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Condo flippers aren’t the Vancouver and Toronto housing culprits

By ERIK HERTZBERG for The Star

OTTAWA—Condo flipping was never pervasive in the Vancouver and Toronto housing booms and that sliver of the market has faded over time, suggesting tougher measures to curb speculators won’t make those cities more affordable.

Just 3.4 per cent of Vancouver condominiums sold between April and June were units that had already been sold over the previous year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from Teranet Inc.’s land and housing registry. The share of “paired sales” is close to the 2.9 per cent average over the last 12 months, and the rate has steadily declined from a decade ago when it topped 6 per cent.

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Paired-sales data can be used to measure flipping, the speculative practice of quickly selling a property to profit from escalating prices. The proportion has also fallen in Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, where it was 1.7 per cent in the second quarter, down from 5 per cent before the global financial crisis.

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