This article was submitted by Jennifer Pearce, President of Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

Ontario's real estate market is an essential part of the province's economy, creating jobs and giving families a way to build wealth and financial security. For these reasons, it is essential that those covering the market use good sources of data and consult with experts to give consumers the best information.

A recent piece in the Toronto Star last week unfortunately used incorrect data sources and inaccurate statistics to describe the state of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ontario real estate industry.

The article used Statistics Canada data to share that Ontario experienced an “exodus of 45,000 real estate agents and brokers” between February 2022 and December 2023 — representing a decline of over 24%. Yet, this data erroneously inflates the numbers by including appraisers, property managers, and rental housing professionals, but the Star has since updated the article to clarify this point.

The real change for individuals trading in real estate is much less dramatic than what was initially reported. In fact, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) reports a modest increase of 2% from 103,381 agents/brokers in 2022 to 105,752 at the end of 2023.

The article also suggests that the 65,000 residential home sales in 2023 represent all the property transactions 73,000 GTA REALTORS® supported last year. The truth is REALTORS® support every segment of the Ontario real estate market – not just sellers. Our Members work with home buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. Thousands of REALTORS® also work in the commercial market, across office, retail and industrial spaces, in leasing, sales, and property development. REALTORS® supported sale and lease transactions for over 200,000 property transactions through the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) MLS® System in 2023.

In addition, TRREB Members were also involved in transactions reported through MLS® Systems operated by other boards and associations in Ontario. Finally, many REALTORS are also involved in non-MLS® System transactions, including the pre-construction sale of new homes. All told, TRREB Member REALTOR® activity in 2023 was more than three times what was referenced in the article – a fact that speaks volumes about the breadth and depth of their involvement in the market.

Despite these missteps, the Toronto Star article rightly acknowledges the progress to elevate standards in real estate services through the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) in Ontario. TRREB continues to lead the way in advocating for these changes and through the phase three regulation process we are continuing that important work. The collaboration between TRREB, policymakers, Minister Todd McCarthy, and Premier Doug Ford is a testament to our shared commitment to bolstering the integrity and professionalism of our industry.

The path to well-informed real estate consumers is paved with accurate data and the right information. As stakeholders in Ontario's real estate market, TRREB takes its responsibility to ensure consumers have accurate information very seriously and understand the vital role REALTORS® play in Ontario’s housing market.