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Vancouver securities dealer moonlighted in real estate; banned and fined $125,000 – Delta-Optimist

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A former Vancouver mutual funds dealer at WFG Securities has been permanently banned from the industry and fined a whopping $125,000 for conducting unauthorized real estate business involving a tax avoidance scheme.

Lucillia Sok Cheng Tan had worked for WFG from 2005 to 201,9 but from 2012 to 2019, she conducted “outside business activities” with her family company A.T. Property Investors Hub Inc. by selling investment properties in the United States to her securities clients.

As a licensed dealer, she was required to disclose such activity; however, she failed to do so and then was found to have been uncooperative with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association investigators.

The association issued the significant fine on October 5 following a hearing. Tan was also assessed costs of $10,000 with her permanent ban from all MFDA members. 

In response to initial inquiries from WFG, Tan advised that her husband’s company was set up “so that he can invest in USA real estate himself without triggering estate taxes in the USA in the event he passed on. My role is to act as one of the authorized signatory in the bank. I can transfer funds from Canada to the USA for him if he is not in Canada physically.”

There is no suggestion the company committed wrongdoing.

Tan also did similar work for another U.S. real estate firm called Fairlock Partners when she engaged in capital raising. The association also named two other such firms she was named in corporate filings for.

At least four clients of WFG invested in real estate investments through or along with Fairflock Partners, which was a conflict of interest, or potential conflict of interest, stated the ruling from the association’s independent panel.

Tan was subsequently uncooperative with the association, the ruling concluded.

The association is the self-regulatory organization for Canadian mutual fund dealers, regulating the operations, standards of practice and business conduct of its member companies, such as WFG, and their approximately 80,000 dealers, such as Tan.

Tan joins 12 other WFG dealers who were banned in November 2018 for falsifying records to secure investments. They were fined, on average, $72,000. 

Whether Tan, who left WFG in 2019, pays the fine is another matter. 

New legislated collection powers were bestowed upon the association in June 2018.

Before 2018, the association had only collected 14% of issued fines across Canada. In 2018 collection rates rose to 48% then 17% in 2019 and 25% in 2020. 

Last year, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a sharp drop in hearings — just 77 compared with 120 and 132 in each of the prior two years, respectively. Those 77 hearings resulted in an average fine of $43,514. 

Association vice-president, Pacific region Jeff Mount said dealers who do not pay their fines cannot return to the industry. In Tan’s case, she is not allowed back whether she pays the fine or not.

Since the commencement of MFDA disciplinary activity in 2004, MFDA hearing panels have imposed total fines of just over $100 million.

Over the past five years, the association has levied $48.3 million in fines. The majority of those fines are assessed against individuals, not the firms they work for, which only received $3.9 million in fines since 2016 (all of which have been paid).

gwood@glaciermedia.ca
 

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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.

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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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Ottawa home prices rose 19% year-over-year in November: real estate board – Globalnews.ca

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Ottawa housing prices continue to climb as 2021 draws to a close. It’s a trend real estate experts expect to continue in 2022.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board said that November’s average sale price for a condo was $432,099, while the typical residential-class home sold for $716,922. Both represented increases of 19 per cent over average sale prices in November 2020.

Though those figures represent significant jumps year-over-year, OREB President Debra Wright says that the month-to-month prices from October to November were relatively steady in the residential market and up seven percent for condos.


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“This is a far better situation than the monthly price escalations we had seen in the first quarter of 2021,” Wright said in a statement. “However, there is no question that supply constraints will continue to place upward pressure on prices until that is remedied.”

RE/MAX said in its 2022 Canadian housing market outlook last week that Ottawa average home price is expected to rise a further five per cent next year. That’s below estimates for other large markets in Ontario, such as Mississauga (14 per cent), Toronto (10 per cent) and Brampton (eight per cent).

In Ottawa as well as those other cities, RE/MAX said home prices could feel pressure as increased immigration levels further constrain supply levels.

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The OREB projects housing inventory in Ottawa is currently at a one-month supply, with the 1,430 units added to the market last month representing a 27 per cent drop from October and a 13 per cent decline from levels in November 2020.

While sales sit at “30 or so units over the five-year listing average, this is simply not sustainable and is taking us further away from the balanced market that will bring much-needed relief to potential buyers,” Wright said.

OREB members meanwhile sold 1,459 properties in November, a drop from the 1,605 seen in the same month last year. Sales figures were unseasonably high during this period in 2020, however, as more homes were sold in the fall because pandemic-driven lockdowns and general economic anxiety pushed demand from the usually busy spring and summer to later in the year.

November 2021’s sales volumes were still above the five-year average of 1,348 total units sold in November.

Realtors with the OREB have also gotten more involved with rentals in the past year, helping nearly 4,500 tenants find new units so far in 2021 compared with 3,120 such deals this time last year.


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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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