The MLS under seige

It’s not just buyers who want a better system than the MLS. – a group of large brokerages including Century 21, Royal LePage and ReMax are meeting with the intent of building an alternative to realtor.ca that is more technically advanced.

The meeting comes a day after Yahoo Canada announced it will offer listings on its main search page using database and real-time search technology from Toronto-based Zoocasa.com.

Zoocasa has been criticized by the industry for scraping listings off the MLS, but Zoocasa president Butch Langlois said it is operating within the industry’s rules, with each agent voluntarily offering to post their listings in exchange for the advanced features offered on the site.

It’s a slick offering that is comparable to services in the United States such as Zillow, which has become a major hub for listings and a major headache for the brokerages that used to control the flow of information. “People have embraced the site but we need to increase awareness that Realtor.ca isn’t the only place to go when looking for a home,” Mr. Langlois said.

While Zoocasa, backed by Rogers Communications Inc., (RCI.B-T37.52-0.19-0.50%) is the highest profile competitor to take on the MLS to date, there are several private networks under development across the country that want to compete with MLS.

The brokerages intend to build their own site that would run parallel to Realtor.ca and be governed by the same rules, using listings from their offices across the country. They would be able to control what features are offered, and upgrade the technology as they see fit without having to go through CREA, the trade association that represents the country’s 100,000 agents.

“We support organized real estate and this has nothing to do with pulling out of what they are doing,” Mr. Lawby said. “But the consumer wants to see as much data as they can and we want to make sure they are able to do that effectively.”

Will the MLS be overturned as the dominate listings engine in Canada? Read the full article over at the Globe and Mail.

Thanks ready to pop for the link.

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Inventory
Guest
Inventory

One more day to go, month end sales will be down 38%

Aug

1994 = 2159

1995 = 2326

1996 = 2141

1997 = 2096

1998 = 1589

1999 = 2002

2000 = 1805

2001 = 2659

2002 = 2558

2003 = 3413

2004 = 2570

2005 = 3800

2006 = 3092

2007 = 3493

2008 = 1611

2009 = 3496

2010 = 2108 ***Aug 30

Inventory
Guest
Inventory

All time low! The market for new condo's have crashed.

August Van. West – New Condo sales

1994 = 32

1995 = 40

1996 = 120

1997 = 198

1998 = 59

1999 =123

2000 = 49

2001 = 77

2002 = 49

2003 = 71

2004 = 73

2005 = 105

2006 = 87

2007 = 74

2008 = 24

2009 = 60

2010 = 16 ***Aug 30

Inventory
Guest
Inventory

There were only 4 new houses sold at Van. West this month. Last year, 19 was sold.

August Van. West – NEW units sales (home, townhouse, condo)

1994 = 53

1995 = 72

1996 = 148

1997 = 220

1998 = 72

1999 = 144

2000 = 57

2001 = 90

2002 = 56

2003 = 89

2004 = 85

2005 = 138

2006 = 99

2007 = 96

2008 = 30

2009 = 94

2010 = 22 ***Aug 30

Inventory
Guest
Inventory

Its a record breaking month!

Aug Unit sales Port Coquitlam

1994 = 104

1995 = 103

1996 = 85

1997 = 88

1998 = 67

1999 = 86

2000 = 66

2001 = 86

2002 = 85

2003 = 111

2004 = 80

2005 = 116

2006 = 106

2007 = 139

2008 = 64

2009 = 117

2010 = 52 ***Aug 30

Aug Unit sales Maple Ridge

1994 = 104

1995 = 196

1996 = 141

1997 = 157

1998 = 146

1999 = 128

2000 = 121

2001 = 206

2002 = 186

2003 = 268

2004 = 158

2005 = 222

2006 = 211

2007 = 169

2008 = 108

2009 = 196

2010 = 99 ***Aug 30

VHB
Member
VHB

Only one more week until the post-Labour Day fall season arrives!

Will listings pick up? Or will we continue to see total inventory drop?

We will know soon.

But man, those sales numbers are anemic!

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting
In the end, the elite all sing from the same hymnbook. The left-wing CCPA asks the banks to try to maintain high real estate prices. "OTTAWA — Steep housing price increases in six of Canada's hottest real estate markets since 2002 have all the hallmarks of an "accident waiting to happen" if mortgage rates rise too sharply, warns a new report. The report by the Centre for Policy Alternatives says smart mortgage rate setting is needed to prevent the bubbles hanging over the housing markets in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal from bursting. "The hottest six real-estate markets could be in for a correction at best or, at worst, a bubble burst," writes David Macdonald, author of the report. "Rate setters at the big banks are in the driver's seat now as mortgage rates inch up. They need… Read more »
Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting

Yet another article on the CCPA report:

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_

BTW I just noticed Jimmy has more links about the report at the end of the previous thread.

Macdonald does break ground in being the first national commentator to talk about our housing bubble as a national concern, not just in Toronto and Vancouver. But I find it baffling that he doesn't get it that bubbles burst; they can't be slowly and safely deflated. The damage is done, and he should be talking about how to deal with at the after-affects of the burst. He should be asking about can we learn from other countries that are in the later stages of the burst?

Patiently Waiting
Member
Patiently Waiting

Correction to last post: have to give Garth Turner credit as the first national commentator to acknowledge the national bubble. Macdonald is the second.

House
Guest
House

MLS competition? Rob Chipman must have blood dripping out of his ear.

House
Guest
House

@Inventory: It's not like new unit sales cost much more for FTBs under the HST regime. Unless FTBs weren't the ones who were buying condos, or maybe there aren't that many FTBs left.

