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Fourth Greater Victoria real estate agent fired over allegations of sexual assault – Vancouver Island Free Daily – vancouverislandfreedaily.com

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RE/MAX Island Properties issued a statement Tuesday to say it has fired an agent who has been accused of sexual assault in multiple posts to social media.

He is the fourth Greater Victoria real estate agent to have been fired in the last week.

“As a survivor, I personally know how difficult it is to report sexualized violence, and I commend those who spoke publicly to bring an important issue to the community’s attention,” co-owner Susan Froher wrote. “My team and I explicitly state our support for all victims of sexualized violence, and we join in solidarity with the community to admonish this behaviour and empower survivors.”

On top of firing the accused agent, Froher said RE/MAX has also asked him to surrender his license.

The three other fired agents were all associated with Engel and Volkers Vancouver Island at the time of the alleged assaults, but two of them were working at The Agency Victoria when the allegations arose.

In statements made on March 25 on Instagram, The Agency – a luxury real estate company – said it had just become aware of the allegations made against two individuals and that it was taking appropriate action to resolve the matter.

RELATED: Greater Victoria’s sexual violence allegations find safe space on social media

“The allegations predate the agents working with our brokerage, although, we are extremely concerned and taking these allegations seriously,” the statement read.

A few hours after its first post, The Agency took to Instagram once again to say it had fired the two accused.

At the time of the allegations, the two agents were working as independent contractors with Engel and Volkers Vancouver Island.

Owner of the company Scott Piercy said although the individuals left Engel and Volkers in 2019, the company is taking the allegations seriously and will continue to look into it.

“We support those who have come forward to report sexual harassment and abuse and will do our utmost to eliminate this abhorrent behaviour,” Piercy said in a statement. The company has arranged sexual harassment counselling, trauma support and sensitivity training for its entire team.

On the same day, Victoria pub The Local said it had also become aware of allegations against one of its minority partners and had severed ties with them.

On March 27, another accused individual’s webpage and social media accounts had been taken down and Engel and Volkers Vancouver Island, which the person had been working under, said it had cut all ties with them.

READ ALSO: Victoria restaurant fires employee accused of sexual assault, commits to education

The allegations have been emerging from a social media page intended to give people a space to anonymously report sexualized and domestic violence. It is the same page where allegations emerged earlier this year against employees of Chuck’s Burger Bar and E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar. Both of which have fired employees and Chuck’s Burger Bar later closed permanently.

None of the allegations have been tested in court. Charges have not been filed in any of these cases and the Victoria Police Department could not comment on whether it was investigating.

Horrified by the sexual assault allegations arising online about fellow Greater Victoria real estate agents, one agent started a GoFundMe to support survivors. By midday March 30, the campaign had raised nearly $120,000.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria realtor starts GoFundMe for survivors of sexual assault

Anyone who wishes to report an incident or has information about an incident can call the VicPD report desk at 250-995-7654 ext. 1.

The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre offers counselling, victim services and a sexual assault response team. The centre can be reached 24/7 at 250-383-3232.

With files from Jane Skrypnek

Editors note: An incorrect image originally attached to this story has been removed.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

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Credit 'Zombies' on the Rise as Real Estate Firms Lead Charge – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — The walking dead of the corporate world are multiplying — and the property industry sustains the most.

A new study on companies that have dodged default for years, even though they don’t have enough money to pay interest, comes just as markets from Hong Kong to New York are roiled by real-estate giant China Evergrande Group’s showdown with its creditors. 

Consultancy firm Kearney found their numbers have expanded by 9% globally in the past decade, in part because loose monetary policy has allowed them to keep rolling over debts. 

While “zombies” have been on the rise since the last financial crisis, the pandemic looks likely to bolster their ranks, with more companies seeking waivers after taking on unsustainable piles of debt when economies were shuttered.

The OECD defines zombie companies as those that have been trading for more than 10 years and have been unable to cover their interest burden from their operating revenues for three consecutive years. 

Kearney studied records of 67,000 listed companies from 152 countries. It found:

  • 7.4% of real-estate firms were zombies
  • 5.9% of healthcare
  • 5.5% of telecommunications and media
  • 5.1% of travel and tourism

Within retail, online retail had a slightly bigger share of zombies than brick-and-mortar counterparts, potentially due to the low profitability of online players, according to the report.   

