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The best cities in America for flipping houses in 2019

Flipping houses can be a profitable endeavor if you’re in the right spot at the right time—and finding the right spot is becoming increasingly important.


By Glenda Taylor, bobvila

Atlantic City, New Jersey


Atlantic City’s housing market shows a 28 percent year-over-year rise in median home sales price, and that’s likely to continue, according to the real estate gurus at Trulia. A popular location because of its proximity to New York and its enviable infrastructure and transportation systems, Atlantic City is continuously expanding, making it a prime spot for flipping houses. The entire state of New Jersey has one of the best returns on investment (ROI) for house flipping, according to GOBankingRates, but Atlantic City is the hot spot.


Phoenix, Arizona


The housing market in Phoenix has been trending upward since 2012, and according to online real estate expert Zillow, that trend should continue throughout 2019. Kiplinger’s Economic Outlook Report notes that a rapidly growing population in Arizona is partially responsible for the rosy outlook. Another contributing factor is the expansion of high-tech industry in the state. While all areas of Phoenix are looking good for flipping houses, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale region is currently the hottest of all.


Denver, Colorado


The Mile High City is currently a top spot for flipping houses. According to CNBC, savvy investors can realize an estimated average 109 percent profit from a single house flip. Business is booming in Denver, thanks to the arrival of a number of large tech companies as well as the opening of the new Microsoft Tech Center, as Kiplinger’s reports. With an increased demand for skilled workers comes a demand for more housing, especially affordable housing.


Memphis, Tennessee


Another one of Zillow’s “Very Hot” housing markets is located in the heart of Tennessee—Memphis. Houses sell quickly in Memphis, averaging only 68 days on the market, so house flippers won’t have to wait around to realize a return on their investment. The median house value in Memphis is just $85,000, so beginning investors can flip a house without spending an arm and a leg.


Orlando, Florida


With its year-round warm weather, Florida has always been a popular place to live, so house flipping here is usually a good prospect. While the entire state can be profitable for flipping, Kiplinger’s tells us Orlando is currently the hottest city of all, as a result of rapid growth in the healthcare, tech, and aerospace industries. Orlando is another one of Zillow’s “Very Hot” markets; home values are expected to rise approximately 6.2 percent in the next year.


Chicago, Illinois


After a few years of volatile housing prices, home sales in Chicago have stabilized, opening up opportunities for house flippers who are interested in buying and rehabilitating houses that have seen better days. Zillow rates the current Chicago housing market as “Hot” and predicts a healthy 5 percent increase in home values over the next year. Most in demand—and probably the best prospects for flipping—will be homes priced at $250,000 or less, according to the 2019 Housing Price Forecasts, published by the Illinois Realtors Association.


Spokane, Washington


If there’s a housing downturn, Spokane, Washington, hasn’t heard about it. Zillow rates Spokane’s housing market as “Very Hot” and predicts the positive trend to continue throughout 2019. Realtor.com lists Spokane as one of the “10 Markets Where Home Prices are Unstoppable.” The city of just 220,000 is a top pick for small businesses; it offers competitive wages, good schools, and top-notch healthcare.


Meridian, Idaho


While much of Idaho offers a lukewarm housing market, home values in Meridian have risen 11 percent in the past year, and Zillow predicts they’ll rise an additional 1.7 percent in 2019, making Meridian a "Hot" housing market. In 2018, Meridian was the 10th fastest growing city in the nation, a testament to the city’s favorable business taxes, which continue to bring in new industry. Housing is at a premium in Meridian, making it one of the few smaller western cities that offer house flippers a great opportunity.


Greensboro, North Carolina


While it’s only the third most populated city in the state (Charlotte and Raleigh are numbers 1 and  2), Greensboro surpasses North Carolina’s larger cities in economic growth. Zillow rates its housing market as “Very Hot,” fed in part by an influx of tech companies that hold out the promise of good-paying jobs. According to Realtor.com, Greensboro has also become a prime house-buying spot for workers who commute to Raleigh and Durham, where housing costs are much higher. Zillow predicts a 3.1 percent value increase in 2019, making Greensboro a good choice for flipping houses.


South Bend, Indiana


Located on the St. Joseph River, South Bend, Indiana, is a booming small city with a population just over 100,000—and quickly rising. Famous for the nearby University of Notre Dame, South Bend is currently a top location for new manufacturing companies, which are driving employment and housing in this once-downtrodden Rust Belt community. Zillow rates South Bend's housing market as “Very Hot," and recent and predicted growth makes the city a house flipper's dream come true. South Bend is in need of affordable housing, so houses in the $100,000 to $150,000 range are most likely to sell quickly.


Boston, Massachusetts


While the housing market is questionable in some large U.S. cities, sales in Boston show no sign of slowing down. You’ll need to invest a bit more money here—the median home sales price in Boston is $628,000—but if you can swing a fixer-upper here, you stand a good chance of selling it at a decent profit. Home values are predicted to rise an additional 8.9 percent in 2019, according to Zillow, which rates Boston’s current housing market as “Very Hot.”


Fresno, California


While some communities in California are experiencing falling home values (never a good sign for flipping), Fresno’s home values are rising and are expected to continue their upward trend. Kiplinger’s credits some of Fresno’s economic success to its massive new Amazon warehouse, but that’s not the only contributing factor. According to The Fresno Bee, the city is experiencing “[a] robust economy, new job growth, and a demand for more housing options,” all of which make Fresno a great place to flip houses in 2019.


Birmingham, Alabama


If you’re looking for a more reasonably priced locale to start flipping, don’t overlook Birmingham, Alabama. Its vigorous housing market earns a “Very Hot” ranking from Zillow, and the median home sales price is just $65,000, making the city a newbie house flipper's dream. According to Realtor.com, the Birmingham housing market is slated for a 10.8 percent growth in prices, so flip investors can anticipate a good ROI.


Columbia, South Carolina


Another city on Zillow’s “Very Hot” housing market list, Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, experienced a 5.2 percent increase in home sales last year, and sales are predicted to rise another 3.9 percent this year. An extensive downtown revitalization has boosted Columbia’s appeal to new business. For workers, the city offers a diverse range of major employers, many from the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries. Realtor.com suggests part of Columbia’s healthy economy is attributable to a general population growth in the South. Whatever the reason, 2019 looks to be a good year for house flippers in Columbia.


Killeen, Texas


According to Realtor.com, the high cost of living in Austin, Texas, may be partially responsible for its residents' migration to Killeen, which is just an hour to the north. Home to Fort Hood and General Dynamics, Killeen is growing by leaps and bounds, and affordable housing is at a premium. Zillow lists Killeen as a “Very Hot” housing market where the median home sales price hovers around $150,000. KXXV-TV, an ABC affiliate, reports the Killeen area of Texas could double in population by 2050, which means that house flippers may find this a good market for a number of years to come.

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Finance Magazine: The best cities in America for flipping houses in 2019
The best cities in America for flipping houses in 2019
Flipping houses can be a profitable endeavor if you’re in the right spot at the right time—and finding the right spot is becoming increasingly important.
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