Realtors: Are You Using the New RETS Technology?

Compare RETS vs FTP IDX Feeds

The first thing visiting homebuyers want to see on your real estate website are home listings.  But when they arrive, they may get a troublesome map widget to frustrate them, or mls listing pages with uninteresting and non-engaging pics and descriptions.

Add to that an ugly slow website with a poor unclear value proposition and wow, you’ve got a lead killing wonder.

What’s worse, is that your current listings aren’t indexable by Google so you’re getting no free Google referrals.  That old technology called ftp IDX is ruining your impact and engagement with your prospects and eliminating your Google search engine rankings and referrals.

Let them search quick, and then enjoy what they find. Oh and Google needs to find all the mls listings too!

What you Don’t Know Can Hurt You

The MLS Property Listings are a valuable Marketing asset — people love to view the homes. This blog post gives you a look at a resource you probably have little knowlege of — the new RETS IDX standard.  Realtors who are technical whizzes do know about the MLS database feed, and they like to keep it to themselves.

If you’re a professional Realtor hoping to keep pace in the digital era, you need to know about the new standard. You can leverage it for a serious advantage online.

Do you know another Realtor who has no website or one that’s ineffective? Please pass this on to them.




You may have heard some talk about the IDX feed at your meetings, conventions, or conversations with other agents. But there’s a distinction that’s rarely mentioned, because it’s technical and no one understands it. I want to make that clearer in this post. Not only does RETS make a technical difference, it also enables tremendous content creativity — and this is where Google traffic and improved content engagement can pull in prospects for you. Choosing the right IDX RETS provider is very important and I want to lead you to the right one.

One simple change could open the floodgates for traffic to your site.

Graphic Courtesy of cloutsoft.com

 

The Big Trend for Agents is RETS Adoption

It’s time to take a look at the RETS IDX framework and maybe decide to start using it.

What is your MLS’ IDX? IDX is the Internet Data Exchange. It’s simply a format that allows the visitor’s web browser to load the MLS listing info into the page for viewing. Yet FTP or file transfer protocol is an outdated technique which has some substantial setbacks. In today’s competitive marketplace (Google) using FTP could mean your SEO and content strategy may fail. RETS is the new solution.

Does your MLS support RETS? Find out here.

Does NAR and Realtor.com Promote RETS? Take a look at their pdf that elaborates on the many benefits of RETS.

Screen Capture Courtesy of Realtor.com

How Much Traffic can the RETS Framework Produce?

How much traffic could you expect by using the new RETS framework? With 10,000 home listings and more unique pages generated, you could have 15k to 20k pages indexed in Google.   One very successful agent I know of has 90,000 pages indexed in Google. That’s what you call a formidable Google presence.

This video from SEO RETS gives a good introduction and is one potential solution that can increase your visibility and leads using RETS.

Typical FTP based IDX data fed home listing on a Realtor’s Website

FTP IDX was the Standard

I’ve worked on quite a few Realtor web sites which used the FTP IDX standard. It required mental gymnastics to get the pages to perform in Google or Yahoo. There are hundreds of millions of MLS pages live online, but they’re barely visible, slow loading and not indexed by Google.

Sometimes Google can’t even reach them!  And I’ve worked with the iframe solution you may also be familiar with. That was the worst solution ever and agents are still using it.

While working with one client who was using the IDX FTP Framework with Real Estate Webmasters, I actually did some custom optimization, a workaround, that allowed me customize those pages. It was a powerful SEO technique, and one that Real Estate Webmasters began utilizing themselves.

But the FTP method doesn’t work well enough to compete today. The new RETS system I want to introduce you to has the full power you need to dominate the Google results and improve impact and engagement with your visitors.

Take a good look at your current content and assess whether it has awesome impact and engagement. Visitors love home listings, but they’re usually very dull.




Yes, you can use it with your WordPress site.  The end result could be career changing for any agent or broker just learning about this stuff. I’ve listed some RETS IDX site providers below. You can ask them your questions on cost and functionality.

