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Saskatoon real estate company collapse leaves millions unaccounted for, court documents reveal – CTV News Saskatoon

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A Saskatoon real estate company controlling hundreds of properties has ceased operations and left millions of dollars from dozens of investors unaccounted for.

That’s according to court filings obtained by CTV News.

Epic Alliance Real Estate Inc., which according to its own promotional material, controlled 504 properties in Saskatoon and North Battleford – valued at $126 million total, shut down operations in January.

Saskatchewan’s Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) issued a temporary cease-trade order in October.

The company’s two co-founders, Rochelle Laflamme and Alisa Thompson, informed investors of the company’s demise in a 16-minute Zoom call on Jan. 19.

“We just couldn’t come back from the cease-trade order. The FCAA f***ed us, so that’s it,” a transcription of the call said.

Attempts by CTV News to contact Laflamme and Thompson have been unsuccessful.

The shutdown left investors — mainly from British Columbia and Ontario scrambling to find out what happened to their money.

Epic Alliance offered investors a “hassle-free” landlord program — managing homes for out-of-province investors.

 “It’s a s–t sandwich and we know you guys are invested with us and we know we had a lot of people rallying around for the success,” they said, informing investors they were now landlords for their properties.

Under the landlord program, the investor would take out the mortgage on the home and Epic would take the responsibility for everything else such as finding tenants and maintaining the property.

That program promised the investor a 15 per cent guaranteed rate of return.

At one point, the pair spoke of “trying to hand over” hundreds of properties as they attempted to get keys to all of the unsuspecting landlords.

“Unfortunately, anybody who had any unsecured debts… it’s all gone. Everything is gone. There is no business left and that’s what it is,” the transcription said.

In the video, the pair said Epic Alliance would be claiming bankruptcy.

“Unfortunately, this is where we’re at. So, we had to pretty much lay everyone off last Friday and we are closing the doors,” the transcription said.

The company also raised money through promissory notes — where investors would loan cash to be repaid with interest.

These notes included the loan amount, the beginning and end-term date, and the interest rate.

Epic asked for investments between $50,000 and $500,000 in exchange for the promissory notes

The firm also offered “fund-a-flip” program, where investors could buy homes through Epic — which would oversee improvements and upgrades — and then sell for a profit, often advertised as a 10 per cent return on a one-year investment.

“We tried. For us we’re out of time. We are out of resources. There is nothing left,” the pair said during their Zoom call with investors.

One-hundred-twenty investors have since successfully applied to have a special investigator appointed to try and learn what happened to their money.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Allisen Rothery assigned accounting firm Ernst and Young to the investigation surrounding the estimated $10 million to $20 million in potential losses. Findings are to be revealed in court at the end of April.  

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Canmore real estate developments back on after tribunal ruling | CTV News – CTV News Calgary

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A contentious proposed real estate development in Canmore got new life Tuesday.

One year ago, Canmore town council rejected the Smith Creek development and decided the Three Sisters Village proposal needed significant changes.

Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd., the project developer, appealed the decision to a municipal tribunal, and Tuesday the town was ordered to allow the projects to proceed.

Conservation groups fought the proposal, saying it didn’t provide enough space for wildlife to travel through the valley.

“Unless overturned, this decision will cause harm to the lands, and wildlife movement and habitat of an important part of the Yellowstone to Yukon region,” said a statement issued by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative on Twitter. “Keeping these lands connected and intact is in the best interest of Albertans now and into the future. Connectivity provides the best chance for some of our most cherished and threatened wildlife to thrive.”

There was no word from the Town of Canmore on whether it will appeal the decision.

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Real estate: Average home prices in major Canadian cities – CTV News

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The latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) shows that average home prices in Canada took a slight dip in April compared to one month ago. The organization reported that the average price of all residential property types in Canada was $796,068 in March before dropping to $746,146 in April, with price levels not seasonally adjusted.

Despite this, Canadians still spent more on home purchases in April 2022 than they did in April 2021, with major markets across the country seeing notable increases in average home prices year-over-over.

