10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.
> Avg. gross profit: $58,930
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 1,446
> Avg. home price: $306,878 (30th highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 113
Rising single-family home prices ought to stimulate the greater Seattle housing market, but real estate agents and buyers have complained about inventory constraints. Even foreclosed homes, while still plentiful, are starting to be cleared off bank books. RealtyTrac reports that in the first half of 2012 there were 7,530 foreclosure filings, down 49% from the same period last year. For now, though, home prices are rising slowly. Through the first half of 2012, the average home in Seattle sold for $306,878, an increase of about 1%, or roughly $3,000 from the second half of 2011.
9. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
> Avg. gross profit: $61,758
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 1,102
> Avg. home price: $615,071 (2nd highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 105
If it were not for bank-owned properties coming onto the market, prices — already among the highest in the nation — probably would be even higher due to a lack of single-family home inventory. According to Trulia, in San Jose there are 1,225 resale and new homes on the market, which pales in comparison to 3,661 homes in the various stages of the foreclosure process. Through June 2012, the average sale price for a foreclosed property in San Jose was $393,156. While expensive, this was still a 42.4% discount from the average price of $682,021 for a nonforeclosed home in the area.
8. Richmond, Va.
> Avg. gross profit: $65,092
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 385
> Avg. home price: $196,319 (116th highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 109
In Richmond, a well-known hub of current or former defense industry workers, the housing recovery has been slow to take hold. The number of housing sales has dropped nearly 25% since the same time last year, according to Trulia. Richmond’s average sales price has dropped by $7,936 compared to last year. The number of bank-owned or foreclosed properties has stayed fairly constant on a year-over-year basis.
7. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.
> Avg. gross profit: $69,212
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 819
> Avg. home price: $213,156 (92nd highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 110
It is small wonder that with high resale prices, coupled by an ample supply of bank-owned properties, the home-flipping business is picking up steam in the greater Philadelphia market. There were 15,256 foreclosure filings in Philadelphia during the first half of 2012, up almost 30% from the second half of 2011. Sales of foreclosed properties followed, rising almost 25% from the second half of 2011.
6. Raleigh, N.C.
> Avg. gross profit: $69,253
> Homes flipped through mid-2012: 455
> Avg. home price: $223,359 (78th highest)
> Avg. days to flip: 114
The greater Raleigh area has seen a 63% increase in the number of flipped home sales for the first half of 2012, compared to the first half of 2011, while the available inventory of foreclosed homes has remained constant. And yet, in Raleigh, which is North Carolina’s second-largest housing market after Charlotte, median home prices declined by only 8.2% from prerecession peak value. The U.S. median home price fell by more than 33% during the recession.