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Money & Power, Real Estate & Home

Baltimore, Heaven for House-Flippers

2 Written by: | Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014 10:38am

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Sometimes, people who flip (or attempt to flip) houses are savvy real estate speculators willing to funnel money into a gentrifying neighborhood; sometimes they’re cynical parasites, out to make a buck–witness this month’s successful court case against one of Baltimore’s most infamous absentee landlords.

Whatever their stripes, house flippers will be pleased to learn that Baltimore is one of the nation’s best markets in which to flip a home, according to Business Insider.

Per RealtyTrac data, 440 homes were flipped in the second quarter of this year, for a whopping 73 percent average gross return on investment. That’s more than three times as much as the national average profit for flippers. Speculators also made an average gross profit of $104,553. That’s not surprising, considering that Baltimore still has a whole lot of vacant housing stock, as well as one of the nation’s hottest housing markets. Cheap stock plus the promise of future profits equals lots of potential flippers with dollar signs in their eyes.

If the idea of a new Baltimore housing bubble makes you queasy, comfort yourself with the fact that Baltimore’s house-flip economy at least seems to be slowing down–those 440 flipped houses actually represent a 41 percent decline from last year.

Leave a Reply

  • Dave

    That may be true now but if you look close at the data, many of those houses are either in Canton, Fed Hill or Hampden. As someone who works in this field, it is surprising to admit that things aren’t so dandy in the house flipping world despite what the data may say. The popular neighborhoods are maxing out, and normally this would result in a spill over to adjacent neighborhoods. Yet, as many of us know, the well-to-do areas are bordered by very poor neighborhoods. Rarely do my developer clients risk going into these poorer neighborhoods, and that means squeezing out as much money as you can get in the ‘better’ neighborhoods. You can barely find a shell on the market that is a cheap enough to earn a decent profit on the flip. A lot of the houses that are profitable are found off market mostly through realtors.

    With the amount of vacants we have in this city, you’d think your headline was true, but unfortunately I think that due to the issues were all too familiar with, we aren’t actually experiencing this heaven for flips you talk of. Hopefully with some more innovative policy, and actually keeping our community funds where they are suppose to be, these up and coming neighborhoods will be stable enough to encourage healthy development nearby.

  • Back Flipper

    The local real estate investment school unleashes dozens of hacks each year who butcher the housing stock. Improvements performed for the use and enjoyment of owner occupants are almost always superior to those undertaken strictly for a profit. And please, no more granite counters and stainless appliances.



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