Some regions, such as St. John’s, N.L., reported a moderate growth in the cost of a home; MLS benchmark prices compiled by the CREA showed that the price of a typical home in the city was about $268,000 in April 2021 before rising to $296,200 exactly one year later. Meanwhile, the average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area, for example, came in at $1.35 million in April 2022, up from about $1.03 million just one year prior.

MLS home price index benchmark prices represent the value of a typical home in different Canadian neighbourhoods. Figures take into account different types of residential housing, and are not seasonally adjusted.

CTVNews.ca has gathered a number of properties that are listed at what is considered the average price of a home in their respective regions. With properties in cities ranging from Kelowna to Moncton, these listings represent the price of a typical home in major Canadian markets.

GREATER VANCOUVER

(Paul Albrighton, Re/Max Crest Realty)

Type: Apartment

Price: $1,375,000

Year Built: 2006

Property Size: 94.48 sq. m

Lot Size: N/A

This unique loft is located in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood, and includes two levels under 17-foot ceilings. Exposed concrete walls and floor-to-ceiling windows give this apartment unit its flair, with a design inspired by the high-end condominiums in New York’s Tribeca neighbourhood. The property also features a modern, European-style kitchen with marble countertops and backsplash, as well as upgraded grey oak floors throughout.

INTERIOR B.C.

(Prime Light Real Estate / Dean Witala, Re/Max Kelowna Stone Sisters)

Type: House

Price: $799,900

Year Built: 2003

Property Size: 182.55 sq. m

Lot Size: under 0.4 hectares

With four bedrooms and two bathrooms, this single-storey home in west Kelowna has an open concept living area, complete with richly-coloured hardwood flooring and vaulted ceilings. The lower level is ideal for entertaining, with a multi-purpose recreation room, while the backyard deck offers views of the mountains nearby. The property is just a short walk away from schools and several hiking trails.

CALGARY

(ListSimple / Sarah Johnston, CIR Realty)

Type: Apartment

Price: $525,000

Year Built: 1911

Property Size: 93.37 sq. m

Lot Size: N/A

Two exposed brick walls give this top-floor loft in downtown Calgary its industrial style. Contrasting the textured brick walls are sanded wood floors, found throughout most of the unit’s 93 square metres. The kitchen includes stainless steel appliances and an island countertop made of stone, while the bedroom has a walk-in closet and provides easy access to a four-piece ensuite bathroom.

SASKATOON

A home listed on the market in Saskatoon. (Quiksell Real Estate Photography / Megan Dyck, Re/Max Saskatoon)

Type: House

Price: $349,000

Year Built: 1959

Property Size: 104.42 sq. m

Located in the Saskatoon neighbourhood of Sutherland, this 104-square-metre bungalow features a mid-century modern design, and its open-concept layout allows the kitchen area to flow into the living and dining rooms on the main floor. The lower level includes a bedroom, living room, and newly-renovated bathroom. In the backyard is a berry garden complete with goji berries, Saskatoon berries, and raspberries.

WINNIPEG

(Janina Nicole Photography / Jennifer Pinder, Ethos Realty Inc.)

Type: Apartment

Price: $354,900

Year Built: 1912

Property Size: 93.55 sq. m

Lot Size: N/A

This two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment mixes old-world charm with modern design, combining century-old wood beams and exposed brick with updated finishes. The unit, found in Winnipeg’s Exchange District, also has its own private rooftop patio overlooking the downtown skyline. Building amenities include a fitness facility and party room, while restaurants, public transportation, and the Waterfront are all located nearby.

GREATER TORONTO

(360Xposure / Tammy Degiorgio, Re/Max Regal Homes)

Type: Apartment

Price: $1,347,500

Year Built: 2000

Property Size: 130 to 149 sq. m

Lot Size: N/A

This apartment in Toronto’s Candy Factory Lofts features an open-concept living space with 12-foot ceilings held up by Douglas fir posts. Natural light seeps in through the large, arched window to help brighten the exposed brick walls. Located in the city’s Queen West neighbourhood, the unit is within walking distance of Trinity Bellwoods Park, as well as a number of shops and restaurants.

