Photo: Leeann Cafferata/Flickr
Canada’s oldest real estate board is looking into taking a new approach to sharing home sales data after a landmark Supreme Court ruling has opened the door to easier access to statistics in Toronto and beyond.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) has confirmed with Livabl that it is in contact with the Competition Bureau, which — after seven years of litigation against the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) over its restrictions on data — appears to have won what it calls “a decisive victory.”
“We are speaking with the Competition Bureau and we fully intend to comply with the letter of the law, so we’re really still working with the Competition Bureau to fully understand it,” REBGV President Phil Moore tells Livabl.
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In August, the Supreme Court refused to hear the TREB’s appeal, which many have viewed as the end of the battle over who gets to see a home’s selling history in the country’s most active market.
“This has been a long, drawn-out seven years, and our board has no intention of going down that path,” Moore adds, suggesting the decision on Toronto data has potentially national implications.
Until REBGV’s policy is updated, member realtors are advised to follow the board’s current VOW policy, which regulates how realtors’ “virtual office websites” operate. Currently, only REBGV members have direct access to the data and if they post it on a website it must be password protected.
Moore didn’t have a specific timeline for when policies could be updated, but insists it will be “soon.”
Elsewhere in Western Canada, the court decision has sparked another major board to potentially adapt its policies as well.
The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) is investigating the decision and how it might apply to its MLS system, suggests a statement sent to Livabl late in August.
“As this decision is also new to us, CREB will need to investigate further,” says a statement attributed to the board’s CEO Alan Tennant.