Ross Kay has made some claims, unsubstantiated, that CREB has engaged in double-reporting of sales. His allegations came to light in a recent blog posting on GreaterFool.ca., a blog written by Garth Turner.
I’ll be the first one to call out CREB if they have inconsistencies in their reporting. My first and foremost goal is to provide accurate statistics to my readers and clients.
Says Kay: “If CREB removes the 317 private sales in August not similarly counted last August, total sales are really up 14.24%, not 27.5%. And removing private sales from listing means there are only 6,447 active listings now – a 28.17% decrease.”
I’ve repeatedly asked Ross Kay for a list of the 317 sales. Crickets.
Ross Kay is an advocate of open and full disclosure. I say, bring it on!
ComFree, one of the largest FSBO brokerages that lists on MLS, weighs in. “CREB has included ComFree MLS® listings in its sales stats since we became a brokerage in 2012. And those listings that are only featured on ComFree.com (and do not include an MLS® listing) are not included in CREB’s stats and are not counted as “private sales…In August of 2012 our brokerage was already offering MLS® listings on REALTOR.ca to our sellers. So that certainly does not account for the rise in listings on REALTOR.ca in August 2013!” Calgary Real Estate Review
CREB has released this statement: One outspoken critic of organized real estate recently wrote a blog in which he questioned the integrity of the data at some real estate boards in Canada, including CREB®’s. CREB® would like to assure you that there is no significant double-reporting of sales in our MLS® System, nor is there any distortion of data involving the reporting of so-called “private sales”, as the blog’s author referred to them. “There is no such thing as a ‘private sale’ in the MLS® System – all sales are recorded and treated equally,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist.
Ross Kay states on his website, “RossKay.com is independent of any and all fiduciary duties related to MLS® data allowing for full independence, open and full disclosure and finally data review that is statistically valid.”
Kay initially returned my emails but stopped when I asked him directly for his “317.”
“When pressed for hard numbers, he doesn’t respond”
The methodology by which Ross Kay has invented his secret frankenumbers is, as far as I can tell, known only to him. He’s all too happy and quick to dish out vague allegations but when pressed for hard numbers, he doesn’t respond. He’s critical of CREB’s data, yet won’t disclose his method of collecting data, or the data itself. The media has been giving him a free ride with no hard questions.
As Garth said in the title of his blog posting, “Who can you trust?
My emails to Ross Kay requesting the info are reprinted below:
Oct 1: Are you going to provide this information so we can see what we’re missing? I’ll take you at your word that it is for anyone to read. My readers are waiting. I’d rather that I have all the information so I can provide to my readers a proper and well-informed comment.
Sep 30, 2013: It’s easy to solve this issue. Could you send me a copy of the audit so we can all comment intelligently on it? It would be enlightening to know what we are overlooking.
Sep 28: You can put this controversy to rest by furnishing MLS numbers or addresses of the supposed 317 “private” sales that sold in Calgary for August. There’s nothing to hide, and there is no proprietary information if it’s already on MLS.