There are web design and real estate site development companies that sell RETS based websites and this likely is the best route to go. However, don’t hire them to do your marketing. They’re programmers and web designers, not Internet content and SEO experts.

Open Up the Full Power of the MLS™ Listings

The MLS™ listings are extremely powerful if you use them right.  Combine them with blogs and your Facebook posts and you’re giving homebuyers precisely what they want.

RETS and FTP are the two formats of data that your IDX uses. FTP has no flexibility and is impossible to use creatively. RETS on the other hand offers flexibility to utilize whatever data you want to include from the MLS property listing feed.

The MLS feed is just a big spreadsheet database and you pluck whatever you like out of it into your pages. So your pages don’t have to be copies of 4000 other realtors using the same data. Your site must be unique. Google loves unique and so do your human prospects.

Most agent IDX platforms use FTP to access the listing IDX feed. This feed as it’s called is actually a simple spreadsheet or .csv file with all the listing details of the homes for sale. The data is held on your MLS server. When a visitor views a page of mls listings on your site, the page data comes from the csv file on the mls server (and you can have a copy of this file located on your server).

Pass this post on to other agents in your office.

With ftp feeds, the whole listing is downloaded rather than the bits and pieces that have been updated.  Considering the MLS feed is many hundreds of gigagbytes, the servers get bogged down. That slowness is not appreciated by your visitors who might be viewing on a mobile device. And Google and Bing don’t like the slowness either, so they’ll lower your search engine rankings.

Your MLS server too, may actually be very slow, something you can’t control, unless you get the idx feed placed on your own hosting platform.  Then you can get superfast hosting and be Google friendly!

Test Your Page Speed and Mobile Friendliness

You can check your listings mobile friendliness and load speed here: First, cut out the url of one of the mls home listings on your site. It will likely be very long. Make sure you get it all, and then paste in the PageSpeed Insights box:

Duplicate Content is Considered Spam By Google

Your MLS listing page is the same as thousands of other agent’s listing pages Google has indexed. So Google’s spam team and anti-spam filters will seek to reduce that glut of duplicate pages (duplicate content) in the search results by focusing on the top real estate domains.

Thousands of other agents may have the same listing on their site, but Google’s not going to show their pages in the search results. If they did rank at all, it might be ranked 945th. Most often now, Google won’t let searchers go down that far into the results. They’ll force the searcher to do another search using different keywords.

Duplicate content isn’t subject to a penalty, unless there’s lots of it. Most times, Google will just ignore your duplicate content and only show the top 20 or so sites with that particular “syndicated” content. Your site needs to be optimized so it’s considered the premium website by everyone.

Remember too, that with social media sharing, people won’t share something that’s not valuable and unique, looks good, and loads fast.

Does Your Site Use the FTP IDX Feed?

It almost certainly does. And worse, it does it in a plain, mediocre way that loads all the MLS data into your page. Sort of like getting your food at the mess hall kitchen. It’s slopped onto your plate, good or bad, same as all the others. It is what it is.

Why is This RETS Stuff Getting So Much Attention?

RETS has so many advantages: customization, speed, fast updates and more.

  • For developers, RETS is written in XML which provides more standardization so it can be used in endless applications.
  • RETS data can be loaded in pieces which allows you to present what you want about the listing in the way you want. The result is a listing page that reads better, is more interesting and engaging (please note that your MLS compliance board will want to approve your pages according to their compliance standards).
  • RETS data updates only the changes in the listing, not the whole database over again which saves time
  • RETS fits nicely with a customized content strategy where you can place your own optimized content into the page.

Realtyna Organic MLS Listings Optimization

RETS and SEO

Besides the page load time advantage, we can creatively select the listing information and create more pages using that data. And we can bring in unique, well optimized engaging content into the page. This increases the page’s uniqueness, something Google likes and generates more impact and user engagement.

If people stay on that listing page longer, Google sees this. Google will raise the ranking of pages that people are engaged with and return to again.

This only makes sense. Google wants good content, not duplicate content. When I optimize pages, Google considers them unique and will give the page a shot at a high ranking.

