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Opinion: Liberal candidate who flipped 41 homes isn't a speculator... by trade

Taleeb Noormohamed apparently buys and sells real estate as a side hustle

If the news that came out last week about the Liberal candidate for Vancouver Granville, Taleeb Noormohamed, flipping four real estate investments was a tiny pebble in the federal election pond, a report from today might be a full-on cannonball.

Speaking with NEWS1130 last week, Noormohamed said that he "didn't want to speculate" on exactly how many properties he had flipped. Today it was revealed  (by NEWS1130 and separately by opposition research distributed to media by the NDP) that the number is no less than 41.

Real estate speculation is a four-letter-word in some circles in Vancouver, and it's pretty wild that nobody caught these local investments when he ran for mayor under Vision Vancouver in 2018. Or when he ran for the Liberal Party of Canada in the same riding in 2019, ultimately losing to the incumbent, Jody Wilson-Raybould, who ran as an independent.

The transactions only saw the light of day less than a week after the Liberal Party of Canada revealed their promise to help first-time homeowners and implement an anti-flipping tax as part of their election platform. Those efforts would be meant to counter the very type of investing that their candidate took part in for the better part of two decades.

Don't call him a speculator

A graduate of Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard, Noormohamed is a CEO and self-described investor who has held executive-level positions at various companies since 2007, when he was VP of Strategy & Partnerships for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. He currently heads up the immensely popular online marketplace, Jane.com.

He hasn't responded to our request for comment on this issue, but in an interview with NEWS1130 pushed back on being characterized as a real estate speculator.

“Understand my family,” Noormohamed said to the station in a phone interview, “My father is an architect, my mother is an interior designer. And they have a passion for retrofitting and redesigning and working through old spaces."

He went on to explain that they took "unlivable properties", improved them, then sold them. From the data we've seen he held onto them for between 64 and 585 days, as illustrated in the partial spreadsheet shown above.

It would appear that making $4.9 million off of these activities is a side hustle, and not his primary occupation.

Whether or not you can stomach that likely depends on how you'll vote on September 20th.