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Flippers, investors bought more than a third of DFW homes last year

Almost 40 percent of the homes sold in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last year went to house flippers, investors, developers or builders.
Almost 40 percent of the homes sold in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last year went to house flippers, investors, developers or builders. Star-Telegram archives

Almost 40 percent of the homes sold in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last year didn’t go to owner occupants.

Instead, those properties sold to house flippers, investors, developers and builders, according to just-released information from Attom Data Solutions.

“That’s the highest share of purchases going to non-owners in Dallas since 2000,” said Daren Blomquist, economist with Attom Data. “The long-term average for the city of Dallas is about 25 percent, and this was way above that average.”

Nationwide, about a third of home and condo sales went to investors or other non-occupant buyers last year.

“The percent of homes being purchased by non-owner occupants has been rising across the U.S.,” Blomquist said.

Many of the homes are being acquired by house flippers. That’s getting tougher to do profitably in markets like Dallas-Fort Worth that have seen huge price appreciation.

“In the Dallas market, there is not that much opportunity there,” Blomquist said.

Last year, the North Texas neighborhoods with the most home flips were in South Oak Cliff (ZIP code 75224, 17.4 percent), South Dallas (75216, 15.3 percent), southeast Dallas (75241, 14.8 percent), northwest Fort Worth (76106, 14.3 percent) and southwest Dallas (75232, 14.1 percent).

Attom Data counts homes that are bought and sold in a 12-month period as flips.

“In Dallas, the prices have risen,” Blomquist said. “If you are an investor, you probably are going to have to start going into what they might consider a neighborhood that’s a little bit lower-quality housing.”

Builders doing teardowns and apartment developers turning old residential areas into new multifamily housing also account for a share of the non-occupant purchases.

Blomquist said popular cable television shows and investment gurus promote house flipping and investing in rental properties.

“HGTV makes it look easy,” Blomquist said.

And 10 DFW neighborhoods made Attom Data’s list of the best housing markets in the country, based on factors including neighborhood quality, home price appreciation, affordability and school scores.

They are: Coppell (75019), Colleyville (76034), Southlake (76092), Argyle (75226), Keller (76244), Flower Mound (75022 and 75028), Prosper (75078), Celina (75009) and Melissa (75454).

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