Celebrating 60 Years of Organized Real Estate in Nova Scotia

Every year in Nova Scotia, more than two billion dollars in real estate trades hands through the efforts of REALTORS®. These transactions are possible because of the public’s trust in REALTORS®, developed over sixty years of organized real estate in Nova Scotia.

In 1943, with the involvement of founding Halifax- Dartmouth Real Estate Board (HDREB) member Pat King, 17 Canadian real estate Boards formed the Canadian Association of Real Estate Board (now the Canadian Real Estate Association.) CAREB started using the term REALTOR® in 1944.

Most of the Boards that would later join to form the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® (NSAR) were founded in the 1950s. The Province of Nova Scotia introduced legislation regulating the practice of real estate in 1957 and the HDREB was formally incorporated the following year. This gave the HDREB the authority to act as a provincial advocate for real estate in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia’s Boards started formally co-operating in the 1970s with the establishment of the Nova Scotia Real EstateAssociation, a REALTOR®-led regulator of real estate.

By the 1990s, there were multiple reasons for Nova Scotia’s Boards to amalgamate. It was expensive for the HDREB to maintain a digital MLS® system and brokers recognized it would be efficient to centralize their Boards’ executive functioning education efforts.

The Cape Breton, Halifax-Dartmouth, Highland, Northern and South Shore Boards combined with the NSREA to form NSAR on April 14, 2000.

Yarmouth joined NSAR in 2006 and Annapolis Valley in 2016.

On June 8, 2016, Premier Stephen McNeil proclaimed the province’s first Day of the REALTOR®.

This day recognizes NSAR members’ impact on the province’s economy and communities through real estate transactions and charity work – all of which is only possible because of the hard work of our dedicated members, past and present.


1943 – Seventeen real estate Boards including Halifax-Dartmouth form the Canadian Association of Real Estate Boards (CAREB), which becomes the Canadian Real Estate Association in 1971.

1944 – CAREB begins using the term “REALTOR.”

1950s – Real estate Boards are established across Nova Scotia, including in Cape Breton and Annapolis Valley.

1951 – The Photo Co-Op System, Canada’s earliest MLS® forerunner, is established.

1957 – Nova Scotia introduces the Real Estate Agents’ Licensing Act.

May 3, 1958 – Nova Scotia recognizes the incorporation of the Halifax-Dartmouth Real Estate Board (HDREB).

1960s – The Photo Co-Op System is rebranded the Multiple Listing Service® System.

1970s – The Nova Scotia Real Estate Association (NSREA) is established as a REALTOR®-led regulatory body for real estate.

1980s – NSAR’s first mandatory continuing education class is established, and the HDREB begins computerized MLS® data entry.

April 14, 2000 - The Halifax-Dartmouth, South Shore, Northern, Highland and Cape Breton regions amalgamate with the NSREA to form the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® (NSAR).

2004 – NSAR’s first online MLS® provider enables REALTORS® to manage property listings independently.

2006 – The Yarmouth Real Estate Board joins NSAR.

2010 – Pat King, a founding member of the HDREB and three-time HDREB president, retires after more than 55 years in the industry.

2016 – The Annapolis Valley Real Estate Board joins NSAR, and Premier Stephen McNeil proclaims June 8 “Day of the REALTOR®.”

The Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® represents more than 1,500 brokers, salespeople and affiliate members throughout the province. NSAR serves its members through a wide variety of educational programs, publications and special services. REALTOR® is a trademark, which identifies real estate professionals who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association and, as such, subscribe to a high standard of professional service and a strict code of ethics.