With its cheap homes and growing prices, Tampa Bay is a paradise for flippers, whose profits last year made local neighborhoods a top market for flipping homes, a RealtyTrac report said.
More than 3,000 Tampa Bay homes were bought and resold within six months last year, with average gross profits of about $34,000, the real estate research firm said.
The average flipped home was bought for $80,000 and resold for nearly $114,000, netting flippers a 43 percent gross profit, the report said.
By percentage of profit, Tampa Bay was beaten only by Phoenix, Las Vegas and the flip capital of Orlando, where profits averaged about 60 percent.
The housing boom was fueled by amateur speculators who bought homes with big loans and quickly sold them for ballooning prices, often having made few improvements.
That helped lead to the housing bust, which made the "f-word" an anathema. Now, flippers are once again reaping profits from homes climbing in value from their price bottom.
The RealtyTrac report only lists average gross profits, so it's hard to say how much money was poured into each home to spin it into a sale.
But many investors, including massive private-equity firms like the Blackstone Group, are buying homes around that price to rent out, in hopes of profiting off weakened levels of home ownership and soaring rental rates.
Drew Harwell can be reached at (727) 893-8252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.