Liberal candidate who flipped 14 B.C. properties in a decade declines to reveal profit, won't commit to ending practice if elected

Taleeb Noormohamed, the Liberal candidate facing questions for flipping more than a dozen residential properties in the past decade, speaks to CTV's David Molko.

Taleeb Noormohamed, the Liberal candidate for Vancouver Granville campaigning on promises that include making housing more affordable, on Thursday declined to share how much he or his businesses have profited from buying or selling at least 30 residential properties in Metro Vancouver in the last decade.

Noormohamed, who CTV News Vancouver has independently verified sold 14 of those properties within a year of purchasing them, also declined to address criticism that his practices were either hypocritical – according to his Conservative opponent – or directly contributing to the affordability crisis, according to his NDP opponent.

Residential properties bought and sold within 12 months would be subject to the Liberal Party’s proposed anti-flipping tax, which leader Justin Trudeau says is meant to curb speculation.

“Help me understand how you can champion housing affordability and – at the same time – your leader is signalling you are part of the problem,” CTV News asked Noormohamed Thursday.

He answered: “Our plan, which is ambitious, talks about three critical components.”

Noormohamed then went on to talk about renter protection, supply, and what he called “unlocking housing ownership.”

“Do you see yourself as a property flipper or speculator?” CTV News asked.

Noormohamed responded: “I see myself as someone who is absolutely committed to making sure we increase housing affordability, and I’m in favour of all the measures that are required to do that, that we’ve put forward.”

Some of the properties in question were rentals, Noormohamed said, while others were improved through renovations, then sold.

All transactions were reported "appropriately," he said.

When CTV News asked how many of the 30 he’s lived in over the past decade, Noormohamed answered: three.

Of the five properties he currently owns in Vancouver and West Vancouver, all are rentals except for his current residence.

Of the 25 he’s sold, records show the difference between the purchase and sale prices total over $4.2 million, not accounting for taxes, improvements to the properties, and other expenses.

When CTV News asked Noormohamed how much he or his businesses profited on those sales, he stumbled twice. The third time the question was posed, he answered:

“While I can’t give you an exact number, I can tell you it is by no means the number that has been put forward. But what I can also tell you is that I’m absolutely committed to any and all measures that have been put forward that would apply.”

Noormohamed said few voters over the last week have asked him about his property purchase history, and said he told those who did that he had an unwavering commitment to improving affordability if elected.

He also highlighted on Thursday an announcement by the Liberals that would see $25 million invested in a revitalized Jewish Community Centre for Vancouver, which he said would create up to 600 mixed-use affordable housing units.

When CTV News asked Noormohamed what he’d learned from the criticism he’s faced from both the right and left, he said: “I’ve learned that you’ve got to focus on making sure you’re talking to the voters, that you spend your time hearing what’s important to them, and tuning out the noise.”

As far as whether the candidate who came in second in Vancouver Granville in 2019 plans to change his buying and selling practices if he wins this time?

“What I’m going to be doing is spending my time on this and not anything else,” Noormohamed answered.

“So change, no change? Keep doing what you’ve been doing?” CTV News asked.

Noormohamed didn’t clarify.

“Focusing on the folks here and making sure I’m representing their interests,” he said.