Savvy investors know that flipping houses is one of the very best ways to turn sweat equity into real equity, with real estate being one of the most steady, low-risk investments around. While the flipping market dipped to a seven-year low in 2018, the average flip still raked in around $65,000 last year according to an ATTOM Data Solutions report, so this segment still stands as a good opportunity for budding moguls who aren’t afraid to get handy. With a sparkly coat of paint, some new hardwood flooring and a bit of good, old-fashioned elbow grease, you may be able to earn some big returns when you foray into the flipping scene.
But, like any real estate endeavor, location matters, and there are some housing markets in America that are more conducive to flipping than others. Contrary to popular belief, flipping opportunity isn’t limited to the Midwest and the Rust Belt—though those cities still dominate the flipper’s market as a whole—and you can still find plenty of worthy investments on the East Coast. If you’re looking to make some cash flipping in the Eastern half of the United States, make sure to give the following metro areas a good look. These regions boast particularly high profits for flippers.
- Miami, FL—The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area is rife with flippers, and for good reason. With a bustling vacation rental and tourism economy, there’s no shortage of people to buy and rent property in this spicy coastal region. Unsurprisingly, given the city’s huge economic opportunity, Miami ranks high in cash buyers, with 38.3 percent of its flips selling to all-cash buyers, according to the ATTOM report.
- Providence, RI—Rhode Island’s capital city has long been dubbed “flipper-friendly,” and that reputation doesn’t seem to be dying down in 2019. Boasting an incredible growth of 23 percent year over year, Providence’s flipping market has a lot to offer to both buyer and seller. With its close proximity to Boston and charming seaside towns nearby, Providence still excels in affordability, making it a desirable destination for all.
- Orlando, FL—The Sunshine State is indeed one of the hottest, both in terms of the temperature and the real estate market. No surprise there, since it offers a dreamy year-round climate, plenty of economic opportunity and a still shockingly reasonable housing market. The theme park city ranked in the top 10 for home flipping rates in the country last year.
- Virginia Beach, VA—According to Owners.com, Virginia Beach is the American city with the best buyer’s market in 2019. Though the average median home value is pretty much on-par with the national average, real estate in Virginia Beach tends to go for well below ask (an average of $11,650 below ask, to be precise), which means its affordable real estate is quickly being gobbled up by flip-focused investors.
- Gloucester City, NJ—With its close proximity to New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, Jersey is a house flipper’s dream state. Gloucester City, located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, is one of the best flipper’s destinations in the state. With around a quarter of all home sales labeled fix-and-flips, Gloucester City’s flippers earned an average profit of $48,000. Flippers there earned themselves a return on investment (ROI) of about 200 percent!
- Baltimore, MD—Baltimore has grown into one of the biggest flip cities in America, with a reported 103.5 percent average ROI for fix-and-flips. Flippers in Baltimore enjoy massive returns in part because housing there is still affordable despite the city’s notable economic upswing. In other words, the city is becoming more and more desirable, but the housing market still skews towards the buyer.
- Philadelphia, PA—Like a few of the other cities on this list, Philadelphia gets points for the simple fact that it boasts a really strong buyer’s market at the moment. With lots of inventory and a good chunk of houses selling for below ask, this is a great area to start if you’re looking to get your feet wet in the flipping world without jumping right into selling. Grab a couple of steals in Philly and watch as they earn you a serious profit in the coming years.
- Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL—Though it’s on the Gulf Coast, Tampa is technically the East Coast city with the highest home-flipping rates. Around nine percent of homes in the Tampa-St. Pete’s area were flips last year. According to the Tampa Bay Times, some areas within this region posted average profits of $120,000—some as much as 75 percent!—proving that this sunny city is still a perfectly suitable place to flip.
- Charlotte, NC—Last year, Charlotte earned its rank in the flipper’s market because it posted one of the biggest increases in flips in the United States. The market in the North Carolina city continues to grow, and it’s a reflection of the market at large, which is growing at a pace of about seven percent. With a mild climate and an impressive economic situation (Forbes named it the fifth-best place for businesses and careers), Charlotte is a great place to expand your flip portfolio.
Is the Flipping Market Headed Back Up?
Though the flipper’s market took a bit of a tumble last year, economists do expect that it will make a pretty decent recovery in 2019. The fact is that building materials are more affordable than ever, unemployment rates are low, and buyers are hungry to buy. Together, these factors create a housing market that’s rife for both new and experienced flippers.
This article has been contributed by Ford Hudson.