More Experty Optimized Pages! — This Just Isn’t Fair

I can create more pages and much more well-optimized pages. Some agents have as many as 90,000 pages indexed in Google. How about that army of pages competing to gather as many homebuyers as possible via Google or via social media shares?

Because RETS data can be sliced and diced to a certain degree, you can create a much more engaging and persuasive experience for visitors. You’ve worked hard or spent a lot of money on Facebook or Adwords ads so you need to increase your visitors to subscriptions and phone calls rate.

RETS gives us Content/SEO Strategists a lot of tools and flexibility to win the ranking wars, and to maximize visitor engagement. Those are 2 key goals in our quest to build Realtor leads and commissions.

If you’re still using the framed IDX solution or the standard FTP service, you should look into the RETS solution. Your website is an asset if you treat it like one.

What are the Issues you’ll face when Examining RETS IDX solutions?

  1. is the solution hosted on your website (not theirs)?
  2. who will help you customize the layout and content of your pages?
  3. do they include a high converting CRM system with it?
  4. is it WordPress compatible?
  5. can you use any WordPress template or only theirs?
  6. what limitations does their system create?

There are issues to face when you’re shopping for the best solution. Of course, you want it all and you want it right now, but I know the choices are tough and you’ll need to compare a lot and make decisions. It’s never easy to be the best!

RETS IDX Resources:

RETS Programmers/Websites: (I have one more that’s excellent, but you’ll have to become my client to find out).

Simply RETS:  https://simplyrets.com/services – WordPress plug-in and a marketing analytics add on.

Agent Evolution/IDX Broker:  https://www.idxbroker.com/compare-idx  — Geo-specific content delivery add on

RetsPro:  http://retspro.com

SEO Rets:  http://seorets.com

Ultimate IDX:   https://www.ultimateidx.com/agent/

Ultimate IDX Rets Solution — The CRM is Important Too

There’s a lot to learn about RETS IDX and how to plan, otpimize and implement.

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Los Angeles Houses for Sale ⌂ Finding Unlisted Houses & MLS Listings

Houses for Sale in Los Angeles

Stuck hunting for homes for sale in Los Angeles without much luck? Take a look below to find great sources of the best Los Angeles homes for sale in 2017. And check out the Realtors listed below to keep current on homes that are never listed.

If you’d like to get access to the best pocket home listings, you need to be in touch with a number of Realtors in the Los Angeles areas you’re interested in.

There are at least 10,000 homes for sale in Los Angeles listed on homes.com alone and zillow has 8,000 listed. That’s a lot of houses for sale! But that’s only 60% of the available ones. The LA house you’re looking for may never be listed. You need to be on the inside beforehand to get your bid in.




You might see a better result overall if you follow my homes for sale search strategy. Whether you’re looking for a detached house, condo, townhouse, or rental property, a thorough plan for searching is a must.  Without it, you’re not cheating yourself out of the very houses you’re hoping to get.

There’s 3 sources of non mls listed homes in Los Angeles — Craigslist, ForSaleByOwner, and Zillow.

Homes.com Home Search Tool:

Search Homes for Sale

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Vancouver Condo Market Still Booming – Condominium Prices Rise – Burnaby Richmond Surrey

Vancouver Condo Market Still Booming

Last September’s market report for the greater Vancouver region confirmed that the Vancouver real estate market is still smoking hot. Residents and condo investors are hunting for bargain properties as are students studying at UBC, Langara College and SFU. Demand is high.

The new sales and price numbers below from Royal Lepage, CREA, and REBGV may depress you a bit if your ambition is to own a new or resale condo in the city or even to rent one.

Money Has Moved to the Condo Market

Sales of detached million dollar homes have abated, yet it’s just a switch to a focus in condomiums in Vancouver. This switch has also happened in the Toronto condo market. The challenge for condo buyers is finding on at any price level they can afford. I’m sure you’re finding the rental housing and condo buying situation very difficult and you may find Surrey, Richmond, and Langley your best bets.

