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Available Expert - Decision on appeal by Toronto Real Estate Board comes today

Friday, December 1, 2017

Queen’s University real estate expert John Andrew is available to comment on the Federal Court of Appeal announcing today its decision on the appeal by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) of the Competition Tribunal’s ruling of April 2016 that TREB has to make public information such as the price a home actually sold for, how many days it was on the market, pending sales, broker commissions, and more.

“I believe the original Competition Tribunal decision was correct. For decades, real estate boards have kept data on home transactions private, as a protectionist measure to make it difficult for consumers to access information without using the services of a member realtor,” says Dr. Andrew. “This constitutes an illegal monopoly. In the US this data (and more) has been widely and publicly available for many years, and it has stimulated the development of some excellent websites and apps which have made buying and selling a home much easier and cheaper. Real estate boards have tried to hide behind the red herring of privacy concerns as justification for their holding back of data which is really in the public domain, and which is already shared among tens of thousands of realtors. Liberating this data is long overdue and will be healthy for the industry and good for consumers.

“If TREB loses its appeal (which was supported by the Canadian Real Estate Association which owns the MLS system) it will very likely force real estate boards across Canada and the Canadian Real Estate Association to liberate this kind of data, and allow individual realtors to release this information to anyone they wish. This will be a welcome change.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) or Dave Rideout (613-533-6000 ext. 79648 or dave.rideout@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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