Is house flipping recovering? Investor profits rise in latest report

Profits rebound for investors as market heats up

Is house flipping recovering? Investor profits rise in latest report

Home flipping activity continued to increase for the second quarter in a row, according to ATTOM.

The report revealed that 67,817 single-family homes and condominiums were flipped nationwide in the first three months of the year, representing 8.7% of all home sales during that period. This flipping rate was up from 7.7% in the previous quarter and the second straight quarterly gain, though it remained below the 9.8% level a year earlier.

Even better news for flippers: they’re making more money than they were a year ago.

As flipping activity picked up, fortunes kept improving for investors buying and quickly reselling homes. Home flippers typically earned a 30.2% gross profit before expenses – the third time in four quarters that margins have increased following a six-year period of mostly uninterrupted declines.

"The latest numbers show that investors still face an uphill climb to clear significant profits after expenses," ATTOM chief executive Rob Barber said in the report. They, like others, also face tenuous times amid a housing market boom that's cooled down over the past year. But we now have a year's worth of a trend showing that things have started to turn around for the flipping industry, with clear signs of increasing interest flowing into the market."

The typical gross profit on a home flip nationwide reached $72,375 in the first quarter, up from $65,000 in the previous quarter and about $10,000 above last year's low point. However, it is still below the high of around $80,000 reached in 2022.

Read next: Are bidding wars set to ease?

The improvements reflect investors benefiting from favorable price shifts between purchase and resale times. The typical resale price on flipped homes rose 4.1% from the fourth quarter to $312,375, outpacing the 2.1% increase in median purchase prices for those properties.

Home flipping rates increased from the fourth quarter to the first quarter in 134 of the 173 metropolitan areas analyzed (77.5%), while profit margins rose in 89 of those markets (51.4%) quarter over quarter and in 111 markets (64.2%) annually.

However, the latest nationwide profit margin of 30.2% remained far below peaks of over 50% hit in recent years, staying within a range that could be wiped out by renovation costs, mortgage payments, and property taxes.

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