House flipping slows in Las Vegas as bargains disappear

A house is shown for sale in Henderson.

Flipping homes in Nevada is not as profitable or as common as it is nationally, a new report shows.

Single-family homes were flipped 2,923 times in the first six months of the year in Nevada, meaning they were sold within six months of being purchased, and the flippers booked an average profit of $15,205 per deal, according to research firm RealtyTrac.

Home flippers nationally earned 21 percent more — $18,391 on average, RealtyTrac reported.

Nevada had a 34 percent decline in housing flips compared to the first six months of 2012, but nationally, volume rose 19 percent to 136,184 transactions.

Although flipping remains profitable in most markets, it’s “tapering off” in regions with fewer distressed bargains, RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said in the report.

“Out of the 100 markets we analyzed for the report, 32 had declining flipping numbers, including perennial flipping hot spots like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Southern California and Atlanta,” he said.

In Southern Nevada, foreclosure activity plunged the past few years after the state’s “robosigning” law made it harder for banks to seize homes from delinquent borrowers.

It’s difficult to buy a home in Las Vegas, whether you want to live in it or flip it. Las Vegas has relatively few homes listed for sale, partly because investors have bought cheap houses in bulk throughout the valley to turn into rentals.