OTTAWA

(Next Door Photos / Marnie Bennett and Greg Blok, Bennett Property Shop Realty)

Type: House

Price: $724,922

Year Built: 2016

Property Size: 75 sq. m

Lot Size: 117.65 sq. m

Built in 2016, this three-storey Ottawa home comes with light hardwood floors throughout. On the main floor are a combined kitchen and living area, as well as a bathroom, while the top floor includes two spacious bedrooms, a bathroom and laundry area. The property also has its own private balcony, with the ability to install a barbecue, making it especially easy to entertain friends and family.

MONTREAL

(Simon Ravary / Marie-France Caouette, Re/Max Action)

Type: Apartment

Price: $595,000

Year Built: 2014

Property Size: 73.7 sq. m

Lot Size: N/A

Found in south Montreal, this condominium unit features two bathrooms and two bedrooms across 74 square metres of space. The crisp white walls contrast the rich wood flooring in this concrete building. Amenities include a swimming pool, gym and terrace with a panoramic view of downdown Montreal, and the unit is situated within walking distance of the city core.

GREATER MONCTON

(Mohammad Abrar Sharif / Amreet Sidhu, Exit Realty Associates)

Type: House

Price: $349,900

Year Built: 1961

Property Size: 173.01 sq. m

Lot Size: under 0.2 hectares

Located in the west end of Moncton, this 173-square-foot home with four levels is situated on a large corner lot. With an open layout on the main floor, the spacious living room flows directly into the kitchen. On the second floor are three bedrooms and a bathroom, while the basement level features a family room, kitchenette, and another bathroom. In the backyard is a deck, great for entertaining friends and family.

HALIFAX-DARTMOUTH

(Ludmila O Photogaphy / Joyce Clarke, Re/Max Nova)

Type: House

Price: $524,900

Year Built: 2019

Property Size: 141.21 sq. m

Lot Size: under 0.2 hectares

Only a few years old, this rancher-style home in the Dartmouth community of Nova Scotia has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Both bathrooms have full enclosure tubs with lights, as well as custom vanities and granite countertops. On the main floor, the kitchen features a walk-in pantry, granite countertops, and an open-concept layout, connecting to the living room area, which also leads to a private outdoor backyard.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

(Odyssey Virtual, Michael Thompson / Jeff Ellsworth, Red-Isle Realty Inc.)

Type: House

Price: $339,000

Year Built: mid-1980s

Property Size: 97.55 sq. m

Lot Size: 0.61 hectares

This home in Alberton, P.E.I. sits on a 0.61-hectare lot. Built in the mid-1980s, the two-storey property has since had a number of renovations done, most recently receiving a new vinyl and cedar exterior. The stairway and bannister, however, are original, and lead to a second level with an office area, a master bedroom with a walk-in closet, two additional bedrooms and a bathroom.

ST. JOHN’S

(Tyler Oxford Photography / Scott Graham, Royal LePage Atlantic Homestead)

Type: House

Price: $299,900

Year Built: 2001

Property Size: 159 sq. m

Lot Size: under 0.2 hectares

Not far from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, shopping centres or the highway, this fully developed bungalow in St. John’s is complete with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The lower level of this 159-square-metre home also includes a recreation room. The yard is entirely fenced off and landscaped, while a backyard shed offers additional storage space.

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Early signs point to a slight cooling of Grey-Bruce real estate market – Owen Sound Sun Times

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The head of the local real estate board says the Grey-Bruce market is showing signs of leveling off from the frenzied buying that had been taking place over the past couple of years.

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Steve Dickie, president of the Realtors Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound, said Tuesday that local agents are starting to again see conditions put on sales, some price reductions on listed properties and even a decrease in the number of offers on homes.

