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Number of homes flipped for quick resale ‘down dramatically on early 2000s’

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

The number of homes being “flipped” – sold more than once within 12 months – has dramatically fallen since a peak in 2004, analysis has found.

Homes are often flipped when they are done up and then quickly sold on for a profit – typically just over £30,000 before tax and other costs, according to the research.

Last year, 18,630 homes were flipped across England and Wales, 69% fewer than the 60,340 homes flipped in 2004, Hamptons International said.

(PA Graphics)

But between 2017 and 2018 the number of flipped homes did increase by 1.6%.

Nearly one in 20 (4.8%) homes sold in England and Wales in 2004 were flipped within 12 months.

But last year only around one in 50 (2.1%) were flipped in this way.

The average “flipper” sells their property for £30,150 more than they paid for it.

Burnley in Lancashire was identified as the top hotspot for home flipping, according to the research which used Land Registry figures.

Last year more than one in 10 (11.2%) homes sold in Burnley were bought in the previous 12 months.

Wolverhampton, Hyndburn in Lancashire and Hackney in London were also home flipping hotspots.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “The art of flipping generally involves buying, renovating and selling a home, in most cases for a profit.

“Flippers play an important role in the housing market by improving existing housing stock and bringing empty homes back into use.

“Yet the number of flipped homes has fallen considerably since its heyday in the early 2000s.

“Flippers tend to operate when house prices are rising, to really maximise their profits.

“Between 2000 and 2007 house prices were rising at an average annual rate of 13%, so there were plenty of opportunities for flippers to make profits.

“But following the financial crash, price growth has slowed, and this combined with tax changes has meant that generally it’s harder for flippers to make as much of a return as before.”

Here are the top local areas with the highest percentages of home sales which were ‘flipped’ in 2018, according to Hamptons International:
1. Burnley, North West , 11.2%
2. Wolverhampton, West Midlands, 6.1%
3. Hyndburn, North West, 5.4%
4. Hackney, London, 5.1%
5. County Durham, North East, 4.8%
=6. Redcar and Cleveland, North East, 4.4%
=6. Hartlepool, North East, 4.4%
8. Middlesbrough, North East, 4.3%
9. Rutland, East Midlands, 4.1%
10. Preston, North West, 4.0%
=11. South Ribble, North West, 3.9%
=11. Barrow-in-Furness, North West, 3.9%
=11. Wellingborough, East Midlands, 3.9%
=14. Walsall, West Midlands, 3.8%
=14. Blackpool, North West, 3.8%

Here are the numbers of homes flipped in 2018 and the year-on-year change, according to Hamptons International. Regional figures do not add up to national total due to rounding: 
– East Midlands, 1,910, 4%
– East of England, 1,730, 1%
– London, 1,240, minus 16%
– North East, 1,430, 8%
– North West, 2,930, 6%
– South East, 2,320, minus 1%
– South West, 1,810, minus 4%
– Wales, 1,120, 8%
– West Midlands, 1,990, 6%
– Yorkshire and the Humber, 2,090, 4%