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Mecklenburg house flippers see higher returns

House flippers in Mecklenburg County saw larger increases in their gross profits and returns on investment in the first quarter when compared with a year ago.

The average gross profit in the county was $59,000 in the latest quarter. That’s up from $41,134 in the first quarter of last year, according to real estate data and analytics provider RealtyTrac.

There were 251 flips in Mecklenburg County last quarter, accounting for 6.5 percent of total single-family and condo sales.

The average return on investment was 59 percent, up from 44.3 percent a year ago. RealtyTrac defines a flip as a home that is purchased and resold within a year.

Nationally, there were 43,740 flips in the latest quarter, constituting 6.6 percent of all sales.

House flipping hit its peak nationally in the first quarter of 2006, when such homes accounted for 9 percent of all sales. The market hit a trough in the third quarter of 2014, when flipped properties constituted 4.3 percent of sales.

Nationally, investors saw an average gross profit of $58,250 – a 47.8 percent return on the initial investment, excluding rehab costs and other expenses. That was an increase from an average gross profit of $53,000 in the first quarter of last year, when the average return on investment was 45.3 percent.

Nationally, it took an average of 179 days to complete a flip, or buy and sell the property, in the latest quarter. That’s up from 176 days a year ago.

In Mecklenburg County, the average time to successfully flip a property was 165 days, down from 174 days last year.

Metro areas with the highest percentage of flips were Memphis, at 13.3 percent of total sales; Clarksville, Tennessee, at 12.5 percent; and Deltona-Daytona Beach, Florida, at 11.8 percent.

The best return on investment rates were found in Pennsylvania, with a 212 percent return in East Stroudsburg and a 136 percent return in Reading. Pittsburgh came in third, with a 127 percent return on investment.

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