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industry

Real Estate

Generative AI can change real estate, but the industry must change to reap the benefits

Generative AI (gen AI) is maturing at an auspicious moment for the real estate industry. Investors have mountains of both proprietary and third-party data about properties, communities, tenants, and the market itself. This information can be used to customize existing gen AI tools so that they can perform real estate–specific tasks, such as identifying opportunities for investors at lightning speed, revolutionizing building and interior design, creating marketing materials, and facilitating customer journeys while opening up new revenue streams.

Although gen AI has only recently captured the public’s imagination, AI has been fundamentally changing the way the world does business for decades. This more familiar version of AI—also known as analytical AI—is goal oriented and focused on activities such as predicting values for a future forecast or assigning categories to segment customers. It is already embedded in parts of the business world: AI-assisted forecasts, for example, have altered how investment professionals

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Real Estate

Real estate industry holds its breath as commissions system teeters

Florida Realtor Alexandré Worthington is already bracing for a shift that threatens a tear down a compensation system that has ruled his industry for more than a century.

“It’s the perfect time to pick up the pieces,” Worthington said. “It’s a perfect time to reflect on the changes that could be coming and how to prepare for them.”

In a federal civil case, a Kansas City jury last month found the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and major brokerages conspired to keep commissions artificially high. The result has left the real estate industry holding its collective breath, as experts say it is on the cusp of a radical reorganization that could affect everything about the business.

“There’s a lot of speculation out there around how this will play out,” said Ryan Tomasello, who covers the real estate technology sector

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Real Estate

Class action on Toronto real estate industry commissions gets go ahead

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After two years of deliberations, the Federal Court has granted approval for a class-action lawsuit alleging price-fixing and anti-competitive practices to proceed against the real estate industry in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The lawsuit, filed in April 2021 on behalf of Toronto resident Mark Sunderland and anyone who sold a home in the GTA after 2010, alleges misconduct by several of the nation’s leading brokerages, including Century 21, Remax and IproRealty Ltd. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) are also named in the lawsuit.

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The allegations within the lawsuit assert that the brokerages conspired to artificially increase buyer brokerage commissions, which were shouldered by home sellers in the GTA. It is also alleged that CREA and TRREB facilitated and contributed to the execution of this arrangement.

On Sept. 25, Chief Justice Paul Crampton permitted the case to

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Real Estate

Real Estate Industry Reacts To Feds Removal Of GST On New Rentals

In a bit of a surprising, but very welcome, turn of events, the Government of Canada is eliminating the GST on new rental construction, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday in London, Ontario, in his remarks to close out the National Caucus Retreat.

Previously, under what was referred to as “self-supply” rules, developers of new rental buildings had to pay the 5% GST on the fair market value of the project — factoring in construction costs and land value, among other things — upon completion.


(Rebates are available on units with a fair market value between $350,000 and $450,000, but many find the number too low to be helpful.)

However, developers of strata condominiums could, essentially, bypass the GST because it’s paid by the individual homebuyers.

Building housing is a business, whether we like it or not, and for businesses, if it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make sense,

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Real Estate

China‘s property sector is world’s ‘most important’ industry, says Fitch’s James McCormack

China’s property sector is continuing its yearslong crisis, as giant developers risk default and home prices continue to sink, perhaps by more than what official data suggests.

Real estate constitutes about 30% of China’s GDP, making it the single biggest contributor to the world’s second-largest economy.

That makes it the “most important single sector of the global economy,” James McCormack, Fitch’s global head of sovereigns, told Bloomberg TV in a Thursday interview. 

“There’s a structural change underway; it is not going to be the growth driver of the Chinese economy the way it has been in the past,” he continued.

Yet China is unlikely to step in and provide “massive support to property developers,” McCormack predicted, given Beijing’s previous wish to lower debt in the real estate sector and reduce property’s overall importance to the economy. 

The decline of real estate was not “unintended,” McCormack believes, even though the “spillovers

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