Land assembly speculators shadow flipping to skirt foreign buyer tax

By ThinkPol Staff

International speculators are buying up Vancouver properties to put together land assemblies that they then shadow flip to avoid paying BC’s foreign buyer tax.

A real estate industry whistleblower sent ThinkPol one such example of an attempted land assembly shadow flip targeting the newly rezoned Cambie Corridor.

The speculator brought two adjacent properties on the 72xx block of Oak Street from the original owners in June this year.

Instead of registering the sale with the Land Titles and Survey Authority (LTSA) and paying property transfer tax including the foreign buyer tax to the province, the speculator is now flipping them as a land assembly.

“Contract of Assignment,” the description field of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing reads. “Land assembly next door 72xx Oak Street is being sold as well. Total 110×129.9 Located in Cambie Corridor phase 3 zone.”

The name entered in the “owner” field in the MLS listing is the name of the speculator, even though the speculator is technically not the owner as the property has never been legally transferred to the speculator.

The whistleblower who sent us the information claimed the main reason Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is unwilling to make MLS data publicly available is because there are dozens of examples of such shadow flipping and other unethical practices that realtors are trying to hide from the general public.

“They’d much rather send lawyers after people who try to shine a light on realtors’ unethical practices than try to crackdown on such shady dealings,” the whistleblower told ThinkPol. “If Vancouverites, especially the young ones, found out just how much my industry has ruined their future out of sheer greed, there will be mobs out on the streets with pitchforks.”

ThinkPol has reached out to BC’s Finance Minister Carole James, Housing Minister Selina Robinson, and Attorney General David Eby for comments, but have yet to hear back from any of the officials.

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[Cover photo credit: City of Vancouver]