“The conversation around offices is that it is not as frenzied as it was last year,” Dickie said. “There are still lots of situations where you have multiple offers, but if you are watching the board on a daily basis every once in a while you will see a price reduction, which we haven’t seen in a long time.”

And Dickie said they are again seeing conditions attached to sales, even the condition on the sale of a buyer’s property, something that was non-existent in 2021.

“There are still lots of offers that are straight cash offers, but we are starting to see some conditions in there,” Dickie said.

“We are even seeing the odd home inspection. That has been one of the side effects of this whole thing is that there have been a lot of home inspectors that have gone out of business because they just had no work.”

Dickie said it is hard to say what has caused the slight cooling of the market, but rising interest rates could be a factor. Last month the Bank of Canada raised rates half a per cent, and indicated future rate hikes could be possible to try to help tame surging inflation. An easing of pandemic fear and even the War in Ukraine could be having an impact on the housing market locally, Dickie said.

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“Any time there is a world event going on it makes people somewhat uncomfortable,” said Dickie. “It makes people a little less comfortable with the stability of things and you kind of see a bit of slowdown or a cooling I guess and then people say, I guess it is OK, the world is not coming to an end, and off they go and continue down the path.”

The number of homes sold through the MLS System in Grey-Bruce totaled 283 units in April, which was down more than 25 per cent from April 2021.

Over the first four months of 2022, home sales have totaled 937 units, which is a decrease of 13 per cent from the same period of 2021.

Dickie said it will take a bit of time to see if the slight cooling of the market is a trend.

“There is not enough to make a call yet, but if we see a few more months of this we can be more sure in our predictions,” he said.

Meanwhile, home prices have remained elevated in Grey-Bruce, with the average price of the homes sold in April coming in at just under $744,500, which is up 19.4 per cent from April 2021.

The average price of homes sold in Grey-Bruce in March was $759,427, while year-to-date in 2022 the average sale price has been just under $755,000, an increase of 22 per cent from the first four months of 2021.

“Prices are still high for sure,” said Dickie. “Normally in these situations when we start to see a slowdown we will see it in the very expensive properties first. We are just going to be monitoring that as the next couple of months go on.”

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Dickie said larger centres like Toronto experience much more dramatic moves in the housing market than an area like Grey-Bruce.

In Toronto, the average price of homes declined 6.4 per cent in April from the month before on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was the biggest monthly drop in that market in two years. Toronto home sale totals also declined 26 per cent from the month before.

Typically in Grey-Bruce, Dickie said they see prices level off for a while before they start to go up again.

“I am trying to tell people locally to stay calm,” Dickie said. “Nothing is going to crash.”

RAGBOS, which represents approximately 450 realtors, also provides MLS Home Price Index benchmark prices, which it says tracks prices far more accurately than is possible using average or median price measures. The benchmark price is based on the value home buyers assign to various housing attributes, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The overall MLS HPI composite benchmark price for Grey-Bruce was $619,800 in April, which was an increase of 25.8 per cent from April 2021. For single-family homes the benchmark price was $623,500, up 25.7 per cent from a year ago, for townhouses and row units it was $506,300, up 26.5 per cent, and for apartments it was $382,000, up 40.7 per cent from April 2021.

Meanwhile, Dickie said agents are starting to see more listings coming onto the market, which is welcome as the region had been experiencing an extended period of record-low supply.

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While the 447 new residential listings in April was down 4.3 per cent from a strong April 2021, they were close to 14 per cent above the five-year average.

At the end of April, the number of active residential listings totaled 461 units, which was up more than 10 per cent from the end of April 2021, but still 28.7 per cent below the five-year average.

The months of inventory numbered 1.6 months at the end of April, which was up from the 1.1 months recorded at the end of April 2021, but still below the long-run average for the time of year of 4.7 months.

“Even this morning I was talking to several agents and they were talking about how they had more and more listings coming up, and there are more and more listings on the real estate board on a daily basis than we had seen earlier in the year,” Dickie said. “That is positive that people are getting their houses listed, which helps the whole situation out.”

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