Toronto’s Real Estate Board Tells Brokers Stop Showing More Than 2 Years of Sold Data

Toronto’s golden age of real estate brokerage innovation is coming to an abrupt end. Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) sent a memo this week, on sold data. The board informed brokers they will only be allowed to show two years of data going forward.

TRREB Ordered To Allow Brokerages To Show Sold Data

The board formerly known as TREB was sued by the competition bureau in 2011. The bureau argued it was anti-competitive to prevent real estate brokers from sharing sold information. This dispute went on for years, until the supreme court finally rejected any appeals in 2018. Shortly after, the board provided member brokers with a data feed, complete with sold data. Almost immediately, this brought Toronto real estate out of the dark ages.

Release of Sold Data Drove Brokerage Innovation

Allowing the display of sold data led brokerages to build a number of Zillow-like products. Some brokers began providing sold data to clients going back over a decade. Toronto’s formerly dated, agent-driven model, was suddenly refreshed. Buyers were able to research, without an agent acting as a direct barrier to information. Unfortunately, that wasn’t TRREB’s intention.

TRREB Memo Demands Halt On Displaying Data Over 2 Years Old

TRREB sent member brokers a reminder this week that included a restriction that was previously unclear. The board notes several restrictions, but the biggest one is how much sold data can be shown. The memo reads, “Only two (2) years of sold data can be displayed or accessed at any time on the VOW, Website, or App.” 

The updated interpretation of the bureau ruling is going to have a big impact. Starting soon, brokerages will restrict sold data to just 2 years. Much of the innovation that allowed people to research on their own will disappear. Instead Toronto will return back to it’s agent-driven model, where individuals have to request details from agents. This coincidentally will also conceal readily available sold data from the 2017 detached frenzy.

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  • Trader Jim 4 years ago

    That makes sales data go back to 2018.

    All-time high for detached homes was 2017.

    Do they not realize looking at more sold data actually makes people more comfortable with buying?

    • Mortgage Guy 4 years ago

      Toronto’s boards are still run by boomers that think hiding prices is how you can convince people more.

    • Steph D. 4 years ago

      Agreed. This is a lovely package of BS. It makes it seem as if they have something to hide and that will translate down to buyers who will be more cautious, less happy, about the buying process.
      What’s next? Thumping people over the head and dragging them back to their overly-priced but well-appointed cave?!

    • Eli Bennett 4 years ago

      TRREB does not care about your comfort, well being, nor ability to make prudent decisions. TRREB does not care about their agents well being, nor their ability to innovate in the marketplace. TRREB does not care about the common good, nor the health of the marketplace.

      TRREB care only for its own power. TRREB defends it’s interest to the detriment of buyers, sellers, innovative agents, and national interest — anyone or anything that threatens it’s interests.

  • Pete 4 years ago

    Give us less data, said no customer ever. Dummy move. Need someone to bring this back to the competition bureau.

    • Ed Higgins 4 years ago

      This is why Canadian real estate can’t be an investment. Any regulated investment would be required to display whole history. Not just a few weeks. A trend can’t even be determined in fewer than 3 years.

  • Unity 4 years ago

    Couldn’t you just make an FOI request for the data from TRREB?

    • James Wilson 4 years ago

      TRREB is like REBGV. They aren’t government entities, so you can’t just request what they consider their personal data unless by successful subpoena.

      • Unity 4 years ago

        But is it their personal data – don’t they have to report sale data to the municipality? If the city uses the data for their tax calculation is it not public data?

        • Underwriter 4 years ago

          I would assume the city obtains the data through other means as well. For example by searching land registries and through MPAC

  • Rob 4 years ago

    R.E. Industry preparing for hard times . I’ve noticed increasing private sale homes this year.

  • Scott MacKinnon 4 years ago

    Is this the same industry that washes billions of dollars in illegal money?

  • Underwriter 4 years ago

    How do we fight back?

  • If you only knew 4 years ago

    I remember back in my investment sales days, we couldn’t put anything on a presentation/pitch without “compliance” reviewing the numbers and adhering to investment world requirements. I joined commercial real estate for one of the big boys 11 years ago and found out very quickly everyone just massages numbers….lol. When I asked about compliance they thought I was on crack.

    I repeat, there is no compliance or watch dog for independent agents when marketing. So what do you expect?

  • Max 4 years ago

    How is this legal ? The Supreme Court ruled in 2018 in favour of the competition bureau against TRREB and the concealment of sold data.

  • SH 4 years ago

    I don’t understand. The 2018 ruling determined that TRREB can’t restrict data. So how can they get away with this?

    • The Truth Shall Set You Free 4 years ago

      Fairly certain that a class action lawsuit will be forthcoming. The ruling determined that TRREB cannot do this and has to allow all data to be published.

  • C.D.R. 4 years ago

    TRREB is scared shitless.

    There have been many 2020 resales where the seller had bought between 2016-2019 and lost $$$ because they only fetched 2016-17 price when recently resold.

    R/E industry doesn’t want an informed public to be knowledgeable of the full facts.

    TRREB expanded their borders in January 2020 to include the outer burbs, which coincidentally has pushed the average prices up because of the larger size of condos and houses.

    TRREB continues to push the narrative that condos and house prices are still rising, when in fact savvy buyers are picking them up for 25-30% less than 2019 values back to 2016-17 prices, but TRREB can continue to fool uninformed buyers.

  • Rob Morgan 4 years ago

    The federal Competition Bureau will certainly take note of this recent TREEB initiative but perhaps new provincial legislation will be a more effective remedy.

  • LJ 4 years ago

    This sucks. Totally opposite of innovation, progress and transparency. TRREB need to be stopped from being a bully.

  • Robert 4 years ago

    What a banana republic we live in

  • Ida Dawson 4 years ago

    why cant we still see sold data for all homes? I thought it was illegal not to. TREB should not be allowed to break the law.

  • Karen McGhee 4 years ago

    Housing is likely the most expensive thing Canadians will buy. Full disclosure of past history is necessary for Canadians to make good purchase choices. However, I feel that the real estate industry is terrified of giving out this info, in turn allowing Canadians to make their own decisions without the use of an agent.

  • Steve 4 years ago

    TREB is having the same mentality as Deep State in US where they profit themselves by limiting/manipulating information from the public.

  • Some guy 4 years ago

    Lame! It looks like the law markers are still living in the 20th century. One can easily create an app that operates from outside of Canada.

  • Joseph Baglieri 4 years ago

    Another attempt by TRREB to keep the public ignorant and retain its monopolistic practises… it is bound to backfire.

  • Jean Brown 4 years ago

    This is outrageous, and it’s so ridiculously clear why TRREB wants to control this information.

    Every person who says that sales continually going up and up and up is just the reality of a free market is wrong. This isn’t a free market. A free market requires transparency and information. Real estate is a market manipulated to the point where buyers cannot make rational decisions.

    So frustrating.

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