'Housing porn': Shaughnessy home flipped 3 times in 3 years, most recently for $6.3M

A two-storey home in the heart of Vancouver's posh Shaughnessy neighbourhood was listed and sold twice this year.

The three-bedroom, three-bath single family home is on a 13,048-square-foot lot, which it shares with two other buildings.

It’s surrounded by lush gardens and trees, boasting of “privacy and serenity,” according to its listing.

The home on The Crescent Street most recently sold for $6.3 million, which is $280,000 less than its listing price. Back in February, it sold for $5.3 million.

And before that, in 2018, it was snatched up for $4,840,000.

“My first reaction to it is rich people do rich people things,” said Tsur Somerville, a professor in real estate finance with the UBC Sauder School of Business.

The most striking thing, according to Somerville, is the apparent "flipping of it without renovation."

“It's hard to tell if those are necessarily arm's length transactions," he said, describing a potential situation in which "people transfer the unit from themselves to themselves for corporate holding reasons.”

Steve Saretsky, a Vancouver realtor with Oakwyn Realty who was not involved in this listing, said fewer homes are being flipped – bought and sold within a two-year window – than in previous years.

“If we look at flipping activity, homes that are flipped as a percentage of total sales is hovering just below five per cent,” he said. “If you look at the data from a historical perspective, that's on the low side. I think we reached around seven or eight per cent in the last housing cycle.”

Prices have also gone up across the board.

“When people can borrow on a variable rate mortgage today at 1.2 per cent and inflation is running, you know, north of four per cent, it becomes a pretty compelling place to park your capital,” Saretsky said.

And demand remains high, with home sales up 20.8 per cent last month over the 10-year September average, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

But when it comes to the luxury housing market, Somerville said there typically isn’t as much activity.

“It's a market that's less liquid, but if you're selling a really expensive home there's just fewer people out there. We're going to buy it so they tend to sit on the market for longer times,” he said.

But not The Crescent Street home, which sold in just two days.

“It's the housing porn thing and we're all sort of fascinated by what rich people do,” Somerville said.