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Real estate agents face new wave of harassment – Times Colonist

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Creepy, dirty, aggressive and rude. That’s how Victoria real estate agent Heidi Stieg describes her encounter last year with a man who called her with the intent of harassing her on the phone.

The Pemberton Holmes agent said there’s no question most people would have been affected by the call, which started out as a friendly chat about real estate but quickly deteriorated into one-sided, graphic, sexual and aggressive comments.

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“It got dirty, aggressive and rude. It was gross,” said Stieg, who pointed out her 12 years as the manager of a bar probably served her well during the call, as she had heard enough of that kind of talk in the past.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was ­invasive that someone called my private number, and I could imagine how it could affect someone who has never had to deal with a whole bunch of creeps in their life.”

Yet that’s exactly what a number of real estate agents around B.C. are dealing with.

Media reports from around B.C. have detailed recent calls and texts that deteriorate into aggressive and sexual content. The targets appear to be real estate agents.

According to the reports, the calls and texts come from different phone numbers each time, which could mean software that disguises contact information is being used.

North Vancouver RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries confirmed an investigation is underway involving multiple police forces. DeVries said there are a number of potential charges, including ones related to unwanted communications, harassment or more serious crimes.

“Certainly, the most important thing is the recipient’s safety,” he said. “This appears to be targeted contact and that is much more alarming for us as police, particularly if the content of the communications makes the person feel unsafe.”

In the wake of those reports, the Victoria Real Estate Board has sent a reminder to all agents to contact police if they receive one of the calls.

The board reminded agents to put their safety first when seeing with new clients by meeting in a safe place, telling colleagues where and when they are meeting, recording identification of new clients and adhering to safety protocols that agents and their brokerages have in place.

David Langlois, president of the board, said it’s a regular reminder. “We’ve been singing that chorus for quite some time.”

Safety protocols were put in place after the 2008 death of Victoria real estate agent Lindsay Buziak.

Buziak, then 24, was fatally stabbed after being lured to a supposed showing of an upscale property in the Gordon Head area of Saanich.

Stieg, a friend of Buziak’s, said she has her own safety procedures in place, like requiring identification be provided before meeting new clients in order to verify who she’s dealing with. She said she never deviates, even if it might cost her business.

“Lindsay was a good friend of mine and I don’t want that ever replayed for anyone,” she said. “No business is worth taking that risk.”

Stieg said from what she’s heard from other agents about this latest rash of obscene phone calls, it may be the same person who called her and other agents last summer.

“I understand the conversation this time is a little different,” she said, noting her caller claimed initially to be a mortgage broker wanting to discuss a deal before sliding into his ulterior motive.

Saanich police Const. Markus Anastasiades said they have not yet received any reports about the harassing phone calls. “We have been made recently aware of these calls occurring in other jurisdictions and urge any person receiving harassing communications to hang up and call their local police,” he said.

aduffy@timescolonist.com

— With a file from North Shore News

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Canadian Real Estate May Get Cooling Measures As Early As This Month: Scotiabank – Better Dwelling

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One of Canada’s big banks expects cooling measures for real estate soon. Derek Holt, Scotiabank’s Head of Capital Markets Economics, sees the Spring Budget including cooling measures for real estate. In a note penned to investors, the economist highlights how policy has been overly loose. He feels the next budget likely includes measures to cool the market, which can come as early as the end of the month.

Canadian Home Sales Are Unusually Strong For A Pandemic

Canadian home sales are extremely strong. Not just for a recessionary environment, but in general – they’re better than they were in Canada’s best economy. Holt points to Toronto home sales reported earlier this week. Sales were up 15.9% for the previous month, when  seasonally adjusted (SA). This follows a 3.1% monthly increase in January, which followed a 21% monthly increase in December. He also notes these increases are accompanied by fast rising home prices.

