OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada will announce this morning whether it will hear an appeal from the Toronto Real Estate Board that would keep its members from publishing home sales data on password-protected sites.
Lawyers and realtors say that if the court refuses to hear the case and the data is made more easily accessible, buyers and sellers will be able to educate themselves on how to price homes and negotiate without relying on agents to send them sales information.
TREB decided to take the case to the Supreme Court after the Competition Tribunal and the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Canada's competition watchdog.
The fight over publication of the data began in 2011 when the Competition Bureau challenged TREB's policies that prevent home sales numbers from being released, saying it impedes competition and digital innovation.
TREB, Canada's largest real estate board which represents more than 50,000 agents, argued at the Competition Tribunal that posting that data would violate consumer privacy and copyright.