Trish Bongard Godfrey

Hot New Globe & Mail Real Estate Feature? I don’t think so!

03 May 2016
Trish Bongard Godfrey

Obviously, I love all things related to real estate, statistics, and in particular the Toronto market. When I saw that the Globe & Mail had teamed up with Teranet-National Bank to provide the public with a cool new online feature to track prices by postal codes, I thought, "Cool. I’d want to tell people about that."

But to be honest, I wasn't impressed.

A couple of facts:

  1. MLS® (otherwise known as the Mulitple Listing Service) is the system members of TREB and CREA use to find and promote listed properties. It's also the system that feeds data to MLS® provides historic and, most importantly, live data. That means that when a house is listed and sold firm, that data is normally available within a day or two.
  2. Teranet is not MLS®. Teranet uses data collected from public land registries – data available after the property has closed, which can often be 30 to 120 days (or longer) from the time a property has actually sold. What does that mean? Teranet doesn’t know about the deal, the price, or anything about a sale until months after it’s already happened. In other word, it's old news.

With prices moving as fast as they are now, how useful is it as a predictive tool to know at the end of April 2016 what happened in Q4 2015? Probably not much.

To add to that, the prices and figures Teranet presents make no sense to me.

The Teranet system uses postal codes as their guide. Using map features, I’ve decided to compare their figures with the TREB MLS® (and my common sense, as you’ll soon see) in the central Toronto M5P postal code.

This postal code includes a large part of central Forest Hill and Chaplin Estates.

I picked this postal code to compare because the Globe & Mail says the average price in Forest Hill and Chaplin Estates was recently (it's not clear when) $833,265. Hello? The average price? I’ve got 10 people who’d buy there today, and it’s hard to find a low price of $833,265.   

1. Here’s the map of the M5P postal code area, provided by Canada Post.

2. Here’s the map area the Globe & Mail says is M5P Postal Code Area.

(Almost the exact same boundaries as Canada Post.)

3. Here are the house price/sales statistics according to the Globe & Mail.

Does this mean that in Q4 2015, the average price was $883,265 for this area?

4. Here’s what a TREB map of the sales in M5P looks like in Q4 2015.

There were 41 sales recorded on MLS®.

5. Here are the TREB Statistics for Q4 2015.

This refers to the sales in the above map. NOTE: Of 41 sales, the average sold price is $1.6 MILLION!

6. So, let's try looking at Q1 2016.

According to TREB, there were 49 sales in M5P for the period from January 1 to March 31, 2016.

7. Here are the TREB Statistics for Q1 2016.

According to TREB, there were 49 sales, and the AVERAGE SOLD PRICE was over $1.9 million.


Well, I guess I could be reading the whole thing wrong, in which case they aren’t presenting their information very clearly.


  1. There are a lot of people who aren't using the MLS® to sell their properties and who have registered the sales on Teranet. Fair enough. MLS® is not the only way people sell their homes. Some homes sell privately. But have those private sales really brought the Average Price down by more than 50%?! If so, I say to them – get a professional to help sell!
  2. If the average price in one major neighbourhood in Toronto is off by $1 million, consumers can’t rely on this tool. The Globe & Mail, Teranet and the National Bank are not providing anything useful. Too bad!

Compare that out of date information with this: Through the Toronto Real Estate Board, I am now able to set up clients with virtually instant notice about new listings that meet their criteria.
It's called “Collab” and it's being launched this week.
“Collab” is short for Collaboration, and the intent behind it is that we are putting clients in the driver’s seat when it comes to controlling and defining which real estate listings come into their inbox – and when. You can get instant notifications of new listings that meet your criteria, and you can login and choose what the criteria are, and change it every day if you want. Real time control and information.
If you want a demonstration of this new real estate tool, send me an email at or call me at 416-577-2033.