Our REALTOR® community is shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of TRREB REALTOR® Member, Naveed Dada, Rita Camilleri and retired Member Vittorio Panza. Vittorio, Rita and Naveed were victims in the Vaughan condo mass shooting on December 18, 2022.
Vittorio retired as a REALTOR® in 2014 and was a TRREB Member for 40 years. We applaud his long service and commitment to the real estate profession. His son-in-law is also an active TRREB Member. According to his family, Vittorio was an Italian immigrant and passionate about music. He was a husband and father to three daughters and seven grandchildren. He was the grandfather of Maple Leafs player Victor Mete.
As a member of TRREB's Young Professionals Network (YPN) and a condo board member, Naveed played a meaningful role as a volunteer and was committed to the real estate profession. He tirelessly volunteered his time and served to not only help those realize their homeownership dreams, but gave back to the community in which he lived and worked.
Rita was also an active volunteer in her community and a condo board member. Her family described her as a smart businesswoman with a contagious laugh and zest for life. She loved to travel, cook and host for her loved ones, and was a loving daughter, sister, partner and the most caring aunt.
We unequivocally condemn this senseless act of violence. Our thoughts are with the victims' families and friends.
Homeownership market activity in November continued to be influenced by the impact of higher borrowing costs on affordability. Sales were down markedly compared to the same period last year, following the trend that unfolded since the commencement of interest rate hikes in the spring. New listings were also down substantially from last year, and at a very low level historically. The fact that the supply of homes for sale has remained low, has supported average selling prices at the $1.08 to $1.09 million mark since August.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) will release November 2022 market statistics on Tuesday, December 6 th at 5:00 a.m. EST.
TRREB was pleased to participate in the consultation by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario (OAGO) in conducting a RECO value for money audit and is encouraged by the response from the Ministry and RECO to act on a number of recommendations in the audit report. Effective oversight of the real estate industry is critical. So is effective oversight of the regulator, RECO.
TRREB has long held that there is no place in our profession for those who act unethically. For far too long, the reputation of many hardworking REALTORS® who work tirelessly on behalf of their clients has been tarnished by the actions of a few who have no place calling themselves a REALTOR®.
TRREB has called on the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) for many years to address concerns about unethical behaviour. REALTORS® have themselves advocated for higher standards with no measurable result. The time for RECO to act is now.
Recent occurrences such as the major breach in exam integrity mentioned in the audit as well as media reports concerning REALTOR® involvement in potential mortgage fraud highlight these bad actors.
TRREB has a professional standards process where we hold Members to account. Our regulator needs to do the same if their role as the issuer of licenses and regulator of the profession is to be effective.
As part of their investigations, RECO should also ensure brokerages are providing effective oversight as required by the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act – soon to be the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA). Brokers of Record have a responsibility for the actions of their REALTOR® Members, and if pervasive abuses are evident within an organization, RECO should evaluate the fitness of the Broker of Record.
Furthermore, in all instances RECO should take decisive action and revoke the license of any real estate agent if there is proof of fraudulent behaviour.
The findings of the RECO value for money audit point to the need for the province to finally institute on oversight body for RECO by way of an ombudsperson. The government needs to consider an oversight body for the regulator since 74 per cent of complaints filed to RECO are from consumers, 24 per cent from registrants and 2 per cent other.
Most industries, and the real estate industry in other provinces, fall under an ombudsperson, and this is an area that requires attention since Ombudsman Ontario does not watch over RECO.
RECO is overseen only by the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery. However, the Ministry does not have the mandate or authority to deal with complaints regarding RECO. This means that RECO is not subject to the same oversight as other self-regulated/managed organizations. RECO would therefore benefit from additional oversight to provide transparency and accountability.
Despite the continued housing market transition to a higher borrowing cost environment, the average selling price in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) found some support near $1.1 million since the late summer. GTA home sales continued to adjust to substantially higher interest rates in October 2022, both on an annual and monthly basis. However, new listings are also down year-over-year and month-over-month. The persistent lack of inventory helps explain why the downward trend in home prices experienced in the spring has flattened over the past three months.
