More North Texas Getting In On The House Flipping Craze

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – 15 SEP 16 - The house-flipping craze is hot and busy in North Texas. A new report by ATTOM Data Solutions shows the number of houses being flipped and the number of flipping investors are both at a nine-year high.

Daren Blomquist, the senior VP of communications at ATTOM, said the numbers are easy to interpret. “What’s that’s telling us is that there are more people kind of jumping on the flipping bandwagon, it’s not just some of the bigger, more established investors. It’s folks who maybe saw it on TV and think, ‘Well, we can try our hand at home flipping’ and they’re getting into it as well, thanks to the vey strong housing market.”

Apparently the flipping frenzy start to really kick in over the last two years and there have been nationwide increases over each of the last five quarters.

Blomquist said, “Now in the second quarter we saw more than 51,000 properties flipped across the country. That was the highest level we’ve seen going all the way back to the second quarter of 2007.”

But no matter what we may have seen on a do-it-yourself television channel – experts say house flipping is a risky business for novices. “People definitely need to be careful if they don’t have experience in flipping, because it’s inherently a very highly speculative activity,” he said. “You’re betting on the market to be behaving in a certain way in six months or a year, when you’re done rehabbing that home.”

There are also some concerns for amateur flippers in Dallas who seem to be operating on are very low purchase margins and not leaving themselves leave themselves a very big cushion. “In Dallas we’re only seeing that flippers are purchasing at a 6-percent discount below the property estimated full market value. Where as nationwide flippers are buying at a 26-percent discount,” Blomquist said.

The local economy is the only saving grace for novice flippers in Dallas and across the metroplex, but even that may not be enough. “On the plus side for flippers, the North Texas market is so hot and home prices are going up so quickly – that they can get away with buying at a lower discount, because they’re selling actually at an 18-percent premium above market,” Blomquist explained. “But the problem with that is [flipping] it is very speculative and very reliant on the market continuing to go up at the same pace that it has been. And that’s where flippers can sometimes be caught and really lose a lot of money.”

For the purposes of the 2016 U.S. Home Flipping Report done by ATTOM, a home flip was defined as a property that sold for the second time within a 12-month period. Data was collected in more than 950 counties across the country.