TREB bars property listing portal from using its data

TREB bars property listing portal from using its data

TREB bars property listing portal from using its data

The Toronto Real Estate Board announced that it has successfully sued Mongohouse, preventing the now-defunct property listing site from illegally accessing, copying, and sharing the Board’s real estate data.

Filed last fall, the TREB’s permanent injunction went to the heart of the portal’s operations, which previously served as a readily accessible resource for property listings and sold data.

Mogohouse shut down on October 1, 2018, and remains offline as of press time.

“Putting an end to unauthorized uses protects the integrity of the MLS,” TREB president Garry Bhaura told The Canadian Press.

“The operators of Mongohouse.com have acknowledged that they were not authorized to access the TREB MLS system and that their actions were wrong in doing so,” TREB CEO John DiMichele added.

The Board’s long-term policy in such matters is not without its critics, however.

TREB’s resolve to hold onto its sold data as tightly as it can will likely harm the Canadian housing segment’s capacity to innovate, Ryerson University associate professor Murtaza Haider and industry veteran Stephen Moranis wrote in their analysis late last year.

In their shared piece for the Financial Post, the pair argued that TREB’s stance will prevent the rest of the industry from performing any kind of analysis that could actually help the market in the long run.

“For decades the real estate boards in Canada have been data rich and insight poor. The wealth of information TREB holds cannot be subject to data mining for the benefit of board members or the consumers,” the duo wrote in their column.

“TREB and other boards generate data and content that drive millions to their websites — they are content and data rich. The natural next step in TREB’s evolution is to embrace analytics and become not just a data vendor but a purveyor of property market insight.”