After the Supreme Court denied the Toronto Real Estate Board’s appeal on August 23, a lot of speculation emerged as to when TREB would allow the release of password protected home sales data. Speculate no more. As of today, Tuesday September 18, 2018, TREB is now required to release all its home sales data not only to its members but to the general public. That means all of TREB’s sold data will be available to all home shoppers.
TREB’s long legal battle to prevent the public release of its data started in 2011, when the Competition Bureau launched a court battle due to what the Bureau called anti-competitive tactics. In 2016, the fight went to the Federal Court of Appeal, which ruled that TREB was guilty of anti-competitive practices. The court ordered the release of housing data. TREB appealed and attempted to take its battle to the highest court in this land, the Supreme Court of Canada.
TREB finally lost the battle, but not without dragging its feet. Even as recently as last week, TREB threaten to expel any of its members who posted home sale history data online — a threat that came even after it was known that TREB had finally lost its legal battle over the publication of housing sold data.
Even high profile TREB members, such as John Pasalis from Realosophy, were served a cease-and-desist order when they tried to get ahead of the competition and be the first ones to make the data available to the general public.
TREB is now being closely monitored by the Competition Bureau to make sure that the spirit and the letter of the 2016 ruling by the Competition Tribunal are maintained.
Proponents of the ruling argue that buyers and sellers will be able to make much more informed decisions and, as Matthew Boswell, the interim commissioner at the Competition Bureau puts it, they will have “access to a greater range of innovative service options, delivered through greater competition among TREB’s members.”