25. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
> Return on investment: 68.6%
> Avg. gross profit: $54,900
> Avg. flipped price: $134,900
> Number of flips: 1,196
> Flips, pct. of home sales: 8.2%
The Palm Bay metro area was one the places hit hardest by the housing crisis. Area home prices are 30.3% lower than they were in 2005, before the crisis. Recently, however, the housing market has improved. Since 2014, prices have increased by 11.4%, one of the largest price increases of any city for that period. Home flipping has also increased. There were 1,196 flips last year, or 8.2% of the 14,616 total home sales in the metro area. While there were more home flips before the housing market collapse, the number of home flips and their share out of total sales are some of the higher figures of any U.S. city. The average flipped home sold for about 1.7 times its purchase price in Palm Bay, one of the best returns on investment of any metro area.
24. Columbia, SC
> Return on investment: 69.0%
> Avg. gross profit: $46,899
> Avg. flipped price: $114,900
> Number of flips: 491
> Flips, pct. of home sales: 5.2%
Like in many of the hottest housing markets in the country, Columbia’s real estate investors are buying low. The median purchase price of a flipped home in the area costs 42.2% less than estimated local market value, one of the largest discounts of any housing market. An investor can buy the typical Columbia home for just $68,001, about $50,000 less than the typical American home. The investor can then resell the home for $114,900. While Columbia’s flipped real estate is among the cheapest in the country, the returns are among the highest. The typical home flipper makes a 69.0% return, one of the best returns nationwide.
23. Oklahoma City, OK
> Return on investment: 70.3%
> Avg. gross profit: $54,500
> Avg. flipped price: $132,000
> Number of flips: 1,065
> Flips, pct. of home sales: 5.2%
Only 5.2% of home sales in Oklahoma City were home flips last year, slightly less than the 5.5% of home sales nationwide. Though home flips are less common in Oklahoma City than they are across the country, they are much more profitable. Real estate investors typically made 70% returns on their investments in the metro area, considerably more than the 46% average return investors made across the country. The Oklahoma City housing market was even more lucrative in 2014. The average return real estate investors pocketed that year was greater than 90%, far more than in all but a handful of American cities.
22. Chattanooga, TN-GA
> Return on investment: 70.6%
> Avg. gross profit: $49,250
> Avg. flipped price: $119,000
> Number of flips: 532
> Flips, pct. of home sales: 6.5%
Real estate investment in Chattanooga was considerably more profitable than the typical investment across the country. The average return on investment of nearly 71% in the metro area was far higher than the 45.8% national return.
Home flips in Chattanooga accounted for 6.5% of all home sales in the past year, significantly more than the 5.5% share of home flips across the country. Still, five years ago — in the immediate aftermath of the housing crisis — home flips in the area were considerably more common.
21. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL
> Return on investment: 71.0%
> Avg. gross profit: $48,681
> Avg. flipped price: $117,250
> Number of flips: 488
> Flips, pct. of home sales: 5.9%
Florida was one of the hardest hit states by the housing crisis and has since become a hotbed for real estate investment. Last year, 8.0% of all home sales in the state were conducted solely for the purposes of flipping. This was the second highest share in the nation and considerably higher than the 5.5% share of home flips nationwide.
Though home flipping was not as common in Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent than it was across much of the state, it was considerably more profitable. The average return on investment for real estate investors in the metro area was 71% compared the average 56% return statewide.