Flipping homes down 6.7% from 2020 Q2

Diana Olick joins ‘Halftime’ to discuss updates on the U.S. house flipping report for third-quarter of 2020. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

It is a lot harder to find an inexpensive home to buy and flip in today’s ultra-competitive housing market, but those who can will make a hefty profit.

While home-flipping activity overall dropped in the third quarter of this year, gross returns for flippers soared to the highest level in 20 years, according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions. The report tallied 57,155 single-family homes and condominiums in the United States that were flipped in the third quarter of 2020.

A flip is defined as a home that was purchased and sold in the same 12-month period. Those flips represented 5.1% of all home sales during the quarter, down from 6.7% in the second quarter and 5.5% in the third quarter of 2019, the report said.

The drop in activity was likely due to the severe shortage of homes for sale, especially on the lower end of the market, where flippers generally like to play.

Sales of homes priced below $100,000 were down 22% in October year over year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Those priced between $100,000 and $250,000 were basically flat. Meanwhile, sales of pricier homes, between $500,000 and $750,000, were up over 60%.

The median price of a flipped home nationally in the third quarter was $240,000.

While the home-flipping rate fell during that time, the gross profit on the typical flip — the difference between the median sale price and the median price paid by investors — rose to $73,766, up from $69,000 in the second quarter and $61,800 in the third quarter of last year, according to ATTOM.

This does not include any money investors put into the home, such as repairs and renovations, before selling.

The gross profit was the highest since 2000, when ATTOM began tracking this data. The increase in profit boosted the typical return on investment to 44.4%.

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