Double-digit year-over-year rent increases continued to be the norm in Q3 2022. With many would-be first-time buyers temporarily on the sidelines in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) due to higher borrowing costs, rental demand has remained strong in the face of falling supply. Competition for condo rentals has intensified as a result, and negotiated rents have increased dramatically.
Following the ownership market as a whole, Q3 2022 condominium apartment sales were off by approximately 46 per cent compared to Q3 2021. Despite there being substantially more balance in the market in the third quarter relative to a year earlier, the average selling price was up year-over-year, albeit by less than the current pace of inflation.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) welcomes the provincial government’s introduction of legislation to accelerate the creation of additional housing supply. This is one of the most pressing issues facing our municipalities and province, and it warrants unequivocable and decisive action. Major problems require major solutions.
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of former Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President, Cynthia Lai.
Cynthia served TRREB as President in 2003-2004, and is fondly remembered for her dedication to the real estate industry, and passionate engagement with our REALTOR® Members, with a cheerful and optimistic demeanour. Cynthia was a trailblazer and helped open the doors for other women. She will be remembered as an accomplished REALTOR®, a fierce advocate for her community and a champion of increasing women’s participation in municipal government.
Following her service to the real estate industry as a Member of the Board of Directors for TRREB and the industry regulator, the Real Estate Council of Ontario, Cynthia went on to serve the residents of Scarborough North on Toronto City Council. She was running for re-election until her untimely death.
Cynthia championed the causes of her constituents and delivered services to residents that reflected the demographic make-up of her ward. She was a community leader and recipient of numerous awards.
Cynthia immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in the early 1970s and was involved in numerous fundraising and volunteering efforts including Spirit of Life, Daisy of Hope, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, United Way of Greater Toronto, REALTORS Care® Foundation, Centre for Immigrant and Community Services, Toronto General Hospital, Mon Sheong Foundation for Seniors, Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation and Habitat for Humanity of Toronto.
Her three tenets in life were: “Work Hard, Live Well and Give Back”.
Cynthia will be missed by family, friends, TRREB Members and staff. She’s survived by her husband C.K. Fung and two children, Derrick and Darren Fung.
On behalf of our Members, we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to her family and loved ones. Her family has asked for privacy during this difficult time.
On behalf of the nearly 70,000 REALTOR® Members of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), we unequivocally condemn the behaviour highlighted in the CBC Marketplace investigative report on mortgage fraud.
There is no place in our profession for those who act unethically. For far too long, the reputation of many hardworking REALTORS® who work tirelessly on behalf of their clients has been tarnished by the actions of a few who have no place calling themselves a REALTOR®.
As the regulator, we have called on the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) for many years to address concerns about unethical behaviour. REALTORS® have themselves advocated for higher standards with no measurable result. The time for RECO to act is now. TRREB has a professional standards process where we hold Members to account. Our regulator needs to do the same if their role as the issuer of licenses and regulator of the profession is to be effective.
As part of their investigations, RECO should also ensure brokerages are providing effective oversight as required by the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act – soon to be the Trust in Real Estate Services Act. Brokers of Record have a responsibility for the actions of their REALTOR® Members, and if pervasive abuses are evident within an organization, RECO should evaluate the fitness of the Broker of Record.
TRREB is calling for public disclosure of the names of those individuals identified by the CBC Marketplace investigation. Further, CBC should provide all of the uncensored work product of their investigation to RECO, and we hereby demand that RECO commence an investigation and take decisive action and revoke the license of any real estate agent if there is proof of fraudulent behaviour. This is a request being made by me, as a REALTOR®, on behalf of our REALTOR® Members.
Genevieve Grant, Manager, Public Affairs
With municipal elections being held on October 24, 2022, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) has launched a campaign to ensure that candidates for municipal office understand the importance of making housing affordability a priority. In support of this campaign, TRREB has released the results of new public opinion polling conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for TRREB on various housing affordability issues and launched GiveMeOptions.ca, to help the public easily understand and voice their concerns on these issues directly to current and future municipal councils.
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market continued its adjustment to higher borrowing costs in September 2022. Sales for the month reached 5,038, but were down by 44.1 per cent compared to September 2021. New listings were also down on a year-over-year basis by 16.7 per cent to 11,237.