Monday, October 15 08:44:56
In another sign that US housing is in recovery what is known as house flipping has returned to the market. Buying a house in distress and cleaning it up with a view to immediate resale sounds like something that belongs to the housing surge but if you can get the house at the bottom of the market it can still produce profit. Not long ago, John Irvin was selling women's shoes in the Nordstrom at the Pentagon City mall, pulling down about $20 an hour. Now he flips houses in Northern Virginia - scooping up short sales, refitting them and aiming for a quick sell. He has sold three homes so far and says he netted more than $30,000 in profit each time.
"If I do one house every quarter, I'm making $125,000 a year - at 25 years old," Irwin said. "All my other friends, they have a 9-to-5 job. They make probably half of what I'm making right now. It's kind of like hitting the lottery." Flipping earned a bad reputation during the housing boom thanks to speculators who bought and sold millions of homes in search of easy profits. But the practice is gaining popularity again as the nation's real estate market shows signs of life. The number of flips rose 25 percent during the first half of 2012 from the same period a year earlier, according to research firm RealtyTrac, and the gross profit on each property averaged $29,342. RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said the resurgence in flipping offers another indication that, in many parts of the country, housing prices have finally stopped falling.