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Tampa Bay home flipping on the upswing as profits decline

Home flipping increased in the Tampa Bay area in the first part of 2019.  [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times]
Home flipping increased in the Tampa Bay area in the first part of 2019. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times]
Published Jun. 5, 2019

Home flipping is up but profits are down in the Tampa Bay area. According to ATTOM Data solutions, 1,446 homes were flipped in the first quarter of this year, 10 percent of total sales and 12 percent more than in the same period a year earlier. The average gross profit, however, dipped from 48 percent to 40 percent. (Gross profit does not take into account renovation and carrying costs.)

The typical bay area flip — defined as a home that sells at least twice in 12 months in a third party transaction — was a house with 1,325 square feet. About half were built before 1988 and have after that. Flippers paid a median of $134,200 and flipped for a median of $188,000. Almost three-fourths of the homes to be flipped were paid for in cash.

Tampa Bay flips hit their peak in the third quarter of 2005, when 3,543 bay area homes were flipped. Nationally, home flipping rose to a nine-year high in the first quarter of this year but gross profits were the lowest since 2016.

"With interest rates dropping and home price increases starting to ease, investors may be getting out while the getting is good, before the market softens further,'' said Todd Teat, ATTOM's chief product officer. "While the home flipping rate is increasing, gross profits and return on investment are starting to weaken.''

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.