The Best Cities to Flip a House

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5. Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa
> Avg. gross profit: $71,384
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 253
> Avg. home price: $196,325 (115th highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 117

In the first half of 2012, house flipping more than doubled in volume in the greater Omaha region, compared to the same period in 2011. In that time, foreclosed housing inventory rose by nearly one-third. These flipped homes may be slowing a broader recovery in the local housing market because home prices have decreased by 20% on a year-over-year basis, according to Trulia data.

4. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W. Va.
> Avg. gross profit: $72,297
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 1,925
> Avg. home price: $370,919 (20th highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 110

Conditions are right for a boom year for house flippers in the Washington, D.C., area. First, there’s a decline in the available stock of foreclosed properties in the greater Washington, D.C., housing market, according to RealtyTrac data, which has strained the inventory of single-family homes for sale. Demand is rising for homes in the area, and sales volume is up by more than 22% compared to last year, according to Trulia.

Also Read: Ten Towns That Cannot Turnaround

3. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.
> Avg. gross profit: $78,106
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 535
> Avg. home price: $416,790 (14th highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 112

In an area where one in every 62 homes is in foreclosure, news of a decrease in the supply of foreclosure filings must seem like welcome news to the local housing market. Still, the greater Ventura area is highly appealing to house flippers because the heavily discounted properties are sold quickly for significant gross profits, according to RealtyTrac data. The housing market of Ventura’s metropolitan region, the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura MSA, was one of the biggest decliners in the country, falling by 43.6% from its peak in the first quarter of 2006, the median home price in the area fell by 43.6%.

2. Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz.
> Avg. gross profit: $87,513
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 219
> Avg. home price: $114,578 (216th lowest)
> Avg. days to flip: 99

Lake Havasu may not be a nationally renowned house-flipping Mecca, but gross profits reported this year may soon burnish its reputation. Yet the party willnot last as long as its neighboring area of Phoenix, which has a substantially larger inventory of foreclosed properties. Foreclosure filing decreased by 37% in the first half of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011. Foreclosed property buyers in Lake Havasu paid an average price of $108,078 in the first six months of 2012 — when the average foreclosed property was flipped for a profit of $87,513.

1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.
> Avg. gross profit: $118,376
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 949
> Avg. home price: $441,910 (13th highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 118

The New York area is the largest housing market in the United States, with more than 7.5 million housing units and nearly 18.9 million residents. And true to its big league reputation, there is no more profitable place for house flippers to turn around distressed properties, according to RealtyTrac data. But the available supply of foreclosed homes is slowly waning, off 14% in the first half of 2012 compared to the prior year. This has limited foreclosure sales, which fell 23.7% year-over-year. In the first six months of this year, the average foreclosed home sold at a discount of 39.4% to the average nonforeclosed home, down from 45.1% the year before.

-Rusty Weston

Also Read: Cities with the Most Homes in Foreclosure

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