Housing

The Six Best States to Flip a House

6. Washington
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $89,525
> Average purchase price: $190,983 (10th highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 3.4% (24th fewest)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 84 (11th highest)

Investors flipped 2,828 homes in Washington last year. The average home purchased in the state for the purpose of flipping was bought for $190,983 and sold for $277,022. The average gross profit of nearly $90,000 represents a 46.9% return on investment, considerably more than the national gross profit of just $58,081 and an average return of just 30.7%. Home flipping in Seattle delivered especially high profits of more than $100,000 on average, 14th-highest of any U.S. metro area. The state’s higher than average foreclosure rate in 2013 likely attracted home flippers because foreclosed homes make ideal homes for flipping. In 2013, one out of every 84 homes were in foreclosure in the state, the 11th-highest rate in the country.

5. New York
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $91,970
> Average purchase price: $204,479 (7th highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 10.7% (2nd most)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 176 (15th lowest)

About one in 10 property sales in New York were home flips last year, more than in any other state except for Nebraska. Home flippers were also able to make larger profits in New York than in most other states that year. The average gross profit was nearly $92,000. The New York City – Long Island region had more homes flipped, and at better profits in than in the rest of the state. There were 10,683 home flips in the New York City area last year, more than in any other MSA. On average, home flippers earned $118,546 in the metro area, more than double what home-flippers earned across the nation.

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4. New Jersey
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $92,744
> Average purchase price: $214,858 (6th highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 7.6% (6th most)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 91 (13th highest)

Home flips in New Jersey increased dramatically as a percent of all home sales, from 1.9% of all sales in 2011 to 7.6% of all sales in 2013. That return on investment actually increased throughout the year. The average gross profit of more than $118,000 in the last quarter of 2013 was more than in any other state. Ocean City is a particularly lucrative home flipping market. Home flippers sold a home in Ocean City for an average of around $674,300, at a profit of more than $150,000. Across the state, flipped homes were sold for $328,404 on average, at a profit of $92,744.

3. Maryland
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $98,122
> Average purchase price: $284,650 (2nd highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 6.2% (13th most)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 64 (4th highest)

Home flipping is not only extremely lucrative in the state, but it has become more popular in recent years. In 2011, just over 1,000 homes were flipped in the state. Last year, there were 3,522. Perhaps one reason for the increase in flips in the state is the availability of recently foreclosed homes. In 2013, 1 out of 64 homes were in foreclosure in the state, the 4th highest rate in the country. Flipping also became more profitable over the course of the year. Gross profits from home flipping in Maryland the last quarter of 2012 were higher on average than any other state except for Hawaii, at more than $100,000. In some of the state’s metro areas, home flipping was even more lucrative. On average, flipped homes in the D.C. metro area were sold for $372,792 at a profit of more than $112,000 last year, more than in most other metro areas.

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2. California
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $99,999
> Average purchase price:
> Pct. of all home sales: 6.0% (14th most)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 100 (16th highest)

For three years running, more homes were flipped in California than in any other state. Not only that, but the number has increased over the last three years from 14,490 home in 2011 to 21,152 last year. Although California trails Massachusetts in average gross profit on home flips, the state’s metro areas dominate urban home flipping markets across the nation. Of the 10 most lucrative metro areas for home flipping, seven are in California. Home flippers in San Jose, for example, made more than $160,000 on average reselling homes last year, the most of any city nationwide. Profits may be high in the state because home prices are very high. Flipped homes were more expensive than those in any other state last year, selling for more than $381,000 on average. In addition, home flippers may be drawn to California because of the state’s many foreclosed homes. One out of 100 of the state’s 37 million housing units were in foreclosure last year, which was in the top third for foreclosure rates nationwide.

1. Massachusetts
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $103,384
> Average purchase price: $202,850 (8th highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 2.3% (18th fewest)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 287 (9th lowest)

Home flippers sold less than 900 homes in Massachusetts last year but at a higher profit than in any other state. The average flipped home was resold for more than $300,000, and profits were more than $100,000 on average. Unlike many other states where home flipping was common, the foreclosure rate in Massachusetts was relatively low. One in every 287 homes were in foreclosure in 2013, better than most states. Home flipping in Boston has increased in recent years, perhaps due to the high likelihood of making a good profit. Home flippers in the Boston area earned $119,258 on average last year, much more than in the vast majority of metro areas. A&E even produced a second season of “Flipping Boston” last year, a show that follows the successes and failures of investors who fix and resell homes in the Boston area.