June 7, 2019

Home design reality TV shows may be inspiring more consumers to take on a house flip for themselves. The U.S. home flipping rate reached a nine-year high in the first quarter of this year, ATTOM Data Solutions reports.

In the first quarter, 49,049 homes were flipped, representing 7.2% of all home sales during the quarter—the highest home flipping rate since the first quarter of 2010, the report shows. Researchers define a home flip as a property that was bought and resold within 12 months.

But the profits weren’t as high as they have been in the recent past. Homes flipped in the first quarter sold at an average gross profit of $60,000, which is the lowest average gross flipping profit since the first quarter of 2016, the report notes. Investors saw an average 38.7% return on investment compared to their original acquisition price in the first quarter, down from 48.6% a year prior.

“With interest rates dropping and home price increases starting to ease, investors may be getting out while the getting is good, before the market softens further,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “While the home flipping rate is increasing, gross profits and ROI are starting to weaken and the number of investors that are flipping is down 11 percent from last year. Therefore, if investors are seeing profit margins drop, they may be acting now and selling before price increases drop more.”