Prices of condos have jumped as much as 35% in some areas, and overall prices of apartment condos in Vancouver have jumped an incredible 21.7% from last September. In September CREA reported condo apartment sales growth of 19% in greater Vancouver above that of September 2016. Will that continue in 2018?




Housing Crash in Vancouver? Not Likely

There’s been a lot of talk about housing market crashes in 2018, but wishful thinking might what’s behind it.  At this point (October 2017) experts forecasted that housing markets across North America would be in a crash or deep decline, but it hasn’t happened. It probably own’t here or in US housing markets.  Demand is high and the economy may get stronger.

Condo Sales September 2017 in Vancouver

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,821 in September 2017, a 25.2% increase from the 2,253 sales recorded in September 2016, and a 7.3% decrease compared to August 2017 when 3,043 homes were sold — from CREA October report.

There were a total of 1491 apartment condos sold in September with an average HPI benchmark price of $635,800. the price growth over the last year is astonishing with North Vancouver and New Westminster leading.




Vancouver Community Price Growth Over Last 12 months Average Price September 2017
Listings in September 2017
Greater Vancouver 16% $751,861 823
North Vancouver 25.2% $614,173 175
Burnaby 24.6% $561,558 262
Coquitlam 23.8% $482,300 78
Surrey 18.5% $304,779
Langley 17.8% $337,782
Victoria 28% $471,682
West Vancouver 2.2% $1,112,334 42
Richmond 15.6 $510,476 294
Kelowna 20.2 $399,783
New Westminster 26.5% $488,600 167

The numbers above suggest Richmond, Surrey and Burnaby are where you’ll find an affordable condo. Surrey and Langley may be the future. You’ll find a lot of student housing new construction projects in this area too close to the skytrain and the major schools. Unfortunately, you will be competing with the families of wealthy students for the units who are searching off campus.

Vancouver Condo Prices and Sales Stats Screenshot courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver




How Do the Forecasts Look?

With the economy faring better, most forecasters may even upgrade their 2018 forecast for Toronto housing and the Toronto Condo market forecast, along with the Vancouver region forecast which are the only housing markets doing well.  The rest of the country is hanging on with spillover from the big cities.

When the foreign buyers tax was implemented in BC and Toronto, I suggested that instead, incentives should be provided to property investors and builders to build in areas outside of Vancouver and Toronto. Unrealistic? Long term, it benefits everyone.  These housing shortages are significant economic and personal issues. It could end in a crash.

Still the spillover has helped Kelowna, Calgary, London, Waterloo, and Ottawa.

Crisis for Condo Renters in Vancouver

The situation for many renters is definitely a crisis. There is an exaggerated need for rental properties and housing for students.  One estimate is there are more than 24,o00 families in need of housing in Vancouver and many of them may involve students studying in colleges in Richmond.

Recently 300 buyers showed up to apply for a few coop units up for sale.  If new builds decline because of a fear of rent controls and then Canadian interest rates rise, this could make the forecast gloomy.  Vancouver residents need to get more active and encourage local politicians to adopt a new attitude toward the crisis.

A new socialist driven research project called Cambie Corridor is being conducted to see if a restriction on development to force lower rents will work. In a few years, we’ll have data, but in the meantime, why would the condominium builders not just stop building in Vancouver?  Builders need incentives, where that is just a money losing proposition. They can’t create $850 apartments in Vancouver’s pricey atmosphere.

There’s a lot of belief in magic in some government quarters but the current crisis shows how badly mismanaged housing in Vancouver is.

The city awash in beautiful condo buildings however the units are out of reach of most buyers. One could ask who the builders are building for if few are able to finance them?  New government housing projects could create coop affordable units, but would they turn into another LA styled Watts neighbourhood, with crime and malaise?

Now we understand the wish for a Vancouver housing market crash.

Failing Governments in BC and Ontario Need Ideas

The previous BC government failed badly in using old school tactics to solve an International level challenge.  Rightfully, they were ousted, and now we’ll see if the NDP can actually deliver on their promise to lower income buyers and renters. Supply must be increased in Vancouver as the city just gets more popular.

