Real Estate

Toronto real estate class-action could affect billions of dollars in commissions

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A Federal Court judge on Sept. 25 allowed a class-action lawsuit alleging home sellers in the Toronto area have been forced to pay artificially inflated commissions for years. The lawsuit alleges major brokers and real estate organizations in Toronto implemented rules that essentially stifled competition for buyer brokerage services, leading to higher prices. But what exactly is buyer brokerage and what is its role in the potentially landmark lawsuit? The Financial Post’s Shantaé Campbell explains.

What does ‘buyer brokerage’ mean?

Buyer brokerage refers to a real estate agreement where a broker represents the buyer in a property transaction, in contrast to the traditional setup in which brokers primarily represented sellers. The shift toward buyer representation began in the 1990s in Canada, leading to the development of buyer agency agreements, allowing buyers to have exclusive representation in the homebuying process.

This transformation prompted the creation of specific legislations and regulations

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Real Estate

Billions of Dollars of Bad Real-Estate Debt Could Mean Big Bank Losses

  • Lenders, including major banks, are expanding their provisions to guard against loan losses.
  • The rapidly growing reserves reflect concerns about the health of commercial-real-estate debt.
  • The provisions put a drag on earnings, curtail lending, and could spur a cash crunch for some banks.

This earnings season, some major banks bucked tumult in the sector by raking in record revenues and surpassing Wall Street expectations.

But a blemish is building on the balance sheets of a growing number of financial institutions, in the form of cash reserves that banks and other lenders are required to collect against expected loan losses — including souring debts tied to commercial real estate. 

The reserves, stagnant money that doesn’t earn a return, place a drag on earnings, curtail lending, and show how hundreds of billions of dollars of problem real-estate assets, such as office buildings, are beginning to inflict wider financial damage.

The US’s four

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