In real estate, “flipping” is the practice of buying a piece property and then selling it a short time later, often having renovated, rehabilitated, or otherwise upgraded it to increase its value. Despite being a risky and expensive proposition, this kind of thing happens all over the country. According to real estate analytics firm RealtyTrac, nationally, the average return for investors on a house flip in the first quarter of 2015 was 35.1 percent, up from thirty-five percent at the same time last year; returns on flips in the New York and New Jersey metro area—where flips made up 3.7 percent of all sales—however, were even greater: investors saw an average return of 47.1 percent in the first quarter of this year.
New York City’s most successful flip last year, the Post reported in December, was a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment on the Upper West Side purchased for just under two hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars in February; it was resold in September for nearly eight hundred and ninety thousand dollars. “The best neighborhoods for profitable flipping are those that come with a higher risk because of location and condition of properties,” Ivona Perecman, a luxury broker and real estate attorney, wrote in her summary of RealtyTrac’s analysis.
In New York City, the highest concentration of flips over the last decade took place in the city council districts comprising Lower Manhattan (District 1), Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea (District 3), and the east side of Manhattan from the Upper East Side to Stuyvesant Town (District 4).