And for most homebuyers in the Vancouver area, detached houses aren’t even a thought since the average price has hit  $1,617,300 which is up almost 3% since last year.  Condo hunters will have to be more persistent, patient and creative to land a condo to call home.

A solution that may support increasing availability is to open up land for development outside of Vancouver up the coast and out on Vancouver Island, or into the interior. With Federal and BC government incentives and tax support for this (take it from the foreign buyers levy — $billlions of dollar tax grab for what purpose?.   This could be used to draw businesses out into new outlying communities.

Many businesses don’t actually need to be in Vancouver. If they had an opportunity to move somewhere cheaper, they’d do it. They’d get away from the congestion too. People want to live near the jobs, thus moving  the jobs outward will take the pressure off and open up amazing new cities across BC.  Places like the Comox Valley and Sunshine Coast and Nanaimo would welcome the growth.



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Los Angeles Real Estate Agents | LA County Homes for Sale

Find a Home for Sale and Hire a Great Agent

The Los Angeles MLS® Listings, Los Angeles Zillow Listings or the LA Trulia Listings are all good sources of home listings you can peruse.  You’re bound to reveal some excellent houses and condos for  sale in the specific region of LA you want to live in the property widget below.   Remember that while you’re shopping, to find a competent, trustworthy and helpful real estate agent who is familiar with the LA neighborhoods you’re considering. Don’t go with the listing agent just because they were chosen by the seller. Your priorities are far different from the homeowner and their own agent.

Note: I will have an actual IDX MLS feed here at some point soon. Bookmark this page and let me help you find a great realtor and fantastic home. I am a Los Angeles SEO consultant who provides marketing services for LA realtors.

Rake a look at the professional characteristics you absolutely need in a real estate agent because things can go wrong, some annoying and some expensive. You choose your destiny when you get involved in real estate transactions. Be careful and know what you’re doing.

Review my Los Angeles Real Estate Forecast 2017, and see what the home valuations are like in LA first.

 

Begin your search for LA Homes for Sale right here:

Where else in the greater LA area could you be happy living in?  Check out listings in Malibu, Long Beach, Anaheim, Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Ventura, Torrance, Beverly Hills, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Pomona, Callabasas, Santa Ana, El Monte, Glendale, Sherman Oaks, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, Rancho Palo Verde, Fullerton, Downey, Yorba Linda, Corona, Redondo Beach, Compton, Gardena, Inglewood, Cypress, Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, Laguna Beach, and Orange California.

Yes, Los Angeles still is one of the premier places to live in the world, with sun, sand, beaches, sunsets and a high standard of living. That’s despite the fact that few Californians, particularly those in LA can afford to buy a home. However, the economy is improving and more people, i.e., Millennials are hoping to buy a house or condo again.

Best wishes on finding a home you can relax in and call your own. It should be every Californians right to own their home and feel comfortable in it.  Check out the mortgage page for the best mortgage rates in Los Angeles and discover how to do a better homes for sale search.  And don’t forget to save money on your car insurance. The best auto insurance policy could save you $10,ooo over 6 years. That’s not chump change. And solar power could help you save money on electricity and allow you to generate power back into the LADWP system. Solar Power is a solution for Los Angeles.

MLS Real Estate Listings – NAR CREA – TREB Homes Condos for Sale

What is the MLS?

MLS is the term you often see used on realtor’s websites casually or formally. It’s also referred to frequently in housing forecasts and Realtor sales reports.  The multiple listing service or MLS is essentially a database of homes for sale. In the US, the National Real Estate Association owns the rights to the term and in Canada, including Toronto, the MLS® is a registered trademark of the Canadian real estate association.

mlsNAR and CREA consider both the acronym MLS® and the information collected in the MLS database as their sole proprietary asset as are the terms Realtor®, Realtors® and Multiple Listing Service® as well as the Realtor.com and Realtor.ca websites.