I just can't see how developers can keep building apace if these conditions persist.

raggedyrenter
Guest
raggedyrenter

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

CCPA studies in graphs. I love graphs.

Pete
Guest
Pete
“Macdonald says the best scenario would be to have housing prices stagnate over the next five to 10 years while inflation slowly eats away at their value." best scenario for what? Speculators emotional health? The longer that house prices slowly drop the worse the drag on the overall economy. Rip the bandaid off, let prices fall where they should and then we can go about building a real economy. Whats better, the post 81 crash and recovery in north america or the 15 years of falling prices on Japans "lost decade"? People who bought homes to live in long term and decided the premium was worth it shouldn't care if it's their home and not a speculative gamble. Just because you've got to have that limited edition Beany baby at any price doesn't mean everyone else feels the same.
frank
Guest
frank

The end of the MLS monopoly cannot come to soon. If I remember correctly a bearish blog closed down (cannot remember who it was, but he/she was giving us up-dates from the MLS data) after the got a warning from the MLS.

The days of hoarding and controlling information for the benefit of a few are gone.

BTW- how many times have you been given an MLS number and tried typing it into their site and it doesn't register, even with the correct V pre-fix.

M-
Member

CBC is also carrying the CCPA story:
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2

Purp
Guest
Purp

Nice to see some serious challenges to the current MLS model. I like the detailed neighborhood information in Zoocasa (Incomes, demographics etc.). Makes it easy to see that price to income is well over 10 in almost every Vancouver neighborhood.

nonREgirl
Guest
nonREgirl

@Patiently Waiting:

"The left-wing CCPA asks the banks to try to maintain high real estate prices."

I say…YA RIGHT! We all know what happens to bubbles-they pop. You're right, there is NO SUCH THING AS SLOW DEFLATION! Too bad the Centre for Policy Alternatives seems to have missed the mark on this one (though identifying a bubble is a good step, I suppose). It doesn't matter WHAT the banks do in relation to interest rates, when the party's over, it's over. Take a look at the US-low interest rates and yet no one's buying. We will soon learn this sad lesson here in Canada. The stampede for the exits will soon start (or has it already)…

registered
Member
registered

Pete Says:

“Macdonald says the best scenario would be to have housing prices stagnate over the next five to 10 years while inflation slowly eats away at their value.”

best scenario for what?

Call it what it is, corporate welfare for the real estate industry. An entire generation should not just put off their life plans, but be taxed to support speculators and let realtors keep up their Beemer payments. That's seriously fucked up.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

"I’ve never seen a soft-landing in 53 years"

~Angelo Mozilo – CEO of Countrywide~

Boombust
Guest
Boombust

Inventory Says:

August 31st, 2010 at 1:50 am

Its a record breaking month!

Hmmm, interesting "head and shoulders patterns" in each case, for our chartist friends.

"A-Sharp"
Guest
"A-Sharp"

@Purp:

I like the additional info, but would love to see on each listing:

-that house's previous sales prices
-A list of comparable sales in area for the prev. 6 months (I know this would not be exact, but the consumer can determine what is and is not truly comparable)

That is the "value" that agents currently provide for someone who is reasonably versed in buying and selling.

Imagine trading on the stock market and not being able to get a quote without calling a broker for a "hot sheet". INFO transparency will help buyers become more confident in buying.

Renting
Guest
Renting

Regarding the CCPA report.

1. "smart mortgage rate setting is needed" In other words the banks should keep rates lower than the bond rates dictate and cut into or eliminate any profits on mortgages. Sorry never going to happen.

2. To "prevent the bubbles hanging over" you need them to pop quickly. What they are suggesting will keep the bubble hanging longer.

3. "The best scenario would be to have housing prices stagnate over the next five to 10 years" Nice to see some more realistic "best case" scenarios. Lets hope people read this stuff and there are more reports like this to come. Even taking their best case scenario it makes no sense to buy for at least 5 years. Overall it is good to see stuff like this out there.

jesse
Member

@“A-Sharp” Accountant: "That is the “value” that agents currently provide"

If you're an FTB or investor looking to buy, previous sales prices shouldn't matter at all IMO: it should be about the value, not what some other schmuck was willing and able to pay.

For sellers and those who are "moving up" or "moving down," there is some value in knowing the market price but that's because they're on the sell side, at least in part.

For those "versed" in buying and selling, I agree there is little value a Realtor offers and after the competitors destroy the previous sales data "monopoly", there is precisely zero value left. For those who are NOT "versed" in buying and selling, a GOOD Realtor fills the bill.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Best place on meth:

This was from 2006:

Bernanke: Housing market is headed for a soft landing

"It seems pretty clear now that the U.S. housing market is cooling," Bernanke said in a question-and-answer session following a speech he delivered on banking in Chicago.

He noted that home sales and construction are slowing.

"Our assessment at this point … is that this looks to be a very orderly and moderate kind of cooling," Bernanke said.

Tony Danza
Member
Tony Danza

@Patiently Waiting: That's the problem with this country, we're different then everyplace else. First we didn't have a bubble, now maybe we do and if we do, well, we're so much smarter and more conservative then every other country whose bubble burst we're pretty sure it will still work out for the best.

Narcissism at it's finest.

jesse
Member

@Renting: I'd like to hear how the CCPA proposes to keep long rates low. Maybe they should talk to Japanese policymakers for advice 😆

I disagree that a slow decline, if possible at all, is the "best case scenario." When capital is mis-allocated it is a hindrance to growth. Until price-income ratios drop the economy will suffer in net.

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