More than 1 in 3 Yaletown condo sales appear to be flips

By ThinkPol Staff

More than a third of all condos currently listed for sale in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood appear to be attempts at flipping by speculators.

ThinkPol analyzed all 128 of the currently available MLS listings for condominiums in Yaletown and found that 48, or 37%, were bought in the last three years.

These included 22 pre-sale flips, mostly units in Vancouver developer Westbank’s Vancouver House, which the company heavily marketed overseas.

Westbank pre-sold “Architect Series” units of the condo at 1480 Howe Street starting at C$567,000 in 2015 in Hong Kong[1]

Architect Series units are now being flipped for more than C$3 million.

“Leading developer Westbank, is offering for this weekend only the opportunity for Hong Kong clients to purchase a home in the previously sold out Vancouver House,” Westbanks announced at the time.

For non-presale flips, ThinkPol used data from BC Assessment[2] to find out the data when a property was last sold.

AddressList PriceDate BoughtPrice BoughtDays OwnedBumpAnnualized ROI
XXX6-1480 Howe Street$3,450,000.00Pre-sale
XXX3-1480 Howe Street$3,950,000.00Pre-sale
XXX6-1480 Howe Street$3,788,000.00Pre-sale
XXX5-1480 Howe Street$3,688,000.00Pre-sale
XXX3-938 Nelson Street$5,288,000.00Pre-sale
XXX5-1480 Howe Street$2,998,000.00Pre-sale
XXX-910 Beach Avenue$798,000.00Pre-sale
XXX6-1480 Howe Street$1,399,000.00Pre-sale
XXX-1200 Pacific Boulevard$40,000.00Pre-sale
XXX5-1480 Howe Street$3,688,000.00Pre-sale
XXX1-1480 Howe Street$699,000.00Pre-sale
XXX-1480 Howe Street$11,888,900.00Pre-sale
XXX3-1480 Howe Street$3,938,000.00Pre-sale
XXX0-1480 Howe Street$798,000.00Pre-sale
XXX5-1480 Howe Street$3,688,000.00Pre-sale
XXX8-1480 Howe Street$2,450,000.00Pre-sale
XXX3-1480 Howe Street$820,000.00Pre-sale
XXX1-1480 Howe Street$1,100,000.00Pre-sale
XXX2-1480 Howe Street$1,088,900.00Pre-sale
XXX6-1480 Howe Street$3,188,000.00Pre-sale
XXX1088 Marinaside Crescent$399,980.00Pre-sale
XXX5-1480 Howe Street$3,688,000.00Pre-sale
XXX2-930 Cambie Street$1,200,000.002017-08-14$950,000100$250,00096.05%
XXX7-638 Beach Crescent$1,898,000.002017-06-24$1,580,000151$318,00048.65%
XXX0-1500 Hornby Street$1,488,000.002017-06-14$1,220,000161$268,00049.80%
XXX-289 Drake Street$1,488,000.002017-05-01$1,083,700205$404,30066.43%
XXX-1318 Homer Street$1,268,000.002017-04-19$870,000217$398,00076.95%
XXX-1008 Beach Avenue$1,299,000.002017-03-27$1,050,000240$249,00036.07%
XXX5-1438 Richards Street$889,000.002017-03-14$750,000253$139,00026.74%
XXX Beach Crescent$5,288,000.002016-09-08$3,700,000440$1,588,00035.60%
XXX-907 Beach Avenue$898,000.002016-08-31$685,000448$213,00025.33%
XXX5-68 Smithe Street$746,000.002016-08-10$528,000469$218,00032.13%
XXX-1012 Beach Avenue$5,388,000.002016-07-10$4,010,888500$1,377,11225.06%
XXX1-928 Beatty Street$780,000.002016-07-02$685,000508$95,0009.96%
XXX-980 Cooperage Way$1,248,800.002016-06-21$1,000,000519$248,80017.50%
XXX-980 Cooperage Way$1,299,000.002016-06-21$1,000,000519$299,00021.03%
XXX2-1501 Howe Street$2,860,000.002016-05-30$1,900,000541$960,00034.09%
XXX5-33 Smithe Street$1,085,000.002016-03-21$910,000611$175,00011.49%
XXX-628 Kinghorne Mews$2,988,000.002016-03-15$1,889,000617$1,099,00034.42%
XXX8-193 Aquarius Mews$1,650,000.002016-02-21$1,110,000640$540,00027.74%
XXX6-1483 Homer Street$1,920,000.002016-01-14$1,298,800678$621,20025.75%
XXX-1280 Richards Street$1,498,800.002015-10-23$795,000761$703,80042.46%
XXX4-1238 Richards Street$1,849,000.002015-09-25$1,275,000789$574,00020.83%
XXX0-928 Beatty Street$775,000.002015-08-28$503,000817$272,00024.16%
XXX-1318 Homer Street$1,158,000.002015-08-08$812,000837$346,00018.58%
XXX5-977 Mainland Street$888,000.002015-06-01$520,000905$368,00028.54%
XXX-1238 Richards Street$928,000.002015-02-13$565,5001013$362,50023.10%
XXX1-1238 Richards Street$1,999,000.002014-12-01$1,100,0001087$899,00027.44%
XXX9-939 Homer Street$759,900.00
XXX-1008 Beach Avenue$1,188,000.00
XXX-1226 Hamilton Street$1,199,900.00
XXX2-1323 Homer Street$888,000.00
XXX-1483 Homer Street$1,980,000.00
XXX-1180 Homer Street$1,590,000.00
XXX-1500 Hornby Street$1,688,000.00
XXX-1001 Homer Street$974,900.00
XXX9-1009 Expo Boulevard$699,900.00
XXX-1501 Howe Street$2,388,000.00
XXX6-583 Beach Crescent$1,590,000.00
XXX5-977 Mainland Street$1,299,000.00
XXX199 Drake Street$1,299,000.00
XXX1 Homer Street$1,388,000.00
XXX-888 Beach Avenue$4,288,000.00
XXX-1230 Hamilton Street$769,000.00
XXX-628 Kinghorne Mews$3,998,000.00
XXX5-212 Davie Street$1,248,000.00
XXX-212 Davie Street$1,298,880.00
XXX6-930 Cambie Street$1,099,000.00
XXX0-977 Mainland Street$979,000.00
XXX2-388 Drake Street$3,988,000.00
XXX3-212 Davie Street$1,288,000.00
XXX8 Seymour Mews$1,980,000.00
XXX-1155 Homer Street$1,293,000.00
XXX-8 Smithe Mews$1,698,888.00
XXX-1008 Cambie Street$779,000.00
XXX1-1323 Homer Street$2,800,000.00
XXX6-950 Cambie Street$998,800.00
XXX3-1515 Homer Mews$3,990,000.00
XXX3-550 Pacific Street$879,900.00
XXX2-1323 Homer Street$850,000.00
XXX3-1455 Howe Street$1,938,000.00
XXX4-1133 Homer Street$999,900.00
XXX-1010 Richards Street$875,000.00
XXX2-212 Davie Street$1,499,000.00
XXX1 Homer Street$1,388,000.00
XXX7 Homer Street$3,499,000.00
XXX1-1177 Pacific Boulevard$1,450,000.00
XXX2-33 Smithe Street$1,458,000.00
XXX-455 Beach Crescent$1,598,000.00
XXX-1323 Homer Street$699,800.00
XXX7-939 Homer Street$980,000.00
XXX-1600 Howe Street$1,498,000.00
XXX1-950 Cambie Street$1,298,000.00
XXX-928 Beatty Street$748,000.00
XXX7-918 Cooperage Way$978,800.00
XXX7-33 Smithe Street$848,000.00
XXX3-1228 Marinaside Crescent$2,180,000.00
XXX6-550 Pacific Street$899,000.00
XXX2 Hornby Street$1,898,000.00
XXX1-1408 Strathmore Mews$1,798,000.00
XXX3-388 Drake Street$4,380,000.00
XXX6-1483 Homer Street$1,880,000.00
XXX2-583 Beach Crescent$1,698,900.00
XXX1-909 Mainland Street$699,000.00
XXX5 Strathmore Mews$1,688,000.00
XXX5-289 Drake Street$1,499,000.00
XXX-1625 Hornby Street$1,259,900.00
XXX-1600 Hornby Street$1,998,000.00
XXX-1600 Howe Street$1,575,000.00
XXX2-583 Beach Crescent$1,698,900.00
XXX3 Homer Street$1,595,000.00
XXX-638 Beach Crescent$980,000.00
XXX1 Homer Street$1,388,000.00
XXX2-1408 Strathmore Mews$1,468,000.00
XXX-1500 Hornby Street$1,488,000.00
XXX Smithe Street$1,285,000.00
XXX2-1033 Marinaside Crescent$728,500.00
XXX8-1323 Homer Street$899,000.00
XXX2-1383 Marinaside Crescent$5,500,000.00
XXX5-289 Drake Street$1,399,800.00
XXX-388 Drake Street$1,480,000.00
XXX Aquarius Mews$1,850,000.00
XXX1 Homer Street$1,388,000.00
XXX-989 Beatty Street$619,000.00
XXX7-977 Mainland Street$699,888.00
XXX6-1483 Homer Street$1,738,000.00
XXX3-939 Homer Street$648,000.00
XXX1-1033 Marinaside Crescent$1,088,000.00

