhoods for flipping this year? Check out our recent blog, It's Flipping 2017! 5 Washington DC Hotspots to Watch This Year!
Brought to you by Walnut Street Finance, a hard money lender specializing in fix and flips in DC, MD, VA and DE.