Real estate council shouldn’t lead probe into ‘shadow flipping’ in B.C.: critic

Attorney General, David Eby

The Canadian Press

Vancouver: The housing critic for British Columbia’s Opposition New Democrats is questioning plans for an investigation into allegations of unethical and fraudulent practices by some real estate agents in Metro Vancouver.

David Eby says the Real Estate Council of B.C. should not lead the probe into a practice where agents allegedly flip homes multiple times before a closing date, adding hundreds of thousands to the final sale price.

He says the council, which regulates licensed agents in the province, has failed to do its job of investigating Realtors and the public needs assurances the probe will be independent.

The council announced Monday that it would appoint an advisory group to investigate and report back with recommendations within two months.

Earlier Monday, Eby called for an arm’s-length inquiry.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson wants the province to create new tools to manage the city’s red-hot housing market, such as a speculation tax targeting those who flip homes.

British Columbia’s Liberal government has promised measures in next week’s budget to address concerns about housing supply, pricing and affordability.

© 2016 The Canadian Press