The Real Deal National

Home flipping is at highest rate in nearly a decade: report

The rising rate comes as profits are dropping in a softening housing market
By Natalie Hoberman | June 06, 2019 07:00AM

Attom’s CEO Rob Barber

Attom’s CEO Rob Barber

Last year, the home flipping rate across the country was down to its lowest levels in three years amid a slowing housing market.

Today, the housing market is still stuck in neutral but the home flipping has definitely picked up. With mortgage rates falling again, home flipping is now at its highest level since 2010, according to a report published Thursday from ATTOM Data Solutions.

The new findings suggest that home flippers may be looking to exit the market before it softens any further.

Across the U.S., about 49,000 single-family homes and condominiums flipped in the first quarter of 2019, according to the latest data. That represents about 7.2 percent of all home sales in the quarter, up from 6.7 percent at the same time last year.

Out of the 138 metro areas analyzed across the country, about two-thirds reported a year-over-year increase in the home flipping rate.

In eight ZIP codes, home flips accounted for more than 30 percent of all home sales in the quarter.

Leading the pack was 93212 in Kings County, California, where 48 percent of all home sales were flips. That was followed by New York’s 11433 in Queens, Florida’s 33147 in Miami-Dade, Tennessee’s 38115 in Shelby County and California’s 98202 in Orange County.

The increase in flips comes as home sales across the country are dropping. According to recent U.S. Commerce Department figures, the number of new homes sold fell 6.9 percent last month to an annualized figure of 673,000 homes.

It’s possible more home flippers are exiting the game because profits are declining, ATTOM’s Todd Teta said in the report.

From January through March, home flippers sold their homes at an average gross profit of $60,000, down from $68,000 in the first quarter of 2018.

“If investors are seeing profit margins drop, they may be acting now before price increases drop even more,” Teta said.