House flipping still paying off in Tampa Bay, though inventory shrinking

Last fall, Tampa-based Badger Investments paid $86,100 for a bank-owned house in St. Petersburg that was showing its age.

Out went the wall-to-wall carpeting and the window air conditioner. In came granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

Badger put the house back on the market and sold it in May for $149,000 — a 73 percent gross profit. But those kind of quick, profitable flips are getting harder to find.

According to a new report by RealtyTrac, the Tampa Bay area continued to rank among the nation’s top 20 flipping markets for returns on investment in the three months ended in June. During that period, flipped bay area homes grossed an average profit of 49.1 percent.

But as a percentage of total home sales, flips dropped 6 percent from the same quarter a year ago and 16 percent from the first part of 2015. A dramatic slowdown in foreclosures means fewer bank-owned homes on the market, especially at prices attractive to flippers.

“Inventory in general is down,” Jamie Meloni, a Tampa Realtor who specializes in foreclosures, said Wednesday. “Investors really like stuff between $50,000 and $100,000, and properties (in that range) are getting multiple offers.”

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About Author

John William is a cum laude graduate of the University of Miami, and has spent his lifetime in sales and marketing. The fourth generation to join his family business, John William manages all luxury residential sales and transactions within the Tampa Bay and South Florida markets. A keen industry insider with a finger on the pulse of the area, He is an expert identifying high-return acquisition and development opportunities for hungry investors both large and small while simultaneously working with homeowners and homebuyers to buy and sell the home of their dreams… often times without the need of the MLS or a For Sale sign. He also oversees all digital and print marketing for the company, and handles all sales training for new and established agents alike. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Brookwood Florida, the oldest charity in Florida, and works to raise millions of dollars annually for local charities and museums.