Wednesday, October 5, 2016

MLS information for Vancouver

A pair of students in the 4th-year Economics thesis course have settled on a topic for their year – they would like to investigate the impact of the 15% foreign buyers tax on the real estate market in Toronto. Following the methodology of a similar paper done on the Toronto real estate market a number of years ago, they have concluded that they will need data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) on each home sale.

Have you had experience dealing with the MLS on obtaining data of this type? 

Is there a contact to whom you can refer me? 
What is the most detailed information about the Vancouver real estate market that Statistics Canada could provide?


I've had a researcher successfully request information from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), which runs the MLS and CREA does have a microsite for stats on the housing market ( and we were able to request additional data from the CREA stats team.

At that time (November last year), here were the terms of use:
Please note that our data cannot be published or redistributed. It can only be used for analytical purposes or to generate charts and graphs so long as the underlying data are not displayed and The Canadian Real Estate Association is sourced.

Ordinarily the cost would be $90 + HST but due to the Professor’s affiliation to the University there will be no charge for this his first data request. 

 Future requests will be billed at $40 base price + $5 per data series + HST. 

However due to the fact that the data cannot be redistributed the request will have to come from the professor. Confirmation that the professor will adhere to the terms of use outlined above is needed.

Here is the relevant real estate info available from statcan:
The lowest level of geography publicly available is at the CMA.

Residential Property Values
Record number: 5213

The Property Values Program produces residential property value estimates by province and territory, as well as by Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). This data series represents residential property values at current market price, by reference year. This includes all taxable and exempt properties.

Annual Survey of Service Industries: Real Estate Agents, Brokers, Appraisers and Other Real Estate Activities

Record number: 4706

This annual sample survey collects data required to produce economic statistics for the Real Estate Brokers industry in Canada.

Data collected from businesses are aggregated with information from other sources to produce official estimates of national and provincial economic production for this industry.

Survey estimates are made available to businesses, governments, investors, associations, and the public. The data are used to monitor industry growth, measure performance, and make comparisons to other data sources to better understand this industry.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Record number: 7505

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) produces a comprehensive database containing more than 14,000 housing series. From CANSIM you can download residential housing statistics on housing starts, completions, under construction and newly completed and unoccupied; vacancy rates; and mortgage information.