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Should Sold Data be public?

Migos

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What could possibly go wrong with releasing the data? Mr. Smith sells his house in a normal market. Asking $789,000, sold for $750,000. That information is then released by all sorts of sources to the general public. Mr. Smith's house has NOT closed. The buyer, for some reason, has to pull out before closing. Mr. Smith gets a mutual release, and needs to put his house back on the market. Now, everyone knows, including the general public, that he only got $750,000 and now has his back against a wall, so they offer $730,000. On the MLS system, if a deal falls through, the sale price is deleted from the system. Only agents with a good memory know it previously sold for $750,000.
I'm failing to see the negative in your situation. Any system could implement the same policy as MLS and delete transactions that didn't close.
 

TheKingEast

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What could possibly go wrong with releasing the data? Mr. Smith sells his house in a normal market. Asking $789,000, sold for $750,000. That information is then released by all sorts of sources to the general public. Mr. Smith's house has NOT closed. The buyer, for some reason, has to pull out before closing. Mr. Smith gets a mutual release, and needs to put his house back on the market. Now, everyone knows, including the general public, that he only got $750,000 and now has his back against a wall, so they offer $730,000. On the MLS system, if a deal falls through, the sale price is deleted from the system. Only agents with a good memory know it previously sold for $750,000.
Not a good enough reason IMO. You can find all of this information out by getting your agent to look up sold data. How can you buy something if you don't even know what it has sold for in the past? IMO, sold data should be readily available. Cut out the seller names and keep it moving.
 

nfitz

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What could possibly go wrong with releasing the data? Mr. Smith sells his house in a normal market. Asking $789,000, sold for $750,000. That information is then released by all sorts of sources to the general public. Mr. Smith's house has NOT closed. The buyer, for some reason, has to pull out before closing. Mr. Smith gets a mutual release, and needs to put his house back on the market. Now, everyone knows, including the general public, that he only got $750,000 and now has his back against a wall, so they offer $730,000. On the MLS system, if a deal falls through, the sale price is deleted from the system. Only agents with a good memory know it previously sold for $750,000.
One could simply release data of sales, rather than non-sales.

Which is what the land registry office already does.
 

TOphotog

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The sold data between date of sale and date of closing is restricted under the Privacy Act of Canada - we cannot disclose it. Once it is released to thousands, it cannot be retrieved/deleted if a deal falls through before closing.

After closing, the general public already has access to this information in a variety of ways. Land Registry office, or a subscription to Teranet's Geowarehouse data base are just two methods.... This will give you up to date information for all sales in Land Registry. Individual subscription rate: over $3,000 per annum.

The MLS system was created by the real estate industry, and is maintained by the real estate industry through annual realtor fees, not public funds. There are rules set in place to access this information: you must be a realtor. If the public wants to set up their own data base with information retrieved from various sources, they may do so.

One could simply release data of sales, rather than non-sales.

Which is what the land registry office already does.
 

spider

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The MLS system was created by the real estate industry, and is maintained by the real estate industry through annual realtor fees, not public funds. There are rules set in place to access this information: you must be a realtor. If the public wants to set up their own data base with information retrieved from various sources, they may do so.
Precisely, further comment is irrelevant.
 

ponyboy

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If the Land Registry has sold data available digitally, why is there not an effort within the government to make that data publically available, either directly, or perhaps to entrepreneurs (like a Canadian zillow) who want to create new businesses? Have you ever heard a politician raise this issue while campaigning? Seems to fit into the "open data" movement, and consistent with the oft-repeated competitiveness and free-market mantra. Is it lobbying from the RE industry preventing that from happening (so far)? I thought Rogers was going in this direction with their now defunct Zoocasa site, but was disappointed by their lack of ambition. Google has been rumoured to get into RE years ago, but they never pulled the trigger. Maybe trying these new businesses is seen as "going nuclear" by the RE establishment, and entrepreneurs are scared off by that? (e.g. RealtySellers failed because Realtors were actively avoiding them). This issue calls for leadership from government, and/or a well-capitalized entrepreneur who is willing/able to stick it out long-term.
 
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michaelnurse

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I'm new to this site and now that I've joined, this forum is extremely interesting to me as I am working on a start-up that deals with making home value data public using a methodology that is onside with TREB's policies.

I'm at a very early stage of development and I'm looking for people to interview as I close in on the user experience and value proposition. If anyone is interested in sharing their opinions, please let me know how to contact you. Maybe invite me to a conversation and share your phone number or email address?

