For the most part, REALTORS ® are often accused of looking at the world through rose coloured glasses, forever optimistic about the real estate market in terms of sales and prices almost to the point of exaggerating the situation.
For the past several years, some media pundits have been critical of Canada's real estate market claiming that properties in Canada are over-valued, the market is doomed and headed for a major correction. Adding to these claims, recently there have been media articles about the Canadian Real Estate Association's (CREA's) monthly resale housing information that question the accuracy of the data. These articles have been generated by completely unfounded and uninformed accusations from observers outside of the real estate industry. CREA catagorically states that "They are wrong and we want to assure our membership that you – and your clients – can count on the statistical information we publish."
These observers point to duplicate listings on www.REALTOR.ca as their evidence of "double-counting" without acknowledging that www.REALTOR.ca is simply a consumer marketing site. The statistics used by CREA's economics team for analysis and reporting do not come from www.REALTOR.ca, rather they are generated by various Real Estate Board and Association MLS® Systems across the country and are provided to CREA by those Boards and Associations.
The issue at hand is the question of what are commonly known as "duplicate listings." A duplicate listing arises when a REALTOR® such as myself, lists a property for sale on the MLS® system of both our local real estate association the Southern Georgian Bay Associations of REALTORS® and say also on the MLS® system of the Toronto or Barrie Real Estate Associations. The claim being made is that when an MLS® sale is reported, that sale is duplicated by its presence on other Real Estate Association's MLS® systems thus inflating the sales being reported. First, duplicate listings represent less than 0.8 per cent of all residential listings listed for sale. In many areas, including where these are heavily concentrated, they are managed or deleted by the Boards and Association involved and as such, are not double counted for the purpose of statistical reporting of monthly MLS® data. If any such duplicate listing were to slip through the cracks, it represents a fraction of a fraction of one per cent. This is not statistically significant, particularly as it relates to the identification of trends.
CREA maintains absolute confidence in the quality and accuracy of statistics it receives from Boards and Associations that are generated from MLS® Systems across Canada. The numbers are what they are, good bad or indifferent. As previously reported, the local real estate market is headed for a record year in terms of MLS® sales. As of this posting, we have already surpassed the MLS® sales volume for November 2012 and we still have five reporting days yet to go. By the end of November we may very well break the $600 million barrier is terms of MLS® sales for 2013, a level never before attained and with one month still remaining in the year. That is no exaggeration, it is a fact.