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Real Estate Has Birthdays, Too

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 01 July 2003 00:00

Canada is celebrating its 136th birthday on July 1st, but there are real estate birthdays to celebrate this year as well.

2003 marks the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg Real Estate Board (WREB), the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) and the 60th birthday of the Canadian Real Estate Association , which represents more than 65,000 real estate brokers/agents and salespeople across Canada.

On March 18, 1903, The Winnipeg Real Estate Board was created by an Act of the Manitoba Legislature. Board members have been bound by a formal Code of Ethics since 1908. In 1930, the Manitoba Government introduced mandatory licensing of those engaged in the real estate business. WREB became one of the first "wired" boards when it introduced an on-line computerized MLS system in 1971.

WREB now represents over 1400 Manitoba real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers and financial members active in the local Winnipeg real estate market.

The Calgary Real Estate Board is a cooperative association supporting Calgary and areas more than 4,000 Realtors®.

WREB and CREB, along with 110 other real estate boards, 10 provincial associations and one territorial association, are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), one of Canada's largest single-industry trade associations.

CREA's primary mission is to represent its members at the federal level of government and to act as a watchdog on national legislation that pertains to the real estate industry. CREA has frequently taken stands to defend the public's right to own and enjoy property.

CREA owns the MLS® trademark and has a proprietary interest in the REALTOR® trademark which is considered "an assurance of integrity." It can only be used in Canada by members of The Canadian Real Estate Association who accept and respect a Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice . This Code, a guarantee of professional conduct, is "a firm set of rules, describing what kind of performance [consumers] have a right to expect from a REALTOR." A REALTOR's pledge is to be honest in disclosing property information and forthright in providing the facts needed to make real estate decisions.

The real estate database systems operated by member boards and associations under the MLS® trademark provide an ongoing inventory of available properties that represents about 90 percent of all resale homes in Canada.

The association also operates the and the Commercial Listing Service web sites and the intranet REALTOR Link™ site for members across Canada.

The Canadian Real Estate Association was created, as World War Two ended, because REALTORS in Canada were concerned that emergency war-time measures such as rent control might be adopted as permanent government policy. On March 2, 1943 eleven Ontario boards and representatives from five other provinces drew up the first constitution of the Canadian Association of Real Estate Boards – or CAREB. The first national association convention was held the next year, and delegates adopted the term "REALTOR" for use by those who were members of CAREB. In 1971, the name was changed to The Canadian Real Estate Association.

Each month, The Canadian Real Estate Association compiles the statistics of existing homes and properties sold through the Multiple Listing Service® system. This provides an overview of the existing housing market in Canada, and tracks market trends for prices and properties sold. CREA reports the national average sale price for homes in May 2003 was C$220,585, compared with C$205,333 in 2002.

As Canadians "from sea to sea to sea" gather to celebrate the birth of this country, perhaps a few fireworks should be set off to acknowledge the contributions of organized real estate.

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