British Columbia

Real estate 'shadow flipping' doesn't reflect bigger picture, analyst says

While high prices have made 'shadow flipping' a problem for a small number of single-family homes in Vancouver, a real estate expert says the cost of condos hasn't gone up much since 2008.

Senior real estate analyst says practice affects only a small part of the market

While Vancouver housing prices continue to skyrocket, a senior real estate analyst says the benchmark price of condos hasn't really gone up much since 2008. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

A senior real estate analyst says that while high prices have made 'shadow flipping' a problem for a small number of single-family homes in Vancouver, the cost of condos hasn't gone up much since 2008.

People who shadow flip, a practice under which speculators can reassign sales to different owners at ever higher prices, are helping push housing prices upward in an already overheated market, said Vancouver MLA David Eby. 

But Don Campbell, a senior analyst with the Real Estate Investment Network, says the practice only affects a small portion of the region's real estate market and doesn't really apply to other types of properties like condos and townhomes.

"Frankly, if we really peel the onion on the Vancouver housing market and we take a really close look at the numbers, we see that the [benchmark] sale price … is roughly the same as it was in 2008 as it is today on condos," said Campbell.

The cost of a condo mortgage has remained about the same since 1994, he said, with people paying about $100 more a month today.

'Anything with dirt'

People who are looking for affordability should stay away from anything touching "dirt," said Campbell.

"Anything with dirt, a single-family home, multi-family properties that are one transaction or even town homes — that's where the growth is occurring."

But some residents have a found a way around this problem. Campbell says some families are creating multi-generational housing, where baby-boomers and millennials live together.

"What we're seeing actually on the street, is the baby boomer selling the house to the millennials," he said.

"And [the baby-boomers] are the ones who are developing this beautiful laneway home to move into, so that their kids with their grandkids, can move into the home and get them into the property market."

But Campbell concedes that millennials who don't have this option available to them will probably find themselves moving outside the city centre, following transit developments like the Evergreen Line.

"At the beginning, they're going to be out following the transit," he said.

"Heck, I'd like to live by the ocean too, but I'm not."

To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Real estate analyst on shadow flipping and the bigger picture.


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