Europe

At least 5 issuers are offering debt on European markets on Thursday, with new issuance volumes of at least EU2.25 billion-equivalent.

  • Bank of England voted to keep bond-buying target and interest rate benchmark unchanged at a record-low 0.1%
  • Ashmore Group Plc’s Jan Dehn is set to leave the firm, ending a 16-year stint at the emerging market-focused money manager
  • SMCP’s majority shareholder, European TopSoho’s, failed to redeem at maturity EU250 million 4.0% bonds exchangeable into SMCP shares

Asia

Financial regulators in Beijing issued a broad set of instructions to China Evergrande Group, telling the embattled developer to focus on completing unfinished properties and repaying individual investors while avoiding a near-term default on dollar bonds.

  • Global investors will focus on China Evergrande Group’s $83.5 million interest payment due Thursday on a five-year dollar note
  • The People’s Bank of China pumped in 110 billion yuan ($17 billion) of cash with seven- and 14-day reverse repurchase agreements.
  • Four Chinese firms were offering dollar bonds Thursday, ending a three-day lull in the Asian credit market amid holidays and concern about contagion from the distressed property giant Evergrande

U.S.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said there is little direct U.S. exposure to debt of the Chinese company Evergrande but said it could impact global financial conditions

  • Powell said the Fed could begin scaling back asset purchases as soon as November and complete the process by mid-2022
  • The takeover of medical supply company Medline Industries Inc. is being funded by the largest leveraged buyout loan in three years
  • A gauge of volatility in the $4 trillion market for state and local-government debt has tumbled to just shy of a record low set in early January

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Record-breaking real estate: North Saanich property sells for nearly $23M – CHEK

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The sale of a multi-million dollar listing in North Saanich is shattering any previous record for highest house price on Vancouver Island.

For $22.75 million, the Lawrence Road property includes a 13,000-square-foot home with eight bathrooms, six bedrooms, a two-storey study, a detached yoga studio, an infinity pool, tennis court, gym — even an underground wine cellar.

The president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, David Langlois, said the property is unique.

“You are looking at a very high-end, very interesting property that is going to offer features that you simply can’t find anywhere else,” he said.

It also comes with its own detached two-bedroom guest cottage.

“It’s significant in that it’s certainly the largest recorded sale that we’ve seen in our marketplace,” Langlois said.

“We do have a lot of really valuable real estate throughout the Greater Victoria area. We’ve got lots of private islands, and lots of estate-like settings. It’s not surprising.”

In June, a property in Metchosin sold for $12 million. It sits on 67 acres and a stream runs under parts of the 10,000-square-foot home.

WATCH: Luxury home with stream running through it sets real estate record in Greater Victoria

At the time, it was the highest price ever paid through the Victoria Real Estate Board listings.

Tina Ireland, a regional assessor with BC Assessment, said there are fewer homes in the luxury market available right now.

“The luxury home market is more unique though of course, because the properties are more unique.”

With demand up for properties worth $4 million and more, so are prices.

“Last year’s assessment, we had seen a 10 per cent increase,” Ireland said. “This year I think we’ll see at least that in our assessed values.”

There have been 245 sales of homes in the $2 million category so far in 2021, compared with just 94 in the same period in 2020.

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Dubai real-estate firm DAMAC approved to take firm private – 95.7 News

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Dubai real-estate company known for its deals with former President Donald Trump said Thursday it had received regulator approval for an effort to take the firm private.

DAMAC Properties still plans to offer $595 million for outstanding shares of the company, the firm said in a filing on Dubai Financial Market stock exchange.

It said it would offer an update on the plan in the coming weeks. It earlier announced plans in June for the offer to take the company private, then withdrew them as regulators examined the plan.

The buyout would be through Maple Invest Co. Ltd., a holding company of DAMAC’s billionaire founder Hussain Sajwani. Sajwani owns nearly four-fifths of the company through various investment firms.

DAMAC stock traded up Thursday over 3% on the news. The firm has a market capitalization of over $2 billion.

DAMAC is known in Dubai for a development that features a Trump-branded golf club surrounded by villas and apartments, making it the only one of its kind in the Middle East that bears the Trump logo.

The company’s partnership with the Trump Organization to manage and run the golf course was struck before Trump’s election as U.S. president.

The Associated Press

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