New Report Shows Corpus Christi Home Flipping Market Might Not Be A Solid Investment Right Now

A new report issued this week details the third-quarter 2020 home flipping market and that data did not look very good for Corpus Christi. 

The report by Attom Data Solutions shows that 57,155 single-family homes and condominiums in the United States were flipped in the third quarter of 2020. Those transactions represented 5.1 percent of all home sales in the third quarter of 2020, or one in 20 transactions. That figure was down from 6.7 percent of all home sales in the nation during the second quarter of 2020, or one in 15, and from 5.5 percent, or one in 18 sales, in the third quarter of last year.

While the home-flipping rate dropped again in the third quarter, both profits and profit margins increased. The gross profit on the typical home flip nationwide (the difference between the median sales price and the median paid by investors) rose in the third quarter of 2020 to $73,766 – the highest amount since at least 2000. That amount was up from $69,000 in the second quarter of 2020 and from $61,800 in the third quarter of last year.

The gain pushed profit margins up, with the typical gross flipping profit of $73,766 in the third quarter translating into a 44.4 percent return on investment compared to the original acquisition price. The gross flipping ROI was up from 42.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 and 40.3 percent a year ago. The improvement in the typical ROI marked the second consecutive year-over-year increase following nine straight quarters of declines.

The continuation of opposing trends, with flipping rates down but profits up, reflected broader national housing market patterns as the worldwide Coronavirus continued spreading across the United States. Home prices kept soaring throughout most of the country in the third quarter as buyers – often seeking larger or more wide-open spaces – chased a dwindling supply of homes for sale. Rising values continued pushing a nine-year boom in the housing market even as much of the economy struggled to overcome high unemployment and other damage from the pandemic.

“Home-flipping again generated higher profits on less transactions across the United States in the third quarter of 2020 as investors continued to make more money on a declining number of deals,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “This all happened in the context of the pandemic, which has created unusual circumstances for the housing market to thrive, and that has included the home-flipping business. Too much is uncertain these days to say whether the latest trends will continue. But for now, the prospects continue looking up for home flipping after a period when they were trending the opposite way.”

Home flips as a portion of all home sales decreased from the second to the third quarter of 2020 in 148 of the 159 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report (93.1 percent). (Metro areas were included if they had at a population of 200,000 or more and at least 50 home flips in the third quarter of 2020.)

Among those metro areas, the largest quarterly decreases in the home flipping rate came in Killeen, TX (rate down 44.5 percent); Savannah, GA (down 43 percent); York, PA (down 42 percent); Greeley, CO (down 41.5 percent) and Springfield, MA (down 39.8 percent).

The biggest quarterly flipping-rate decreases in 53 metro areas with a population of 1 million or more were in Raleigh, NC (rate down 39.1 percent); Atlanta, GA (down 38.5 percent); Kansas City, MO (down 38.3 percent); San Diego, CA (down 38.1 percent) and Rochester, NY (down 37 percent).

The biggest increases in home-flipping rates were in Davenport, IA (rate up 18.5 percent); Hilton Head, SC (up 16.8 percent); Scranton, PA (up 12.2 percent); Amarillo, TX (up 10.9 percent) and Kalamazoo, MI (up 7.7 percent).

Homes flipped in the third quarter of 2020 were sold for a median price of $240,000, with a gross flipping profit of $73,766 above the median investor purchase price of $166,234. That gross-profit figure was up from $69,000 in the second quarter of 2020 and from $61,800 in the third quarter of last year. The increase boosted the typical return on investment in the third quarter of 2020 to 44.4 percent, up from 42.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 and from 40.3 a year ago. The ROI in the third quarter stood at its highest point since the first quarter of 2018, when it was 48 percent.

Home flipping profit margins increased from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020 in 104 of the 159 metro areas with enough data to analyze (65.4 percent). Markets with the biggest gains included Brownsville, TX (return on investment up 182.9 percent); Austin, TX (up 176.4 percent); Waco, TX (up 157.4 percent); Springfield, MO (up 145.3 percent) and Savannah, GA (up 143.6 percent).   

Aside from Austin, TX, metro areas with a population of at least 1 million that had the biggest annual increases in flipping profit margins in the third quarter of 2020 were Raleigh, NC (ROI up 74 percent); Phoenix, AZ (up 69.8 percent); Kansas City, MO (up 55.9 percent) and Las Vegas, NV (up 54.4 percent).

The biggest year-over-year declines in investment returns on home flips during the third quarter of 2020 were in Corpus Christi, TX (ROI down 77 percent); Hilton Head, SC (down 72.9 percent); Boulder, CO (down 69.1 percent); Wilmington, NC (down 58.9 percent) and South Bend, IN (down 54.1 percent).