The Wall Street Journal: Goldman Sachs to get into the house-flipping business

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s push to lend more has taken it to some strange places for a storied, elite Wall Street firm. The latest: house flipping.

Goldman GS, -1.07%   is acquiring Genesis Capital LLC, a closely held Los Angeles firm that backs investors seeking to buy, spruce up and quickly sell homes. Genesis, founded in 2007, has been growing rapidly as the housing market continues to recover. It lent $1 billion last year, up from $50 million in 2013.

Goldman’s interest in a small house-flipping financier reflects both the buoyancy of the residential real-estate market and the Wall Street firm’s hunger for new profit engines as its core trading business remains stuck in a postcrisis slump.

House flipping, once a symbol of the real-estate market’s excess, has become hot again. Borrowers took out $40 billion of these loans in 2016, the most since 2006, when flippers rushed to capitalize on rising home prices, and in some cases fueled the mania.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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