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  1. Business

Home flipping slows in Tampa Bay area

TAMPA — Once the bread and butter of workaday investors who bought homes to quickly resell, flipping has slipped out of fashion in the Tampa Bay area, new RealtyTrac data show.

Flippers here grabbed and quickly resold 575 homes between July and September, about half as many as during the same time period last year.

It marked the fourth straight quarter of declining local flips, and the period of lowest activity since early 2012, RealtyTrac said. Other flipping hot spots, including Phoenix and Orlando, have also seen flips fall off since last year.

The average Tampa Bay flip, which the research firm defined as being bought and resold within six months, was sold for $136,000, a $40,000 markup, though data did not estimate how much money was spent in fixing up the homes.

This area was once a hot spot for the controversial flipping trade, and the soaring prices of flipped homes were credited with helping inflate a housing bubble. Flippers scattered during the housing bust but then resurfaced, grabbing up bargain homes left behind.

Yet as low-price homes like foreclosures have been bought up and housing prices and rent rates have climbed, many investors left the market or turned their spending instead toward buying homes to fix up and rent.