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U.S. Home Flipping Increases to 11-Year High, According to Attom Data Solutions

Posted on March 15, 2018

Home flipping is taking place at the highest rate since 2006, according to property database curator Attom Data Solutions.

Attom, in its Q4 and Year-End 2017 U.S. Home Flipping Report, reports that 207,088 U.S. single family homes and condos were flipped in 2017, up 1 percent from the 204,167 home flips in 2016 to the highest level since 2006 — an 11-year high.

The 207,088 homes flipped in 2017 represented 5.9 percent of all single family home and condo sales during the year, up from 5.7 percent of all sales in 2016 to the highest level since 2013.

A total of 138,410 entities (individuals and institutions) flipped homes in 2017, up 4 percent from the 133,407 entities that flipped in 2016 to the highest level since 2007 — a 10-year high.

Scary, huh? Sounds like the housing bubble years.

However, "the surge in home flipping in the last three years is built on a more fundamentally sound foundation than the flipping frenzy that we witnessed a little more than a decade ago," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom Data Solutions.

According to Blomquist, flippers are behaving more rationally, as evidenced by average gross flipping returns of 50 percent over the last three years compared to average gross flipping returns of just 31 percent between 2004 and 2006 — the last time we saw more than 200,000 home flips in consecutive years.

“And while financing for flippers has become more readily available in recent years, 65 percent of flippers still used cash to buy homes flipped in 2017, nearly the reverse of 2004 to 2006, when 63 percent of flippers were leveraging financing to buy," Blomquist said

The total dollar volume of financed home flip purchases was $16.1 billion for homes flipped in 2017, up 27 percent from $12.7 billion in 2016 to the highest level since 2007 — a 10-year high.