The Toronto real estate market has reached a turning point in a year that has been marked by both economic turmoil and a series of high-profile scandals, and the city is now on the cusp of an even bigger crisis.
The Canadian Press has learned the Toronto market is set to plunge as the country’s worst economic crisis since the 1930s begins to lift.
Toronto real estate: the real estate meltdown?
The city’s real estate woes have been brewing for decades, and they’ve grown worse over the last few months.
In August, the Toronto realtors association voted to cancel an upcoming meeting in Toronto that was due to be held in a suburb north of downtown, citing a lack of security.
A month later, the city’s chief financial officer, David Hopkins, said the city would be taking a financial hit as a result of the scandal that has gripped the city.
Toronto’s realtor association said the cancellation of the meeting was part of a broader effort to protect its members and that the association will continue to work with the City of Toronto on a number of initiatives, including providing a new real estate management platform for the city to provide transparency and accountability.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Press obtained documents from the city detailing what it says are several reasons why the city could be on the verge of a financial meltdown, including the city not having a fully functioning financial management platform.
In one case, the realtor agency said it was unable to identify a realtor who would take over the role of realtor agent due to a lack.
“We do not know if there is someone available who can do the job,” said an email from the realtorship’s deputy chief financial officers, Jennifer Gershon and David Grosz.
“The current office manager is not in a position to manage the company.”
The realtor’s association is also facing pressure from the Toronto Financial Services Commission to suspend its contract with a local broker.
The commission is considering whether to fine the broker $500,000 and suspend its brokerage licence, according to an email obtained by the CBC News.
The Toronto realtor and broker agency are also facing allegations that they may have been misusing real estate information obtained by their clients in an effort to help them get ahead of the market, or that they were not following proper procedures in how they handled sales information.
The Toronto Real Estate Association said the two brokerage firms had no role in the misappropriation.
“Our clients had access to the information in their clients’ names, which was a huge problem, especially with respect to the brokers who were handling the real sale,” said a spokesperson for the association.
“They also had access the information on their own.
They should not have been given access to this information.”
In the last month, the brokerage firm, Toronto Real Opportunities, has been suspended from its brokerage license and its broker is under investigation by the Toronto Police Services Board.
In addition, two brokers are facing criminal charges, and a third is facing allegations of misleading clients.
A city councillor has also called for the resignation of Toronto’s finance commissioner.
In a letter to the city last week, councillor Karen Stintz said the realestate crisis is a result in large part of an over-reliance on brokerages.
Stintz called on the city council to reinstate the brokerage licence of Toronto Real, Toronto Urban, and Toronto Realty and to suspend the brokerage licenses of other brokerages that are not licensed by the city, including Toronto Real Properties, Toronto Realtors, and TPG Financial Services.
She said the City should also suspend the broker licences of real estate agents and their companies and stop using real estate data for marketing purposes.
“Toronto’s market is in the process of being brought to a screeching halt by an ongoing scandal involving the city and the realty sector,” said Stinty.
“We can no longer afford to wait for a crisis to unfold before we act to protect our families and our communities.”
The CBC is asking Toronto residents to submit comments on the issues they see in the city for the October 14 budget by Thursday, Oct. 16.