Real estate sales data now available online
But there's a catch, you have to go through a realtor who's registered with fisherly.com.
Not so long ago if you wanted to find out what properties were selling for you had to ask a realtor.
“The realtors were the gatekeepers of data,” says Les Twarog, a realtor who owns the popular website BCCondos.net.
No more. In March a new website, fisherly.com, started posting real estate sales in the Lower Mainland from the last two years.
At Trump Tower at 1151 West Georgia St., for example, 16 condos have been sold between April 2017 and today — four in 2019, nine in 2018 and three in 2017. The last sale was Unit 3303, a one-bedroom with 649 square feet of space that went for $1,258,000 on Oct. 6. A two-bedroom, 1,192 sq. ft. condo sold for $2,950,000 on July 12, while another two-bedroom, 1,180 sq. ft. unit brought $1.65 million June 6.
Evidently height matters. The two-bedroom that sold for almost $3 million was on the 67th floor, while the $1.65-million condo was on the 25th. The fisherly.com listing even works out the price per square foot — $2,475 for Unit 6702, $1,398 for Unit 2507.
The site lists houses as well. A three-bedroom rancher at 265 West Kings Rd. in North Vancouver sold for $1.362 million on Sept. 30. A couple of blocks away, a six-bedroom, 4,488 sq. ft. house sold for $2.5 million on Sept. 18.
But there’s a catch to signing onto the site. Because it uses MLS data from the Vancouver Real Estate Board, the board insists that you have to enter fisherly.com through a realtor.
“We cannot deal with clients because we don’t have real estate licences,” explains fisherly.com’s Varinder Kainth. “We cannot be showing them sold prices because we don’t have licences. Only a realtor can do all of this.”
Twarog is one of 114 realtors that have signed up to release the sales data through their VOW or Virtual Office Website.
“The consumer has to sign in with a name and phone number in order to get access to the sold data,” said Twarog. “My sold history website is fisherly.com/6717000.”
The data is now available to the public because last August the federal Competition Bureau won a court battle with the Toronto Real Estate Board to release sales data.
“The next city the Competition Bureau was coming after was Vancouver,” said Kainth. “(The Vancouver Real Estate Board) released the data, but they are still making it very hard for agents to use the data … the realtors have to be approved by the board before they can invite their clients to be able to see the sold data.”
When you’re able to access the site you can find sales data from Vancouver to Hope, as well as up to Whistler and on the Sunshine Coast. You can even find some sales data from some Gulf Islands — a 434 sq. ft. cottage at 617 Edith Point Rd. on Mayne Island sold for $510,000 on Sept. 22.
The site also includes an “active” component for properties currently for sale. Both the active and sold side have features that allow you to zoom in by various categories, such as house/townhouse/apartment, price, square footage, price per square foot, bedrooms, baths, kitchens and lot size.
It’s very up-to-date — you can search what sold in the last 24 hours, up to what’s sold in the last two years. There’s also a Market Insight section that gives “real-time statistics” from MLS sales.
One-hundred-and-nine units have sold in Vancouver in the last 15 days, for example, with an average selling price of $1,451,585. One-thousand-eight-hundred-and-seven units have sold in the last 90 days, at an average price of $1,186,304.
But that was at 4 p.m. on Oct. 29. The data is updated every half-hour, and changes constantly.
“People can get live statistics of what’s happening,” said Kainth. “You can keep on scrolling to sub areas as deep as you want. There’s a really good graph that tells you units sold by price range. It’s amazing, it tells you exactly what the market is looking for.”
Kainth has been putting together “tools for realtors” since 2003 through his company Pixilink. He started off being a “media provider” with photos and floor plans, but fisherly.com is far more detailed.
Twarog said he put up his first website about 20 years ago and says he has invested $6 million in websites over the years. He currently has six websites, including BCCondos.net, which he said has 10,000 unique visitors per day.
“At any given moment, I have 60 to 80 people online,” he said. “I use Google Analytics to show me which pages people are going on, how long they’re staying, all that stuff.”
Twarog is looking to take BCCondos.net public to raise $3 million so he can update the site to include every property in B.C. He’s already done the research: there are 2,079,952 properties in the province by PID (for parcel identifier, which is how they identify individual properties). This includes 953,512 houses, 220,128 attached properties (i.e., townhouses or duplexes), 347,464 condos and 556,839 listed as “other,” which could include anything from rental apartment blocks to commercial buildings and farms.