Recently Sold Housing Data in Canada

9 Replies

Hey BP Canada, 

I am starting to practice analyzing ROI and rental income properties in different areas using the realtor.ca for housing prices, Kijiji and Craigs list for average rental estimates. One of the numbers I find really hard to locate is the recently sold houses for comparisons, does anyone know where I can find this info, realtor.ca only seems to show for sale and for rent.

Thanks! Also super happy for how active this forum is, it's really motivating!

Zoocasa will give you some for free, but with an account sign up. They'll also call you to try to sign you as a buyer but just say no. 

Hi Sheldon, Realtor.ca is working on providing sold data yet they don't have it all figured out yet.

In the meantime, it is best to team up with a helpful Realtor for the City that you like and that Realtor can help provide some sold numbers for you from their data systems.

@Roy Cleeves Thanks for this update Roy, as someone interested in being a full time Real Estate investor, it seems a significant amount of time may require analizing deals, discovering listing as soon as they arrive, and having access to sold data on a regular basis. I've head in a few podcast based in the US market that full time investor should invest in a realtor license, if only to analyze and approach potential deals as they hit the market.

Any thoughts on this? What info does realtors have that the public do not, other than closing prices? Any full time investors with realtor licenses and what are your experiences?

I would want to value the time of my Realtor and imagine as a full time investor, sending multiple requests for market data espically when seeking new markets to invest may become a bit burdensome.

Any thoughts?

@Sheldon Caruana I have a “quick and dirty” spreadsheet that i just input the price of my potential purchase with buffers of -20% expected rental and + 15% of revenue gets added to costs. That is way conservative but the point is it tells me pretty quick what i want to know. 

This is an approach that can have serious downside risks too. I am estimating expenses from my own portfolio, but if you don’t have that data you are just guessing. 50% is common for expenses, but 70% expense levels and 25% levels do make sense, property depending.

Remember; miscalculating max rent will not kill you unless you are totally out to lunch, which I see you are not. Purchase price, inspected condition, and unknown expenses (if you cannot get financials from the vendor) are the things that will hurt you far more. That’s why investing is risky, especially when starting. Essentially you “bet the company” based on your assumptions being right, because you only have one shot to make it pay, and ultimately the amount of “unknown data” is equal to the risk you take.

Oops...my main point was to actually address the question you asked first - realtors are great and an excellent source of info. Getting a realtor licence is absolutely smart, you control at least half the cost of selling as the listing agent, plus you might even sell it. You can make a deal with your broker since it won’t be your main career, and now you have data that you not only get for next to nothing, the money you save on realtors covers the cost of getting and maintaining the license. You can also choose to use your realtor commissions as income so you can prove debt service to a lender with legitimacy, you can subcontract that expense out as well. Or leave it in as a shareholder contribution to reduce your debt or hold for unexpected expenses, either of which can positively impact your balance sheet showing strength where a lender wants to see it.

And another advantage of being an Investor/Realtor is that you may hear about deals that call you to list or even within your office that other agents are about to list and will bring to you first to see if you want to buy it.

Most Realtors would like the easy route of selling homes to you rather than doing the listing expense of signs, staging, photography and marketing expenses.

Man. I am new, so please forgive this additional post: regarding up to date house prices: i update once a month, again because the best odds say that 1 month increase in price or decrease in rental rates can’t hurt. Once you build a model you like that uses sources you trust and appears to align with reality maintaining it is simple.

Also, if it really does match the observed reality (or comes close) you can use it to predict, at least generally, enough to include the data at some weight in your decisions, which van increase your confidence.

And i promise this is the last word from me - historical (even 2 months ago) data is pretty available since few care after the sale what it sold for. You may get a better picture of your market by running your version of collected information and the published reports of past activity to strengthen your ability to spot trends and to compare your ongoing results with reality so you can adjust your formula.

@Greg Hutchings

Thanks for all the info much appreciated. You mentioned something important which is that you use data from your portfolio, and as a new investor I'm guessing on expenditures, sure there are guides but they vary based on market location. So perhaps reaching out to other investors for average numbers on expenses in a local area is a safe way to make estimates.

It also sounds like the realtor/investor has alot of pros, I will definitely look into it, thanks so much to everyone for there contributions!