Real estate "flippers" -- those who buy residential properties and resell them within 24 months -- have often obtained returns greater than 100% per year in three of the nation's hottest real estate markets, according to First American Real Estate Solutions, Anaheim, Calif.The company's study of real estate flipping in Las Vegas, Miami, and Orange County, Calif., from 1999 through June 2005 found that flippers have often far exceeded the average annual appreciations of 20%-30% in the nation's strongest real estate markets. "During the past six years, flippers have exercised a level of strategic intelligence and savvy in their investments that proved to be even more profitable than the strong gains experienced by the general market," said Christopher Cagan, director of research and analytics at First American RES and the author of the report. The study also found that the especially profitable "sweet spot" between purchase and resale is from three to six months after purchase. A copy of the study, "Real Estate Flipping: Gold Mine, Mistake or Fraud," can be found online at http://www.firstamres.com.

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