TREB demands broker stop online stats
This week, three real estate brokers are cutting off customers’ online access to recent final home sales prices — coveted information that can help buyers and sellers gauge a property’s worth. According to the CBC, the trio are the latest to give in to a threat made by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) to stop doing out home sales information or risk losing a lifeline to all privileged industry data. It’s just the latest battle in a war on multiple fronts over the traditional industry’s monopoly on vital real estate information. Real estate broker Fraser Beach explained to his almost 30,000 registered users that he is temporarily halting daily emails connecting them online to the latest prices of homes sold in Toronto. Read more here
Toronto brokerage ruffles industry feathers over commissions
One Toronto-based brokerage announced a new program that will see its agents pass on selling commissions when working with upsizing clients, specifically.
The Red Pin Brokerage, which ruffled industry feathers with its launch as a largely online business model, is betting on the fact that consumers, when choosing between several similar listing presentations, will select the agent who charges less. That’s a relatively new tactic that has pushed commission rates lower and lower as agents continue to compete for an ever-shrinking supply of properties in hot markets like those in Toronto and Vancouver. Such practices, including slashed commission rates and rebate programs, could affect all agents, should they become common enough in practice. Although most industry veterans are sanguine in the face of that threat. “This will spread amongst the weak and in time affect all of us,” writes agent Kevin Andrew in the REP
forum, in response to a story about rebate programs. “Try coming up with professional innovative marketing that buyers and sellers see the value in rather than giving away commission to compete with your colleagues.” Read more here
Home sales in Calgary continue to slide
The drop in sales has led to a growing inventory in Calgary's housing market. The combination of the two is making for some uncertainty among consumers. Things are a little bit slower right now, a lot of the buyers are sitting on the fence," said Remax Realtor Sam Patel.
The Calgary Real Estate Board says there were 1,217 home sales in February, down 34 per cent compared to the same month last year. The average price fell by four per cent to $462,000. Ann-Marie Lurie, senior economist with CREB says the drop in home sales is in part due to the uncertainty about what is going to happen to the market in the future. "The consumer confidence, we think, is impacting the amount of sales activity that's why you're seeing a lot less sales occur in the market," she said.
Target leases bought by Canada's largest landlords
Two of the country’s largest landlords have moved quickly to snap up 11 of their best leases from insolvent Target Canada for what it describes as a premium price, underlining their urgency to take back control of their retail space. According to BNN.ca, Oxford Properties Corp. and Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc. have come together to make a deal with Target Canada as it winds down its operations under bankruptcy protection. The proposed purchase price for the leases, which include the store in Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ont., is being withheld but is “at the high end of the value range,” according to new court documents. The proposed deal, which Ontario, Superior Court will be asked to approve on Thursday, is noteworthy because often would-be buyers don’t pay much for assets of a failed company. But the landlords’ agreement underlines the pressure on landlords to rapidly gain back control of prime Target stores and replace them with stronger alternative tenants.