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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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