For two years, the rate of home flipping was on the rise, but those figures have leveled out during the second quarter of 2017, creating a ripple effect that likely will touch real estate agents who work with this clientele.

According to a CNBC report, the number of homes flipped fell to 5.6 percent, down from 6.9 percent in the previous quarter.

Investment returns also were down slightly for flippers, with the average gross return of $67,516 in the second quarter signaling a 48.4 percent return on investment. That is down from 49 percent in the previous quarter.

Returns continue to evaporate because the cost to get in is rising so fast. Home prices were up 6.7 percent in July, year over year, according to CoreLogic. Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom Data Solutions, pointed out that as gains have accelerated, flippers have become more creative.

“Home flippers are employing a number of strategies to give them an edge in the increasingly competitive environment where flipping yields are being compressed. Many flippers are gravitating toward lower-priced areas where discounted purchases are more readily available — often due to foreclosure or some other type of distress. Many of those lower-priced areas also have strong rental markets, giving flippers a consistent pipeline of demand from buy-and-hold investors looking for turnkey rentals.”

Moreover, flippers who have been cash buyers in the past now are leveraging their investments more, turning even to low down payment FHA mortgages.

Although it still hasn’t returned to its pre-recession peak, house-flipping in 2016 was at its highest level since 2006. Blomquist said this has been driven by surging home prices and investors looking for a quick payoff.

“There’s a lot of capital chasing returns from house-flipping.”

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