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Flipping heck!

‘Doer uppers’ go to ground

The number of homes being sold more than once in a 12-month period has fallen dramatically since the peak of “flipping” in 2004.

Last year, 18,630 homes in England and Wales were sold more than once, compared with 60,340 in 2004. In 2004, 4.8% of homes sold in England & Wales were flipped within 12 months.

This proportion has fallen gradually ever since and last year just 2.1% of homes were flipped in England and Wales, although this is 0.1% more than in 2017. Last year £3.9bn worth of property was flipped, £0.2bn less than in 2017 and half the value of the sector in 2004 (£8.2bn).

The average ‘flipper’ last year sold their property for £30,150 more than they paid for it (pre-tax), which equates to a 22% average gain in England and Wales. However, this is less than the 32% average gain made in 2004 when house prices were rising faster than they have been in the last few years.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International which did the number crunching, said: “The art of flipping generally involves buying, renovating and selling a home, in most cases for a profit. Flippers tend to operate when house prices are rising, to really maximise their profits.”

She continued, “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 made it harder for flippers to make as much of a return as before.”

Wilsons can certainly bear this out. During the nineties and noughties, we always had a number of  keen ‘flippers’ on our register, on the lookout for run-down property they could do up and sell on soon afterwards, pocketing a decent profit in the process. This is now a rarity - even property needing general improvement sells for good prices and with the market pretty static right now, this just isn’t happening.

By Chris Willey

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