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Real estate heir Robert Durst sentenced to life in prison for murdering best friend – CBC.ca

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New York real estate heir Robert Durst was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without chance of parole for the murder of his best friend more than two decades ago.

Durst, 78, was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court last month of first-degree murder for shooting Susan Berman point-blank in the back of the head at her home in December 2000.

Durst silenced Berman to prevent her from incriminating him in the reopened investigation into his wife’s 1982 disappearance in New York, prosecutors said.

Berman provided a phony alibi for Durst when Kathie Durst vanished, prosecutors said.

Durst testified that he didn’t kill either woman, but said on cross-examination that he would lie if he had.

Prosecutors also presented evidence that he intentionally killed a neighbour in Galveston, Texas, in 2001, though he had been acquitted of murder in that case after testifying that he shot the man in self-defence.

Durst is the grandson of Joseph Durst, who founded the Durst Organization, one of Manhattan’s largest commercial real estate firms. His father, Seymour, took the reins of the company and later handed control of it to a younger brother, Douglas.

Robert Durst settled his share of the family fortune and was estimated by prosecutors to have $100 million US.

Motion for new trial denied

His lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, said they plan to appeal and refrained from making other remarks during sentencing.

Judge Mark Windham denied a motion for a new trial, rejecting arguments there was insufficient evidence or that he had erred 15 different ways in prior rulings.

“You said the court erred so many times it made me feel self-conscious,” Windham joked.

He said prosecutors had overwhelming evidence that proved Durst’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at least five ways, including a devastating cross-examination of Durst on the witness stand and an admission Durst made in the climax of the six-part documentary, The Jinx: The Life and Crimes of Robert Durst.

The trial came six years after the apparent confession was aired. Durst, who was still wearing a live microphone after an interview, went into a bathroom and said to himself, “What the hell did I do? … Killed them all, of course.”

Lead prosecutor John Lewin, who had pursued Durst for years, credited The Jinx filmmakers Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling for their revealing interviews, which helped make a case against Durst.

Family of Durst’s missing wife denied chance to speak

Durst’s trial began in March 2020 and was adjourned for 14 months as the coronavirus pandemic swept the U.S. and courts were closed. It resumed in May with the jury that reached its verdict Sept. 17.

Berman, the daughter of a Las Vegas mobster, was Durst’s longtime confidante who was preparing to tell police that she had provided a phony alibi for him after his wife vanished in New York in 1982.

Kathie McCormick Durst has never been found. Robert Durst has never been charged with a crime related to her disappearance.

Her family had hoped to present statements to the court Thursday about their loss, but prosecutors denied the request, according to emails sent to their lawyer.

Attorney Robert Abrams, who showed up at the hearing. said the McCormack family was disappointed, and he was outraged.

“The family is not going to go travel 3,000 miles to be a prop in some Hollywood production and sit there and not be able to make their victim impact statements,” Abrams said. “This is not some movie where it’s gross spectacle. This is their lives, and they’ve suffered for 40 years.”

Deputy District Attorney John Lewin, Kaufman and others pleaded with Durst now that he’s unlikely to be freed to tell the McCormack family where she was buried.

“I hope in your final days and hours you will … give the McCormacks what little they are asking for: to find Kathie, to lay her to rest appropriately, finally and at long last,” Kaufman said. “This is the most important question that still haunts us.”

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Toronto's real estate market has 'Gen Z' questioning if they will ever own single family homes: report | CTV News – CTV News Toronto

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As Toronto’s real estate market remains hot with prices rising and home sales hitting new highs, a new report is claiming that more than half of the city’s ‘Generation Z’ residents have given up on the dream of ever owning a single-family home.

The report, released Wednesday by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and Mustel Group, surveyed 1,502 Canadians between the ages of 18 and 28 living in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

According to the report, 52 per cent of the Toronto residents surveyed do not believe they will ever buy a single-family home.

This is higher than in Montreal and Calgary, where 48 and 39 per cent, respectively, of young residents share the same sentiment, but lower than in Vancouver where 56 per cent of respondents reported having given up on the idea of single-family home ownership.

