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Is TREB Misleading the Public?

Posted By: Rachel Kavanagh

November 15, 2018

Is TREB Misleading the Public? – “Days on Market” or “DOM” is a term that has stirred up a lot of confusion for realtors and the public. It seems that there are many individuals in the Greater Toronto Area who do not know how long it takes to sell the average home.

Every month the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) releases a report that outlines the previous month’s activity. Within that report, TREB monitors the amount of DOM a listing has before it is reported as a “firm transaction”. However, in the report, DOM only tracks listings, not properties, a technical difference that is not presented anywhere in the monthly report. This means that a terminated listing with no sales doesn’t factor into the figure.

There is a widespread practice amongst agents of terminating and relisting homes for sale. This can result in erasing months worth of days on market data where the house wasn’t selling. This has an effect of rendering the number virtually meaningless.

In Markham, a listing at 53 Port Rush Trail was on the market for 59 days then terminated. The property was relisted and was on the market for another 48 days before being terminated and relisted once again. After an additional 3 days on market, it sold. TREB will only report the property being on the market for 3 days.

In Stouffville, a listing at 57 James Ratcliff Ave was on the market in July 2018 and was cancelled and relisted 4 times before selling 2 days after the final relisted date. TREB will only report the property being on the market for 2 days.

This analysis of DOM could be making the better neighbourhoods look worse and in the areas with tougher markets, it might make it look better.

York Region, among the hardest hit GTA markets for price drops and where TREB reports it takes an average 35 days for a listing to results in a sale, has also seen a flood of terminations.
The number of terminations has not been less than solds since April 2017. Currently, terminations are about 150% of sold detached homes, down quite a bit from the wild highs of 234% terminations to solds we saw in July 2017.

Sometimes a listing is terminated simply to get a nominal price changed reflected in the automated e-mail blast reports a realtor generates for clients looking for recent listings. Other times agents will often cancel a listing and then relist under a new MLS number to attempt to hide a price change.

In a perfect world, TREB would provide accurate data based on correct DOM, including the number of times a property is listed. However, in the real world tracking the data is very difficult and TREB may not want to invest in expensive algorithms. Hence, we are left with an imperfect system. Ultimately, if the public voices their opinion loud enough TREB might look into rectifying the issue. Although, some agents may be reluctant to the change as it may be determinantal to their business.

* Is TREB Misleading the Public?  written by Benczik Team Realty

For more information on your home, visit our website and get a free home evaluation to ensure you get the best seller’s service! With experience around Markham, Stouffville, Unionville, and all of York Region, Benczik Team Realty works to serve you in the best way possible! Act now, and don’t miss out on this ever-growing market.


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