In Canada, no brokerage, agent or discount brokerage can publish sold data or historical information about a property. That’s why pictures of sold homes are blurred out or removed and why virtually every real estate firm asks you to contact an agent in order to get more detailed information on a property’s history. But this could change.
In 2011, the Competition Bureau launched action against the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) to force the country’s largest real estate board to allow the publication of sales data, among other information. This case is still before the courts but Canada isn’t the first country to tackle this issue of public data and private rights. In the UK and America, buyers and sellers and anyone with even a casual interest have access to sold data — and the availability of this information drastically changed each country’s real estate market.
So, what should Canadians expect? In the first half of 2018, sold data was not freely shared in Canada but some of the data can be found in certain provinces and territories. For instance, buyers and sellers anywhere in Canada can access information through a Realtor or by paying a nominal fee at their land transfer offices. However, in some provinces, there are online portals where sold data can be accessed.
Here’s a province by province guide on where to find real estate sold data in Canada:
|Province||Data Publicly Available?||Where Can I Find Out More?|
|New Brunswick||Yes, data available dating back to 2009. You will need a PAN, PID or a street address to get data, or you can search using a map.||Service New Brunswick|
|Nova Scotia||Yes, data available dating back to 2010 but it’s gated. You must have an Assessment Account Number (AAN) or a PIN Number.||Nova Scotia Property Assessment|
|Ontario||TREB is seeking an appeal from the Supreme Court, but some smaller brokerage websites started to share information as early as December 2017.||MongoHouse or HouseSigma|
|Alberta||Waiting to follow TREB ruling, however, information can be found on some sites, such as the Alberta government’s registries site. You will need to create an account and pay for specific information.||Alberta Land Titles Spatial Information System|
|British Columbia||Waiting to follow TREB ruling, however, information can be found on some individual sites.||Vuppie|
|Saskatchewan||Only paid searches available.||Government of Saskatchewan|
|Manitoba||Waiting to follow TREB ruling, however, information can be found on some sites. ForSold provides sold data on houses sold between 2010 and April 2016, while ManitobaAssessment only offers sold data for cities and towns if you have a Roll number (and it excludes Winnipeg data).||ForSold or Manitoba Assessment|
|Quebec||Only paid searches available.||Government of Quebec|
|Newfoundland||No online options.||NL Association of Realtors|
|Prince Edward Island||Only paid searches available.||Government of Prince Edward Island|
|Nunavut||No online options.||Nunavut Housing Corporation|
|Yukon||No online options.||Yukon Real Estate Association|
Keep in mind, even if access to sold data becomes the norm in Canada, there are still privacy laws that must be maintained. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) states that information may only be collected with consumer consent, must have a purpose, is only used for that purpose, is accurate, accessible and stored somewhere securely.