RealtyTrac, released its year-end and fourth quarter 2013 Home Flipping Report, which shows 156,862 single family home flips — where a home is purchased and subsequently sold again within six months — in 2013, up 16% from 2012 and up 114% from 2011.
Profits are strong in flipping right now. The average gross profit for a home flip — the difference between the flipped price and the price the flipper purchased the property for — was $58,081 for all U.S. homes flipped in 2013, up from an average gross profit of $45,759 in 2012. The average gross profit for homes flipped in the fourth quarter was $62,761, up from $52,746 in the fourth quarter of 2012.
It looks like the market for flips is slowing, which could portend ill for housing in general. Flips accounted for 3.8% of all sales in the fourth quarter, down slightly from 3.9% of all sales in the third quarter and down from 7.1% of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“Strong home price appreciation in many markets boosted profits for flippers in 2013 despite a shrinking inventory of lower-priced foreclosure homes to purchase,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “For the year 21% of all properties flipped were purchased out of foreclosure, but that is down from 27% in 2012 and 32% in 2011. Meanwhile flipped homes were still purchased at an average discount of 13% below market value in 2013, the same average discount as 2012, indicating that investors are finding discounted buying opportunities outside of the public foreclosure process — particularly in those markets with the biggest increases in flipping for the year.”