House flipping cools in Washington, but not the profits

The number of single-family homes in the Washington area flipped by investors last quarter was down 73 percent from a year ago, but the return on investment on those flips was significantly higher.

RealtyTrac says 3.5 percent of all house sales in the Washington market in the first quarter were flips — where a home is purchased and subsequently sold again within six months. A year ago, 12.9 percent of all single-family sales in Washington were flips.

Even so, RealtyTrac says the average purchase price of $254,859 and the average flipped price of $363,983 gave Washington investors an average 43 percent return on their investment, up from an average ROI of 38 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

Washington remained in the Top 10 for flipping profits in the first quarter, though investors in Pittsburgh made the most last quarter, with an average return on investment of 89 percent. Philadelphia, Memphis, Detroit and Seattle are also top markets for flipping profits.

Not every market was good for flippers last quarter. Investors, on average, lost money in Indianapolis, Charlotte and Houston. 


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