The top 10 apparent non-presale flippers are attempting to gain more than 30% annualized return on investments from the flipping, our data shows.

Seven of the condos were bought just this year, and 12 in the last.

Westbank has ignored our requests for comment on overseas pre-sales.

Appearing on CKNW’s The Jon McComb Show recently, however, Westbank’s spokesperson Michael Braun maintained that the company had nothing to do with overseas pre-sales.

Braun claimed that the marketing efforts by Westbank’s Hong Kong office was “just real estate brokerages buying advertising.”[3]!podcast

BC’s governing NDP came to power on a promise to introduce a speculation tax.

“We will tax speculation in our housing market. People who buy property in BC but don’t live or work here and leave their property empty will be charged a two per cent tax on speculation. All revenue collected will go into our BC Housing Affordability Fund,” the party stated in the election platform prior to May’s provincial election[4]

Critics are frustrated at what they see as a delay by NDP in implementing measures to curb speculation.

“We’ve heard the government talk about speculation taxes,” Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, who is propping up the NDP minority government, told the BC legislature last week. “Yet, there’s been no action.”

“To be blunt, the government is acting like deer caught in headlights,” Oak Bay-Gordon Head added. “This is the single biggest issue facing our province, and we are told week in and week out: ‘Wait and see.’”

We reached out to BC’s Finance Minister Carole James and Housing Minister Selina Robinson for comment two days ago, but have yet to hear back from either.

ThinkPol needs your help. While other media outlets are content reproducing real estate industry press releases, we carry out painstaking analysis of real estate data, spending hours combing through the data. And the data isn’t free. Each title search alone costs us $12. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is threatening us with lawsuits for bringing you this data.

Please consider chipping in to help ThinkPol.

Note to REBGV ‘lawyers’: All information in this article is publicly available.

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