TREB Appeals Tribunal Decision And Maintains Privacy Position

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: Toronto Realtor

TORONTO, July 11, 2016 — The Toronto Real Estate Board is appealing the decision ordered by the Competition Tribunal to release property sold data and pending sold data (where the transaction hasn’t yet closed) for broad dissemination on the Internet without requiring the explicit informed consent from the consumer.

TREB asserts the Tribunal erred in fact and law in determining that TREB has lessened competition. TREB does not compete in the real estate market. Its rules are designed to foster competition among its 45,000 active Members. TREB has always supported competition among its Members, as reflected in the market place.

Privacy laws and decisions of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada are clear in their requirement for consumers to provide their consent prior to the release of their personal financial information and specifically the sold price of your home. The new Digital Privacy Act which came into force in 2015 further buttressed the privacy rights of consumers. Canada’s privacy law regime requires that any disclosure of personal financial information for uses not previously identified to the consumer requires the consumer’s informed consent. It is TREB’s view that the decision of the Competition Tribunal, with respect, does not respect this right of consumers within the GTA.

Furthermore, when disclosing sold and pending sold information, REALTORS® must comply with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA 2002), Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) rules and guidelines, and contractual obligations. REALTOR® compliance protects consumer personal financial information to avoid compromising the position of property sellers and buyers. Moreover, TREB has copyright in the TREB MLS® System as supported by case law in Canada and the United States.

To ignore any of these laws is wrong. Any disclosure or release of personal financial information without explicit informed consent is against the law. When consumers within the GTA entrusted TREB REALTOR® Members as the custodians of their personal financial information, broad dissemination, as ordered in the Competition Tribunal decision, was not a contemplated use. While some may dismiss these concerns, there are others who feel strongly about keeping their information private for personal and other legitimate reasons. TREB, in accordance with the law, respects this choice. Why should homeowners in the GTA be entitled to less privacy protection over the personal financial information than those homeowners elsewhere in Ontario, elsewhere in Canada?

“This order provides little protection for the consumer and opens the door to misuse and abuse of their sensitive personal financial information and the content of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale contract that has not closed. The consumer has privacy rights and only the consumer should be the one to determine, with clear understanding, when and where their personal financial information is disclosed,” said John DiMichele, TREB’s Chief Executive Officer.

If the Tribunal’s order stands, TREB cannot prevent personal financial information or other confidential information of residential property sellers and buyers within the GTA, such as pictures from being copied, sold, or misused once this information is made available on the Internet. The Tribunal acknowledges and agrees that once this data is online, it is gone. The laws state, and TREB believes, that buyers and sellers have a right to privacy – a right that only they may waive.

In TREB’s view, this case is about protecting personal financial information of consumers within the GTA by adhering to Canada’s privacy laws and respecting consumer privacy rights.

The Tribunal also accepted TREB’s claim that the display of “pending sold” information would expose home sellers to being targeted by unsolicited approaches by other service providers, or even unsolicited offers by other purchasers. Yet, the Competition Tribunal is ordering this personal financial information of consumers within the GTA be broadly disseminated on the Internet. Once that information is available on the Internet, its use for other purposes cannot be controlled or protected.

The Competition Tribunal recognized in its decision that there is a high degree of competition in the market, and the focus of the Competition Bureau in this matter is on non-price competition. TREB believes that the GTA has a very competitive housing marketplace and there is substantial innovation being applied by Realtors® to market their services while abiding by Canada’s privacy and consent regime.

“The issue for TREB is about duty of care and professional responsibility. TREB has grown to more than 45,000 Members across the GTA and does not discriminate between business models used by its Members. In fact, we welcome and support all innovation and business models. Make no mistake, this decision should raise concern for all consumers about informed consumer consent and disclosure of confidential content within an Agreement of Purchase and Sale contract that has not closed. TREB believes the case law is clear and the Digital Privacy Act and Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) are very specific on consents. TREB believes it’s the consumer’s information and they have a right to choose. Choice and consent with respect to personal financial information does not impede innovation,” Mr. DiMichele continued.

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Toronto Housing Starts Increase in June 2016

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: News Bulletin

TORONTO, July 11, 2016 — Housing starts in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) trended higher at 40,861 units in June 2016 compared to 37,377 in May 2016 according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“As apartment construction picked up pace in June, so too did overall housing starts in Toronto,” said Dana Senagama, CMHC’s Principal Market Analyst for the GTA. “New home starts also remain strong due to limited supply in the resale market, pushing buyers to purchase from the new market.”

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite variable from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 45,848 units in June, up from 33,185 units in May. The increase was mainly as a result of more apartment starts.

The City of Toronto recorded the highest number of starts within the Toronto CMA primarily due to higher apartment starts. This was followed by Brampton and Vaughan where more single-detached and row home starts were prevalent.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Information on This Release:

Media Contact:
Angelina Ritacco
Cell: 647-210-7420

This release is also available at

Additional data is available upon request.

Source: CMHC
1 Census Metropolitan Area
2 The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR). By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for comparison of adjacent months and quarters. The monthly and quarterly SAAR and trend figures indicate the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the same pace of monthly or quarterly construction activity was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.
Detailed data available upon request

Source: CMHC

Source: CMHC

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GTA REALTORS® Release Quarterly Commercial Market Figures

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: Toronto Realtor

TORONTO, July 6, 2016 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that TREB Commercial Network Members reported strong growth in commercial leasing activity in the second quarter of 2016.  Combined industrial, commercial/retail and office space leased through TREB’s MLS® System amounted to 7,390,832 square feet.  This result was up by a substantial 27 per cent compared to the result reported for the second quarter of 2015.

The amount of leased space was up on a year-over-year basis for industrial and office properties, but down for the commercial/retail segment.  More than three-quarters of space leased in Q2 was in the industrial market segment.

Average lease rates reported on a per square foot net basis for transactions where pricing was disclosed were up on an annual basis for industrial and office space to $5.53 and $15.25 respectively.  The average lease rate for commercial/retail space was down to $17.62.

“It was certainly promising to see growth in the amount of space leased in the second quarter of the year, especially given the level of economic uncertainty in Canada at the present time.  However, while the regional economy in the Greater Golden Horseshoe has outperformed relative to many other metropolitan areas across the country, it is important to note that the most recent Bank of Canada Business Outlook Survey points to flat sales growth and moderate investment intentions.  This suggests that we could continue to see some volatility in commercial leasing in the coming months,” said Mr. Cerqua.

The total number of combined industrial, commercial/retail and office property sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System amounted to 238 in the second quarter.  This result was down from 362 sales reported during the same timeframe in 2015.  Sales were down for all major market segments.

Average selling prices on a per square foot basis for transactions with pricing disclosed were down annually for industrial and office properties, to $86.70 and $214.78 respectively in the second quarter.  Over the same time period, the average commercial/retail selling price was up to $160.94.

For both commercial leasing and sales, changes in average lease rates and sale prices result from fluctuations in market conditions and year-over-year variations in the mix of properties transacted, in terms of geography, size and type.

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