Competition Bureau attacks CREA

Several readers pointed out the news that the Competition Bureau has launched an aggressive attack on the Canadian Real Estate Association, challenging their monopoly over the MLS and calling for major changes in the way homes are sold.

“Our concern is that [CREA] are improperly and unlawfully leveraging [their control over MLS] in order to impose these restrictions and to deny competitive forces and to deny good old-fashioned market competition,” said Competition Commissioner Melanie Aitken. “This case is focused pure and simple: Let consumers have the choice, let agents have the opportunity to satisfy and serve those choices.”

The Globe and Mail had an online question an answer session with Dale Ripplinger of the CREA and the transcript of that chat is available here.

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Vancouver Rain
Vancouver Rain
10 years ago

Gems of "folly" from this Vancouver Sun article <a href="http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/editorials/policy+change+needed+prevent+housing+bubble+There/2549901/story.html&quot; rel="nofollow">No policy change is needed to prevent the housing bubble: There isn't one Reading this article makes you wonder if it didn't come out directly from Goebbels' Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, it's that phoney. Vancouver's multiple was 9.3, the most unaffordable of the 272 markets covered. Perhaps the problem to be solved then is not high house prices but low incomes. That's it! The person who wrote this piece should run for President! Not sure why but reading "expert" thoughts like this one reminds me always of Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". Well, at least they used the word "Perhaps" in the sentence, which gives me hope that all is not yet lost, and that people are not stuck in some sort of a "permanent plateau of… Read more »

Dave
10 years ago

@patriotzed:

I mostly agree except for maybe the exploitation part. Most hispanics in the US arrived well after slavery and racial segregation. I think the causes are deep rooted generational socio-economic in nature. Like you, I don't believe in genetic explanations. White people who come from a similar background have similar outcomes.

There actually aren't any 'races'. We are all part of the same race, but have slightly different phenotypes (e.g. skin colour).

patriotzed
patriotzed
10 years ago

@vrengd:

If, as you say it’s an American problem, and not a race problem, then how do you explain the fact that US cities with low black and hispanic populations have comparable violent crime rates to Canadian cities?

The reason blacks and Hispanics in the US have high crime rates is that they have been marginalized and exploited by the majority white society. It's the same reason why Aboriginals in Canada have a high crime rate. It's not because there's anything genetically wrong with them.

You see the same thing all over the world, even when the minority is of the same racial background as the majority. Such as Sicilians in Italy.

patriotzed
patriotzed
10 years ago

@VHB:

The question is whether this lien would apply before or after the mortgage. My understanding would be that the mortgage would have first dibs, then the province would get whatever is left.

In other words the province would become a junk second mortgage lender? I'd like to see what the bond rating agencies have to say about that one.

The tax deferral scheme for seniors was implemented as a senior lien precisely to avert this issue.

vrengd
vrengd
10 years ago

@Drachen: I knew it would only be a matter of time before the 'racist' label would be thrown out! If, as you say it's an American problem, and not a race problem, then how do you explain the fact that US cities with low black and hispanic populations have comparable violent crime rates to Canadian cities? Don't believe me, compare Vancouver and Seattle.

Also, explain why in one of the whitest cities in the US, Minneapolis, 9 out of 10 most wanted are not white:

Link.

I think YOU are the one that needs to put down the Michael Moore DVD and pull your head out of the sand!

VHB
VHB
10 years ago

"to ensure that the property is not encumbered by tax liens, or any other lien superior to the mortgage."

Right. There would be no tax lien, since the taxes were paid by the provincial government. There would be a lien by the provincial government.

The question is whether this lien would apply before or after the mortgage. My understanding would be that the mortgage would have first dibs, then the province would get whatever is left.

THAT's why I think this is a crazy bad deal for the province. If there were a wave of foreclosures in the next 3 years, the province would be left with a bunch of useless liens and would be left holding the bag.

Drachen
Drachen
10 years ago

@patriotz:

Maybe you're right, this is from a CMHC insurance contract.

"The Approved Lender is responsible for the collection of property taxes, if applicable, with the

mortgage payment on a monthly basis, once the take-out financing is in place."

patriotz
10 years ago

@Drachen:

I'm pretty sure that all mortgage insurance and securitization agreements include an obligation by the mortgage servicer to ensure that the property is not encumbered by tax liens, or any other lien superior to the mortgage.

But that's just a common sense assumption. I'm not in the business.

Drachen
Drachen
10 years ago

@patriotz:

"Dead wrong, mortgage lenders will not allow unpaid taxes to accumulate on a property, regardless of what the provincial government allows."

I've been thinking about that and I'm not so sure. As long as the CMHC is still backing the mortgage (ie the unpaid taxes + the mortgage balance due < 95% of the assessed value) why would the banks care? The CMHC is still taking all the risk. Why should they turn down anything that keeps the payments coming in for longer?

Drachen
Drachen
10 years ago

@Chilled:

"Put the same percentage of blacks and hispanics in the DTES as in those American cities and see what happens."

Wow, that is such a deeply racist statement.

Those American statistics, about how Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to commit crimes are just that, American statistics. It is not a racial issue, it's an American issue. Other countries do not experience anywhere near the same disparity of crime ratios based on ethnicity.

