Criminalizing the way Canadians sell their homes is not an effective solution to address local housing challenges.

August 25, 2021: 

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA) is pleased to see all parties focus on housing affordability during this election. “A debate surrounding what it takes to focus on a healthy housing continuum absolutely should be taking center stage given the importance it has of building individual and family wealth, and in turn a strong economy,” comments Chris Guérette, SRA CEO. 

As the province with the highest percentage of millennials, Saskatchewan knows well that housing affordability and choice is important for its population and future growth. SRA stands firmly on the side of Saskatchewan homeowners and believes that more housing means more opportunity, more choice, and a healthier housing continuum in our province. And a healthy housing continuum means choice and accessibility in moving up and down that continuum. It’s a cornerstone of a growing economy.

Regulating real estate through the criminal code is not a housing plan.
Yesterday, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau unveiled his party’s housing plan which included criminalizing blind bidding on homes in Canada.  

This plan is difficult to digest for hard working Canadians who choose how to sell their homes, by regulating real estate professionals and practices through the criminal code. “This approach is heavy handed and pitting homeowners against buyers at a time when supply and the removal of barriers in getting housing to market at the local level should be considered priority,” adds Guérette.

The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association does not believe nationally criminalizing the way homeowners sell their homes is an effective solution to address a lack of housing in some local markets. For many, a home is a family’s greatest asset – it’s where they raise their families, how they save for retirement, and consumers should be in the driver’s seat when the time comes to sell. 

Research shows that housing is a very local issue. 
The main influencer on its success is not the banks, CMHC or the federal government, but a supportive and strong municipality. A national policy cannot effectively address local housing realities. A national policy implemented for Vancouver and Toronto is not one that will likely work for Saskatchewan. And at the end of the day, you cannot fix Canada’s housing crisis by denying millions of hardworking families the choice of how to sell their home.  

 Homeownership remains out of reach for far too many because there is not enough housing supply to meet demand, and this is a local challenge that requires local solutions.  

 Open bidding is still bidding.  

In Australia and New Zealand, where they have implemented open bidding, housing prices are still high and continue to rise and in fact, sellers overwhelmingly choose to use an open bidding process. Far from making homes more affordable, auctions create chaos, drive prices higher, and dangerously push buyers to make rushed decisions involving tens of thousands of dollars in just minutes.  

 The proposed banning of blind bidding removes the ability for homeowners to sell their home the way they want. Saskatchewan homeowners, families and communities deserve better.


For Interviews and more information:

Chris Guérette 


Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association