House flipping — when a property is sold for the second time within a 12-month period by investors seeking a profit — is a practice that got much fanfare in the years leading up to the housing crisis. And now, after four straight years of decreases in most markets, house flipping is making a comeback.
RealtyTrac‘s new fourth-quarter 2015 report shows that 179,778 U.S. single family homes and condos were flipped in 2015, 5.5 percent of all single family home and condo sales during the year. (See interactive map below.)
That 5.5 percent share in 2015 was up from a 5.3 percent share in 2014, marking the first annual increase in the share of homes flipped following four consecutive years of decreases.
The share of homes flipped in 2015 increased from the previous year in 83 of 110 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas nationwide that were analyzed. That’s 75 percent of housing markets.
“As confidence in the housing recovery spreads, more real estate investors and would-be real estate investors are hopping on the home flipping bandwagon,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.
Blomquist added that the flipping trend seems to be trickling down to smaller investors who are completing fewer flips per year.
The total number of investors who completed at least one flip in 2015 was at the highest level since 2007, and the number of flips per investor was at the lowest level since 2008, he said.