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House flipping surged in Sacramento. Does that mean real estate is now a good investment?

What $1.8 million will get you in Carmichael

A 6 bedroom, 6 bath, 7,645 square-foot house in Carmichael recently hit the market at a price of $1.788 million, offering a European style and resort-like grounds. The price is in the upper-end of luxury homes in the Sacramento area.
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A 6 bedroom, 6 bath, 7,645 square-foot house in Carmichael recently hit the market at a price of $1.788 million, offering a European style and resort-like grounds. The price is in the upper-end of luxury homes in the Sacramento area.

There are few places better for house flippers in Northern California than Sacramento County.

New data shows Sacramento leads the region in the number of homes flipped and was one of the few counties where the return on investment increased compared with the same period the year before, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

While profits were greater in Bay Area counties, the number of homes flipped in Sacramento – 317 – was higher in the first three months of 2019. And the number of days before a house flipped, on average, was lower in Sacramento than most places.

In the Sacramento region, flipping activity – and profits – still pale in comparison to the heady days before the Great Recession. At the peak of activity in 2005, there three times more flips in a quarter than the most recent three-month period.

Flips accounted for 7 percent of sales, a slightly larger share than the 6.9 percent of flipping sales volume for the entire state.

The activity is another symptom of a housing market where consumers are eager to buy, said Jennifer von Pohlmann with ATTOM Data Solutions. The average number of days to flip a property declined in the Sacramento region by 10 percent, data shows.

“We’re noticing flippers relieving some of their inventory because interest rates have dropped,” she said. What’s more, von Pohlmann said more investors are choosing to finance the purchase of their properties before flipping them.

A little more than 17 percent of the homes sold in the Sacramento region were to cash buyers and 14 percent were sold to buyers with loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

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