Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Century 21 Wins Lawsuit Against Zoocasa

 For consumers, the Internet has had a very profound impact on the way in which we search for products and or services that we may be looking to procure.  Perhaps no other commodity has been so broadly impacted as real estate.  This stems partly from the fact that unlike many countries including the U.S., Canada has a nationwide MLS® system that allows consumers to universally search for properties virtually anywhere in the country.
 In Canada, the MLS® system and trademark are owned and maintained by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  CREA maintains the consumer real estate website http://www.realtor.ca/ which hosts MLS® property listings coast-to-coast.  This site regularly draws 3 million+ visitors per month making it the most frequented consumer real estate website in Canada. 
  Given the success and far reaching impact of Canada's MLS® system, third parties have tried to replicate its success.  Individual REALTORS® as well as companies have on occasion lifted or "scraped" MLS® data from http://www.realtor.ca/ and other legitimate real estate websites for posting on their own online sites.  Often, the integrity of MLS® data and property details are compromised in the scraping process, resulting in consumers getting information on a property that may be inaccurate and or misleading
  Century 21 Canada recently won a court case against the real estate website http://www.zoocasa.com/  which is a subsidiary of Rogers CommunicationsCentury 21 successfully argued that the listing information and data was their property and essentially it is.  When sellers sign an MLS® Listing Agreement, that Agreement is essentially the property of that given real estate brokerage.  As such it is not free to be used by either individuals or companies for their own commercial gain without permission. 
  As consumers, we have come to rely quite heavily on our ability to research things online.  Whether it's for a house, car, clothing, books or whatever, online information needs to be both timely and accurate in order for it to best serve a buyer's needs.  Increasingly, consumer's permission is also needed in order to effectively post some information online.  When that information is then acquired unlawfully by a third party and posted online, accuracy is often compromised and privacy perhaps violated so Century 21's success challenge of Zoocasa's activity was justified.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Area Real Estate Sales Decline in August

Residential sales activity recorded through the MLS® System of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board came in below year-ago levels in August 2011.  Home sales numbered 147 units in August. This was a decrease of 15 per cent compared to August 2010.
  On a year-to-date basis, activity was running six per cent below level in the first eight months of 2010, but remained above levels over the same period in 2008 and 2009.  Both new and active listings are currently running at elevated levels. New residential listings numbered 455 units in August 2011, up 17 per cent from a year earlier.  There were 1,799 active residential listings on the Board’s MLS® System at the end of August 2011. This was an increase of eight per cent from levels at the end of August 2010. 
  There were 14.7 months of inventory at the end of August on a seasonally adjusted basis, up from 12.1 months in July. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
  The value of all residential transactions in August was $42.2 million, down 16 per cent from a year earlier.  Total sales numbered 173 units in August, a decrease of 14 per cent compared to the same month in 2010. The total value of all properties sold in August 2011 was $48.5 million, down 18 per cent on a year-over-year basis.
  Please feel free to contact me without obligation for information about market conditions in your specific area.

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