I promise to only take up 15 minutes of your time and won't spam you or share your information with anyone. If you want to stay in touch and hear how my project is going, I can add you to an update list. Otherwise, I'll delete your contact information.
 

TOphotog

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The Ontario government has licensed this data to Teranet who supplies it to the public via their Geowarehouse site. Teranet as the sole authority to release this information. BTW, I'm talking about the sold after closing data, not the sold before closing data which TREB protects by law. You can obtain land registry data at the registry office, but to obtain it online, you can only access it through Teranet's Geowarehouse service. MPAC is allowed to release SOME sold data when accessing your Assessment Report, for purposes of comparison to your property, etc.
 

ponyboy

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thanks for that information! This topic is fascinating to me because it seems like it would be fairly easy for the Government to address information problems/asymmetry in this market. Why would the government give an exclusive license to Teranet rather than allow many to license it? Seems to me that Teranet could build a big business around a more open and enhanced version of those data (e.g. a "Canadian Zillow"). Does Teranet not want to challenge TREB with such competition? Do you think there are conflicts of interest preventing changes in how real estate is sold? If so, what can be done to reduce those? thanks!
 

Jarndyce

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thanks for that information! This topic is fascinating to me because it seems like it would be fairly easy for the Government to address information problems/asymmetry in this market. Why would the government give an exclusive license to Teranet rather than allow many to license it? Seems to me that Teranet could build a big business around a more open and enhanced version of those data (e.g. a "Canadian Zillow"). Does Teranet not want to challenge TREB with such competition? Do you think there are conflicts of interest preventing changes in how real estate is sold? If so, what can be done to reduce those? thanks!
"Why would the government give an exclusive license to Teranet rather than allow many to license it?"

The short answer is "Borealis Infrastructure, Teranet's owner, made a $1 billion payment to the province."
Borealis Infrastructure is owned by OMERS, the Ontario municipal employees' pension plan.
The Ontario government's new release of December 17, 2010:
http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2010/12/teranet-transaction-reduces-debt-by-1-billion.html

A prescient article by Bob Aaron, a real estate lawyer, in the Toronto Star of May 28, 2010:
http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2010/05/28/aaron_monopoly_of_land_registration_system_inappropriate.html

See also the article by Jeffrey W. Lem in Law Times of December 5, 2010:
http://www.lawtimesnews.com/201012062448/commentary/the-dirt-assessing-ontarios-$1b-teranet-renewal

At the time Mr Lem was a real estate lawyer in private practice. He is now the Director of Titles for Ontario.
The Land Titles Act: "The Director has general supervision and control over the land titles system."
 

ponyboy

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thanks Jarndyce for sharing those links. I wasn't paying attention to this issue when the McGuinty Govt took the cash for such a valuable public resource. So short sighted and anti free enterprise. In my view, it is terrible to allow a 50 year monopoly for such data. Sure they have aided in scanning paper into digital, but that work is commonly done these days for a fraction of the benefit that is being given to Teranet (Google would probably do it for "free"). Teranet could conceivably disrupt the real estate establishment model by offering more direct to consumer data availability, but from what I can tell, the model they have is to sell expensive membership (and proprietary software requirement) to real estate agents. I wonder if Teranet is entangled with the real estate industry so that conflicts of interest would prevent them from offering a potentially disruptive information exchange more directly to consumers.
 

cornflakes

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I don't see any difference with people knowing how much your house cost and how much your car cost. If you are driving around in a brand new 2016 Audi S5, or 2016 BMW whatever series, or a 2016 brand new Dodge Dart, etc., every will see and know how much you paid for it. It's public and accessible to anyone who just does a bit of research. So why shouldn't a house be the same? Is there some kind of secret you are trying to hide? So you can hide the fact that you spent $1 million on a house and don't want your friends and family to know that, but you drive around a an $80,000 car and they see it in broad daylight lol. Seems pointless to me. Transparency is good in this matter. In fact, it would be nice to know how much everyone makes in their job, too.
 

ElDee

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I agree that transparency is definitely a good thing. But in the case of salaries, transparency without adequate context and understanding can be dangerous, I think. For better or worse, a person is easily coloured simply by how much they make, and often negatively and possibly undeservedly.
 

Shiny

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Yes, there should be some transparency. Plus, we need some places to communicate directly with the government that regulates condo builders. Otherwise, condo builders like ICE Condo would just leave us hanging with broken window and improperly delviered unit
 
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