The governments in the US and Canada have a different view of that information and who is the legal owner. CREA in Canada and NAR is the US are the respective organizations who own the trademarks and MLS databases.  They are associations of trained and accredited professional realtors.  CREA and NAR member associations designed and built their respective MLS databases as a private collection of information for their members and for national members. There is quite a bit of cooperation between US and Canadian associations because of national real estate brokers such as Remax, Century 21, Royal Lepage, Coldwell Banker, and others.




NAR – The National Association of Realtors in the US

nar2NAR or the National Association of Realtors is owned by a private company headquartered in Chicago. It is a self regulatory organization of 1.1 million members who are either Brokers or Realtor associates. NAR governs the hundreds of local Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) which are the information exchanges used across the nation by real estate brokers.

After being charged by the US department of Justice for  antitrust activities, NAR responded by proposing a single Internet Listing Display system that allows its members to exclude individual brokers (whether of a bricks-and-mortar type or solely internet-based) and opt out of display on all other brokers sites. In Canada, there is a similar agreement.

crealogoRecently, Canada’s competition bureau ruled against TREB several times with respect to anti-competitive activities. It seems TREB and CREA want to favour their members and retain their monopoly on the MLS data. As you may know, a monopoly is one of the most cherished goals of any free enterprise business. When you have monopoly, you can set the rules and charge whatever you want for your product and services. Microsoft and Google are two other organizations that have possessed almost monopolistic power and it worked very well for them. No anti-competitive charges have been laid against Google.

Most of us would uphold the right of a company to own their products including a database and charge whatever the market will bear. Sort of like how Miami, Boston, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas and Toronto realty markets are going right now.

Others believe that this type of monopoly is unfair to consumers who may be forced to buy services they don’t really want or need. The Internet has imposed itself on the real estate industry and consumers are doing more of the real estate buying process themselves. Realtors are sought for their added value as expert consultants.

CREA has not accepted or updated their view of the situation, yet CREA does want to claim to be a governing, ruling body of authority with respect to who practices real estate and to enforce that through local town bylaws and licensing regulations. All of a sudden, free market ideology isn’t quite being realized here. Without the formation of a competitive alternative, the government can claim an unfair monopoly for CREA and seek to rectify it or punish CREA for its behaviour, and it is doing so.

Canadian MLS

There are a number of MLS’s across Canada, BC, Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario. The Toronto Real Estate Board controls the Toronto MLS district which is known as the TREB MLS system which includes properties in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Scarborough, Vaughan, Markham, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Oshawa, and Etobicoke.

Each licensed and qualified realtor in the TREB district can obtain a datafeed of the Toronto MLS for a monthly database usage feel. That list of properties and its details are then presented on the realtor or agent’s website and you can search their listings for homes and condos for sale.

Competitors of the MLS’s include Zillow, Zoocasa, and Trulia. These organizations are generally not liked because they threaten the MLS and the status of realtors across North America. Realtors® often talk disparagingly about these services including complaints about their method of estimating the value of a home.

The truth of this might be that we’re in between a rock and a hard place. CREA’s power to own home sales data across Canada is coming to an end. They can only delay the inevitable, and the more they resist, the stronger new competitors will be in building their business to compete with CREA. The battle continues.

MLS Property Details and Homes for Sale

When you do a search for a home using the MLS system you won’t see all the information a realtor sees. They have access to extra information such as old listing prices and previous selling prices. If the sale happens on the free market, then knowledge of old selling prices isn’t all that meaningful anyway. What a property was evaluated, listed at, or sold at 5 years ago, has little relevance in today’s fast rising market.

As you can see in this map of TREB areas below, TREB MLS coverage is large and actually encompasses other mls associations. Other Ontario real estate boards having their own MLS’s include the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington, London St. Thomas Association of Realtors, Niagara Association of REALTORS and many others.

TREBregions

Toronto MLS Districts

TREB MLS coverage includes Mississauga, Markham, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Scarborough and Oshawa. The graphic below delineates the TREB mls districts (small blue rectangular areas) in its purview.

mlsdistricts

You can learn more about home selling prices in each MLS district on the Toronto Real Estate board website were you’ll find their monthly reports. Some like these give you a breakdown of homesale in each area, and home much they are typically sold above asking price.

