September 3, 2014 in Business

Spokane County sees decline in ‘flipped’ home sales

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane County, like much of the nation, saw a decline in “flipped” home sales in the second quarter of this year.

RealtyTrac said 55 Spokane homes were sold by flippers in the second quarter, down from 66 in the second quarter a year ago. The company tracks foreclosures and sales nationwide and collects an array of real estate data.

RealtyTrac defines a flip as the sale of a residence or apartment building within 12 months of its last purchase.

While Spokane County had a 16 percent drop in flipped sales over the past 12 months, nationwide the decline in flips was 26 percent compared to second quarter 2013, according to RealtyTrac.

The company said the decline in flipping follows a national pattern of slower-rising home prices during 2014 compared with the previous two years.

Flipped sales accounted for 4.6 percent of all U.S. home sales in second quarter 2014. In Spokane the average was 3.4 percent, RealtyTrac said.

Spokane’s 55 flipped sales in the second quarter of 2014 produced an average profit of $43,500 per home, down from $49,100 one year earlier, RealtyTrac said.

Seattle’s heated housing market exceeds the national trend, with 5.3 percent of all second-quarter sales involving flips.

The average gross profit for Seattle’s second quarter 2014 flipped sales was $109,600. One year earlier, it was $72,800, according to RealtyTrac.

Other metros with the highest average gross profit on home flips included San Jose, California; Washington, D.C.; San Diego; and Los Angeles. All had average gross profit of more than $100,000 per flip.

In Washington, only licensed and bonded contractors are allowed to sell flipped homes. A 2007 law made that change to protect consumers from shoddy renovation and to ensure improvements comply with building codes.

Spokane’s share of homes being sold by flippers will not likely shrink a great deal over the next year, said Marianne Guenther Bornhoft, a Realtor with Windermere Manito. Most flipping occurs after sales of homes that are in foreclosure or repossessed by banks, she said.

“We still have a large number (of such properties) that haven’t been placed on the market yet,” she said.


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