VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Shadow flipping has become the poster child of unethical behaviour in the local housing market, but most of it is centred around the sale of single-detached homes.
A Richmond-based brokerage was slapped with sanctions this past weekend and the firm’s owner was quoted as saying the condo market “is the real gold.”
So, the question becomes whether or not less scrupulous realtors will see that as an untapped market.
The value of single detached homes in Metro Vancouver jumped by 25 per cent in the first quarter year-over-year while condo growth was a more modest nine-and-a-half per cent.
Nizam Dossa, the head of the Strata Property Agents of BC, admits the potential is there but doubts we’ll see a wave of shady dealings in the condo market.
“There is certainly the chance. But most of the realtors we deal with I’d say the vast majority of them are quite ethical and do follow the rules.”
He admits it is a buyer and seller beware world but says condo sales, at least where strata are involved, are transparent.
“The buyer and any potential assignee or shadow flipping or whatever can see what’s happening if they so wish. We just of course can’t control what happens just for the sake of speculation though.”
And Dossa reiterates that he trusts most realtors he deals with. “I can see the potential for it but again, most of the realtors we deal with are quite ethical,” he says.
Dossa believes the unethical behaviour is limited to a small number of agents.
Real estate investigation
There may now be even more competition if you’re looking to buy a place in Metro Vancouver.
It appears people who visit a Chinese-language website based out of Shanghai are getting the first look at local homes for sale before that information goes up on the Multiple Listing Service.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is looking into it. The superintendent of the Real Estate Council of BC refuses to say if it’s investigating the website but tells PostMedia anyone in the market should make sure they’re dealing with a licenced realtor.