 

existinghomesales2016




What can we say in final comments about the Toronto MLS? That it’s a handy listing of homes and condos for sale, and a valuable repository of information about a specific property’s details and history which buyers will be interested in knowing should they be willing to buy that home or condo. Homes hold many dark secrets and sometimes buyers are left with a bad financial surprise revealed later. If you’ve bought such a home, you can seek redress in the courts if it looks like the seller should have revealed it.

After you’ve done your initial perusing of the Toronto MLS home listings, find a trustworthy realtor who has the ability to market your home to as many home hunters as possible. Your goal as a home seller is to get the best price for your huge investment. That’s what your home is — an investment and one day you will sell it.

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Real Estate Market Forecast Housing Outlook Vancouver 2016

There’s Cause for Optimism in Vancouver and the Rest of BC

bcforestgraphThe irony of it all. BC is now Canada’s economic darling and yet some are complaining (justifiably, those who can’t pay the high rents). The question is whether politicians will try do something negative to spoil this growth.

The BC economy is expected to expand nicely at 2.9% to 3.1% next year. BC exports are growing as new liberal international trade deals are increased and as our loonie keeps falling to .75US.

CMHC believes there will be 30,000 more households in BC next year, and that will support sales of rising new homes being built. Mortgage and borrowing rates will stay low, energy prices will stay low so it’s a superb business situation for BC companies who need the investment money.

bcexportsgraph
Exports to China strong. Growing trade will make Vancouver the key city in Canada in the next 5 years.

BC’s latest jobs report is pretty good too. BC is leading the country with 12,400 jobs added, while the rest of Canada lost jobs. And 2016 has a nice look to it — supporting a healthy real estate sector.

The big controversy is the influx of Chinese investment money into the BC commercial and residential real estate sector. If the Asian markets continue sliding, more rich Chinese will be seeking to park their money in Vancouver and Toronto property. This is a short term financial anomaly that won’t continue so why bother trying to kill it?

September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC's growing economic power
September report from RBC paints a rosy picture of BC’s growing economic power

A Better way to Manage the Influx of Billions

Chinese investing in Vancouver
Chinese buyers surfing the Net to find Canadian Properties

There are those who want to end the infusion of investment from Chinese property buyers.

Rather than making these investors use devious ways to buy property here, we could make it easier for them to buy in the Okanagan, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Toronto tax-free, since this investment money could go elsewhere instead. We could lose it all.

If Asian buyers can’t buy here, they will choose the US to park their cash. San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami and New York are very attractive too. But Vancouver’s better.

A report in the Globe and Mail states:

Dan Scarrow, vice-president of corporate strategy at Macdonald Realty Ltd., estimates that 16 per cent of his firm’s 1,500 sales of detached houses, condos and townhouses within the city of Vancouver last year went to buyers from China. Of his firm’s 544 sales of detached homes in Vancouver proper last year, 150 of the purchasers were from China, or 27.5 per cent.

Another Globe and mail report suggests Chinese sales are aided by a tax loophole that allows them to avoid tax by listing the purchase in the name of a relative.  33% of all these purchases are bought under these circumstances. If this loophole is closed, it could send a shockwave through the real estate market.

Big Sales but fewer Homeowners are Selling

The G&M report also revealed that number of listings in Vancouver has dropped 27% from last year.

In Vancouver, housing starts are expected to grow from 9500 in 2015 to 9600 next year. Resale home sales will rise from $820,000 in 2015 to $835,000 in 2016. According the BC real estate association, the average price of a single detached home will rise from $885,000 currently to $920,000 next year. That’s up more than $100k from 2014.

The GVREB HPI index price for a detached property rose to nearly $1.41 million in Sept 201, up 11.5% from last September.

If the Liberals win the October 19th election, which is very likely, we could see a boost in the economy with them increasing spending.  The latest jobs report is a rise of 73k part time jobs and a drop of 62k in full time jobs.

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