Get your facts straight and your head out of your rectum.

patriotz
10 years ago

@VHB:

The homeowner owes the provincial government. There are no property taxes outstanding.

There is a lien on the title for the property taxes which the provincial government has paid, just as there is a lien on the title if the owner had simply not paid the taxes.

That’s what the mortgage holders are concerned about, not the details of how it got there.

VHB
VHB
10 years ago

#94: But the property taxes WERE paid. By the provincial goverment. The homeowner owes the provincial government. There are no property taxes outstanding.

Now if the mortgage can't be renewed because someone owes a debt to the provincial government you have a point. But there are no outstanding property taxes under this scheme.

I think this scheme is crazy and bad policy. But not for the reason you say.

Dave
10 years ago

@vrengd:

Correlation isn't causation.

patriotz
10 years ago

@Chilled:

In comparison, try walking through ganglands like Chicago’s South Side or central Detroit alone alone at night, and see how long you last.

Which is missing the point entirely.

It's not how long you last taking a sojourn through the DTES, it's how long the residents last. And that's worse than any ghetto in the US.

patriotz
10 years ago

Brown panties time for Jimbo! Ottawa weighs stricter rules for mortgages as market soars. Under pressure from major banks, Flaherty considers tougher regulations to govern how mortgage borrowers are evaluated Ottawa is considering new rules that would force banks to use tougher criteria to evaluate mortgage borrowers, a move to ensure that consumers aren't taking on more debt than they can handle when they buy a home. The key proposal under discussion would see the creation of new conditions the banks would have to follow when determining whether a customer can afford a mortgage, according to sources. Those rules would require banks to consider whether a person who takes out a variable-rate mortgage on a home can continue to make the payments if interest rates were to go up significantly. If anything like this is actually implemented, this bubble is… Read more »

patriotz
10 years ago

@old kitsie:

Whether or not the property has a mortgage is irrelevant.

Dead wrong, mortgage lenders will not allow unpaid taxes to accumulate on a property, regardless of what the provincial government allows.

Get this through your heads people.

Absinthe
Absinthe
10 years ago

@vrngd:

Median Incomes by Metropolitan Area (census families)

Our median is less than than the *Canadian* median.

Here are the 20 cities, out of 28 listed, that bested us in 2006 –

St. John's, Halifax, Quebec City, both the census Ottawa/Gatineaus (Ontario and Quebec), Kingston, Oshawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Windsor, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, and Victoria.

YAY!

WE'RE #21!

WE'RE #21!

2010
2010
10 years ago

380 BC Place workers to be laid off after Olympics

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/Olympics2010/2010

domus
domus
10 years ago

…and, may I add, banks are competing with each other…if I reject a borrower my competitor will get him. That's why they asked the government to tie their hands. But the government is scared about killing the good times…."prospective buyers are more likely to react negatively".

Let's appease them, a bit of populism always helps. If this is no good 3 years down the line, who cares….

domus
domus
10 years ago

This might go down as the reform that wasn't:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business

…the idea now gaining traction is creating new rules that would govern how the banks evaluate mortgage borrowers. For example, Ottawa could say that – in order to qualify for federally backed mortgage insurance, which most new mortgages require – a borrower seeking a three-year variable-rate mortgage must be evaluated as if they are applying for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage…This would be a much easier move, politically, for Ottawa than increasing down payments – an idea prospective buyers are more likely to react negatively to…

Are they joking? They would still provide insurance if you cxan scrape through a mortgage with 2% points on top of what you pay? OK, I give up, this country is a joke.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

87

Re: deferred taxes, you are absolutely right.

78

Gordo is doing it to address the issues of northern and rural residents whose incomes are based on the volatile resource sector. Local politicians and community groups have raised the deferral idea as one of many that would help their communities. He is not targeting the over their heads lower mainland urbanites. You realize that he has a whole province of homeowners to deal with….

realpaul
realpaul
10 years ago

Ha ! I know a lot of people who have been swamping the foriegn press with 'truth about vanshithole' the past year. I for one am happy to see the international press tearing Vanshitstain a new asshole. I watched FOX today do a whole story on the BEDBUG infestation in the hotels and apartment buildings. This issue along with the raw sewage denial was one of thousands of stories I sent to media outlets worldwide over the past year. It's goos to see the our work hasn't been in vain. The Olympics hasn't started yet and Vancouver is being portrayed as a whores backside in the eyes of the world. Putting Vancshitzone on the same level as a crack whore does all crack whores a dis service. Go foriegn media for spreading the truth !!!!!!! It shows how many people… Read more »

old kitsie
old kitsie
10 years ago

The deferred taxes will be paid by the province to the municipality owed – taxes will be reimbursed to the province when the property is sold. It is the same deal seniors have had for years. Whether or not the property has a mortgage is irrelevant.

richasian
richasian
10 years ago

Just got back in town for the olympics and I can't tell you how exciting this is!!! Everyone is here in Vancouver to watch the olympics and buy condos!!!! I've shown my condo to many many other rich asians this afternoon and they were impressed. I stand to make a bundle thanks to you renters. Thanks guys.