Flippit' flippit good

Trulia chief economist Robert McLaughlin takes the pulse of the speculative "flip rate," in light of a widening view that housing may have some overheated markets. Nationally, buying homes to improve and sell them for a higher price is occurring at just about a normalized rate, historically.

However, McLaughlin notes, there are some markets where flippers are starting to flex their muscle relative to characteristics of owner-occupier dominated housing markets. Here's the top line of the McLaughlin report:

  • Nationally, flipping activity has held steady over the past year at around 5% of all home sales, and is down from the peak of 8.6% in the first quarter of 2006;
  • Flipping is highest is Las Vegas, where 10.4% of home sales are flips, and is about 80% of its 15-year peak. Flipping is lowest in Detroit at just 1.1%;
  • Over the past year, flipping activity has increased most in Miami, growing from 4.7% to 6.4% of all home sales. Other Florida markets have also seen relatively large increases.
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