UPDATED: Glacier portal ahead of the game on sale price ruling

Toronto realtors ordered to release price data, but local site already provides the information in the Lower Mainland

John Barbisan, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board: home sellers have a right to privacy | Submitted

(Note: a previous version of this story had stated selling prices were not available to the general public in B.C. This is incorrect, and the story has been updated.)

Last week, for the first time in Canada, the general public could see exactly what any home sold for through the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) but that information has been available in Metro Vancouver through a Glacier Media real estate portal, rew.ca, since May.

The release of sale price data in Toronto follows a Supreme Court decision August 21 in favour a Competition Tribunal order that allowed publication of home sales price information. The decision forced TREB, which has been fighting against the ruling for seven years, to make the information available.

A number of real estate companies and listing services immediately put the data online through password-protected sites. All someone has to do is register and provide a password to access the information.

In a BIV scroll of such web pages, it appears that most Greater Toronto homes are being sold for close to their listing price, which may be the case in Metro Vancouver, where home sales have plunged about 32% so far this year compared to 2017.

Metro Vancouver home sale price information is available for free through rew.ca for those who register on the site and have a specific address to search.  A quick tour of rew.ca with specific address of Vancouver houses that had sold in July revealed that all had sold for less than the list price and for less than the BC Assessment value. Home sale prices are only available after the sale has been processed through the land titles office.

John Barbisan, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board said his board cooperates with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and the Chilliwack Real Estate Board to provide Multiple Listing Service data in the Lower Mainland.

He said officials at all three boards have discussed the Competition Tribunal order, but could not say if or when sale price information would be accessible to the public through realtor web sites.

“”It has only been three days [since the Supreme Court decision],” he said, adding that the boards will be meeting on the issue.

Realtor clients can find out a home’s sale price through their real estate agent, he said.

 ”There has been no public pressure here to release home sale prices,” he added.

Barbisan said a key issue is striking a balance between the public’s right to know and right of an individual to privacy.

REW.ca lists sale prices and other information about homes in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island via its property insight pages.