HIGHER DENSITY HOUSING MORE LIKELY

In Toronto, 82 per cent of respondents who had never before purchased a home reported feeling worried that they will not be able to do so because of rising house prices, with 38 per cent indicating they are “very worried.”

However, 75 per cent of Torontonians within this age group said that they are still likely to buy and own a primary residence within their lifetime — whether that be a condominium, apartment, townhouse or single-family home.

In fact, approximately half of those surveyed stated that their first home will most likely be a higher-density housing type.

Twenty-five per cent of respondents reported that their first home purchase will likely be a condominium, while 18 per cent said that their first home will be an attached home/townhouse and seven per cent said that their first home purchase will be a duplex/triplex.

Despite high prices and a red-hot market, the report indicates that Toronto’s Generation Z is still remaining optimistic when it comes to ownership. Seventy-three per cent said they are likely to buy a primary residence in their lifetime — in Toronto or elsewhere — and 46 per cent claimed they are “very likely” to do so.

According to the report, 11 per cent of those surveyed already own a primary residence.

TORONTO PRICES HIT ALL-TIME HIGH

In November, the GTA’s real estate market continued to rise as home sales topped a November record and average selling prices reached an all-time high.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reported last week that 9,017 homes changed hands during the month of November, up three per cent from 8,728 during the prior November.

In addition, the average home price in the region increased to $1,163,323, an almost 22 per cent jump from $955,889 in November 2020.

According to the board, demand for all types of Toronto housing continues to outpace supply. However, the condo market, in particular, is tightening and prices are accelerating more rapidly in suburban areas.

“This speaks to the broadening of economic recovery, with first-time buyers moving back into the market in a big way this year,” said TRREB’s chief market analyst Jason Mercer, in a release.

“The condo and townhouse segments, with lower price points on average, will remain popular as population growth picks up over the next two years.”

With files from The Canadian Press.

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Montreal real estate prices soar 21% amid lower listings, sales in November – Global News

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The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers says November home sales and new listings fell in Montreal as prices soared by more than 20 per cent compared with a year ago.

The association says sales for the month totalled 4,402, a 17 per cent drop from 5,296 in November 2020.

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New listings amounted to 5,056, down 14 per cent from 5,848 last November.

The median price of a single-family home soared by 21 per cent compared with a year ago to reach $525,000, while condos went up by 18 per cent to hit $374,000 and plexes with two to five units had a 15 per cent spike pushing them to $725,000.

Read more:

Montreal October home sales down from record level last year, but prices up

Apart from condominiums, which saw a slight decline, the association says the median prices were also up from October 2021.

Charles Brant, the association’s director of market analysis, says he noticed a lack of supply and persistently high demand last month that placed pressure on prices and encouraged potential sellers to get into the market.

“The announcement of an earlier-than-expected rise in interest rates no doubt motivated potential sellers to advance their project in order to benefit from the sustained activity and the opportunity to sell at the best price,” he said in a statement.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Montreal real estate prices soar 21% amid lower listings in Nov.: brokers group – moosejawtoday.com

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MONTREAL — The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers says November home sales and new listings fell in Montreal as prices soared by more than 20 per cent compared with a year ago.

The association says sales for the month totalled 4,402, a 17 per cent drop from 5,296 in November 2020.

New listings amounted to 5,056, down 14 per cent from 5,848 last November.

The median price of a single-family soared by 21 per cent compared with a year ago to reach $525,000, while condos went up by 18 per cent to hit $374,000 and plexes with two to five units had a 15 per cent spike pushing them to $725,000. 

Apart from condominiums, which saw a slight decline, the association says the median prices were also up from October 2021.

Charles Brant, the association’s director of market analysis, says he noticed a lack of supply and persistently high demand last month that placed pressure on prices and encouraged potential sellers to get into the market. 

“The announcement of an earlier-than-expected rise in interest rates no doubt motivated potential sellers to advance their project in order to benefit from the sustained activity and the opportunity to sell at the best price,” he said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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