Home flipping isn’t just for the low end of the market.

American Coastal Properties LLC of Irvine last week was the subject of a Wall Street Journal story about investors shifting capital to buying expensive homes, fixing them up and selling them for a profit. The venture has garnered some high-profile backers. ACP got $50 million recently from private-equity firm Colony Capital LLC and from the Pritzker/Vlock Family Office, the Journal reported.

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The firm says it’s “at the cutting edge of the real estate recovery,” buying luxury homes in pricey areas like Venice, Palm Springs and La Jolla, investing 50 percent to 100 percent of the sales price to gut and rebuild the homes, then selling at a profit.By KEVIN SABLAN / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Most “flippers” focus on less expensive homes. But competition for cheaper properties has grown fierce as investors vie for a shrinking pool of foreclosures and short sales.

ACP owner Nicki Sinatra – a former political director in the George W. Bush White House – has a much bigger cash exposure, but much less competition. According to the Journal, he spent $900,000 for a Venice home last year and spent nearly $600,000 in renovations. But he sold it for $2.07 million in June.

“It’s a land trade,” Sinatra told the Journal. “We’re essentially higher-end home builders in highly desirable neighborhoods that even in bad times don’t suffer.”