We get the short end of the data stick in Canada when it comes to residential real estate information. I’ve spent many hours drooling over the information you can gather on Zillow, Trulia and other US real estate sites. And, with the recent announcement out of Seattle of Flipt, the options just got even cooler in the US. Flipt intends to use an algorithm to predict the best places to buy based on their future value. It’s a very cool idea. Not knowing the Seattle market very well I can’t judge whether it’s working well but I like the concept.
But asking for a website in Canada to predict future values when you can’t even figure out what all the listings are, and what has sold for what price without a realtor, is asking a lot. Even when you do have access to the same data that a realtor does, you still don’t have a full picture of the market because it doesn’t include private sales or new homes that don’t get listed on MLS.
We still don’t have options as robust as the US folks, but there are some resources popping up in Canada you might want to know about. One of them is a new Market Snapshot from BuzzBuzzHome, intended to help homebuyers track real estate market trends specific to new construction. As a real estate investor becoming an area expert (you are doing this right?!), this is absolutely data you’ll want. We wander into all the sales offices in the areas we buy in and collect the data ourselves … but if all we had to do was run a quick report that would save time and we’d be able to look at the trends much easier. That’s what this is all about! And if you’re in an area where there’s a lot of new construction activity, I think you’re really going to appreciate this.
Here’s what it looks like if you check out downtown Victoria, BC.
You can see median list price and size broken down by different unit types and well as the distribution of available units across all unit types.
As North America’s largest listing of new construction homes, BuzzBuzzHome collects a vast amount of data about housing markets across Canada and the United States. Market Snapshot allows users to create on-demand market reports for neighbourhoods and cities. Users can see important information like the average price per square foot in cities and neighbourhoods, the median list price and unit size for new condos, townhomes and houses, and a detailed breakdown of the unit mix within many geographical areas.
In the Greater Toronto Area this type of data has been available through RealNet Canada for years but only through a subscription service or, again, through your realtor who, had to subscribe. I worked there for five years (2003 – 2008) and know the enormous amount of work that went into quality data collection each and every month. It was excellent information but expensive to collect … and therefore not something you would see for free. Times are changing though and you’re starting to see some of this great information at your fingertips for no cost!
This report shows you data on units currently under construction and estimated completions in Toronto’s Entertainment District. You can easily navigate from the Listings section to Market Snapshot’s various tabs to get a more information on the neighbourhood.
Matthew Slutsky, the co-founder of BuzzBuzzHome said that: “The aim is to mine our database of over 11,000 new construction communities to give home buyers a better understanding how the type of home they’re searching for fits into the market they want to buy in.”
Market Snapshot is unique, Slutsky says, because no other company collects information that is this detailed and makes it freely available to homebuyers, investors, brokers and market researchers alike.
“BuzzBuzzHome’s mission is to help new homebuyers and investors make the best purchasing decisions and making this wealth of data available free for anyone to access furthers this goal.”
Market Snapshot is available for every neighbourhood in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. You’ll also find information for the cities of Victoria, Burnaby, Surrey, Kelowna, Nanaimo and many other smaller towns and suburban areas where new homes are being built.
Nothing replaces getting your own boots on the ground to do your market research, but the more information you can collect from home the easier it will be to spend your time on the ground looking for WHY a house sold for more or less and what makes one area more desirable than another.
Go ahead … type in your city or neighbourhood and check it out: http://buzzbuzzhome.com/