Realtor ethics….an oxymoron?
I know there are honest realtors out there, so the title is a bit unfair. I also know that a number of realtors frequent this lowly blog. I don’t have a problem with realtors who don’t abuse the asymmetric knowledge relationship between them and their clients. Realtors are expected to possess a knowledge of market fundamentals and then to use that to help their clients make prudent decisions. If you are a realtor who sticks to this code of conduct, this next rant is not directed at you. However, it’s a reality that the compensation structure within the real estate industry ensures that many will not adhere to the ethics described above.
Case in point. Consider the email circulated by a certain GTA realtor highlighted over on Garth Turner’s blog:
“If you have been thinking of buying a home, NOW is the time to do it as there will be less people qualifying to buy a home after the March 18th, 2011 expected effective date!
Thinking of selling? NOW is the time to do it as there will be less people qualifying to buy a home! This includes yours! There could be a lot more houses on the market than there are buyers qualified to buy them. This could in turn, decrease the current value of your home after the March 18, 2011 estimated effective date.”
It should be evident to anyone whose neurons are still firing that it cannot simultaneously be a good time to both buy and sell a home. It’s strangely reminiscent of this ad taken out by the National Association of Realtors in the US as their market began to dry up.
Pretty shady stuff! For a hopefully more rational discussion of the logic involved in either buying now or waiting until after the new rules come into effect, check out these posts:
CPI hits 2.4% in December
The Consumer Price Index registered a 2.4% (seasonally adjusted) increase in the 12 months ending in December, the largest seasonally adjusted pace of increase in two years.
Price increases were broad based, rising in 7 of 8 components.
Ontario saw the greatest price increase with the CPI increase registering at 3.3%
On a nominal, month-over-month basis, prices were flat.
The core CPI which excludes the most volatile components such as energy, and which the Bank of Canada aims to keep at roughly 2% registered an increase of 1.5%. Despite the headline numbers, there’s nothing in this report that would suggest that the Bank of Canada will feel any sense of urgency in hiking rates to keep a lid on inflation. However, the trend is certainly a concern.