Greater Vancouver also reported an equally hot market just a day before Toronto. National sales data will be released later this month, and is likely to show similar trends across Canada. This is occuring in the winter, which Holt emphasized multiple times. He further adds, “Apparently, there are a lot of masochists out there who are not fussed one bit about moving in -20’C or colder weather and heavy snow!”

Canadian Home Permits Increased Over 7% 

Canadian new home permits are also a point watching, according to Holt. He highlights house permits increased 7.3% m/m in January. This breaks down as 15.1% m/m for singles, and 4.1% m/m for multiples. This doesn’t just highlight a rapidly expanding market, but “reinforces the move to the ‘burbs” narrative, he stated. 

“If Canadians are taking out permits and buying resales at such a pace during the winter, what does that say when the key Spring housing market and vaccines arrive?” Holt wrote. Adding, “Policy is arguably overly easy and macro prudential changes may be afoot in a Spring budget.”

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These are the cheapest real estate listings in Calgary right now | Urbanized – Daily Hive

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Good news for YYC house-hunters – you don’t have to break the bank to purchase your own home.

In this month’s roundup of Zoocasa’s cheapest real estate listings in Calgary, affordable properties can be found throughout the city for under $300,000.

A lower budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise your standards, as most of these properties offer updated kitchens and bathrooms, recently replaced flooring, and state-of-the-art appliances.

If you’re in the market for a new home, take a peek at these Calgary real estate listings.

5. $299,992: 6420 26th Avenue NE

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Three bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • 826 sq ft

This Pineridge home is close to schools, playgrounds, and shopping, making it a convenient location for anyone. The property offers a detached garage and a fully-fenced yard.

4. $274,900: 21 Copperstone Villas SE

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Four bedrooms
  • Two bathroom
  • 1,132 sq ft

Located in Copperfield, this townhome features a fully developed basement, spacious tiled front entryway, and upgraded appliances in the kitchen. This is an end-unit property boasting tons of natural light and electric fireplaces.

3. $225,000: 14625 Shawnee Hill SW

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Two bedrooms
  • Two bathrooms
  • 1,174 sq ft

This bungalow-style condo is located in The Highbury building in Evergreen Estates-Shawnee Slopes. The unit was recently updated and has stainless steel appliances, a spacious master bedroom, a walk-through closet, and luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout. Condo fees include everything except electricity.

2. $219,900: 3 – 812 McNeill Road NE

cheapest real estate Calgary

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Two bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • 441 sq ft

In this Mayland Heights bi-level home, house-hunters will find large windows, a dining area with a cozy built-in bench, and a spacious balcony with downtown and mountain views. The unit has been freshly painted and boasts new laminate floors.

1. $179,000: 32 – 3800 Fonda Way SE

cheapest real estate Calgary

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Three bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • 1,099 sq ft

Live in this new Fonda condo, featuring a renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a main floor office, and laminate-engineered hardwood flooring throughout. The upper level is home to a spacious master bedroom and recently renovated four-piece bathroom.

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Real estate company says demand for housing in Niagara will continue to grow – NiagaraFallsReview.ca

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A Hamilton-based real estate company says Niagara’s economy as well as its real estate market are poised for continued growth.

After placing a renovated 12-unit apartment on Drummond Road on the market, Crescendo Equity secured a total sale of $2.9 million. That translates to $247,000 per unit, compared to a previous benchmark of $176,000 for units in the area.

The company predicts demand for housing in Niagara will continue to grow through 2021.

”Market conditions are being strengthened by interprovincial migration, as home buyers and renters from the Greater Toronto Area, Peel and Halton regions look to Niagara for more space and better affordability,” said Mathew Moxness, Crescendo Equity’s founder.

The Drummond Road property is part of the company’s larger strategy to take older, underperforming stock and reposition properties for maximum occupancy and potential.

“With growing demand for multi-family housing throughout Ontario, repositioning aging and underperforming assets will help to supply the segment and provide housing for those who need it,” Moxness said.

The company, which offers opportunities to private and group investors, purchased a shuttered retirement home in Niagara Falls last year, and plans to convert the property into apartments.

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