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Realtor Arrested Grow Operation

Realtor Arrested For Having Ties With Marijuana Growing Operations

Realtor Arrested Grow Operation

A marijuana growing operation had wide reaching effects from London to Ontario and was coordinated by a realtor. The realtor was arrested by police after an 18 month investigation for being part of a grow-op network that facilitated purchases of houses on the market for growing operations.

The realtor’s name was Thu Tran who worked for Sutton Group Preferred Realty of London and had a license with the Real Estate Council of Ontario.

The connection started to fall together after a series of marijuana grower busts by police. With some investigation police and others started to notice that homes that were being busted for grow operations were often sold by Thu Tran, the grow-op realtor of choice. The first person to really notice this connection was the owner of Sutton Group Preferred Realty, Gerry Weir. Mr. Weir was told not to terminate the realtor until an investigation was final so that they could properly prosecute Ms. Tran.

In all it was reported in the London Community News that Thu Tran was the seller of a minimum of eight houses that were busted for marijuana grow operations. The houses were all in different parts of the city and were not necessarily related by location. The new crackdown is to kill off connections from realtors that are assisting organized criminals in these grow operations.

The sting was revealed in the LF Press and detailed how Ms. Tran was finally caught. It seems that an undercover operation was setup to actually find homes for grow operations and then were actually stocked with grow lights and power bypasses. Before the marijuana was produced police stepped in and made the arrest.

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Canadian Real Estate Market To Increase in Sales To 3.8 Percent in 2012

On Friday June 15th, 2012 the Canadian Real Estate Association released a lot of figures that gave a lot of insight into the direction of the real estate market in Canada. One focus on this round of figures was around the Toronto housing market and how it was staying quite strong.

“Activity in Greater Toronto is stronger this spring than it was last year, and higher-priced homes are still selling quickly. As Canada’s most active housing market, and one of the priciest, it is still the biggest factor boosting the national average price but its support was less of a factor in May,” said Gregory Klump, CREA Chief Economist.

The Bank of Canada doesn’t seem to be exactly thrilled about the pace of borrowing on buying houses and price increases however. In the Montreal Gazette the federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was noted as warning Canadians against moderate borrowing saying that household debt was the number one enemy for the domestic economy.

The sales activity in houses was raised from previous announcements after more than expected rises this spring in home sales activity. The first announcements said that sales would increase about .3 percent but readjusted estimates put sales of homes at 475,800 homes in 2012 up 3.8 percent from the figures in 2011.

Concern and talk about a housing bubble is still on the mind of many economists for the Canadian Real Estate Market. While CREA hasn’t come out and said they fear that, many others have been discussing it. Looking at the Canada home prices in the graph below clearly shows a rising average price of Canadian houses that could spell out a bubble if financial markets get any kind of shocks. Banking analysts are on edge this weekend as Greek elections in Greece could spell an exit from the Euro wreaking havoc on markets.

Canada House Prices

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Southern California Real Estate Sales Up

Southern California Real Estate Sales Up

If you are thinking about buying a house in Southern California, expect to pay higher prices compared to a year ago. Southern California saw a 20 percent increase in real estate sales in May and the median price hitting a 20-month high.

Southern California HomesDataQuick President John Walsh said in a statement about the increase in real estate sales for Southern California, “The market is being slowly nursed back to health by low interest rates, a modestly improved economy and, we suspect, a widening sense that the housing sector is at or near bottom.”

Home sales in San Diego County jumped by 21.5 percent in May, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices increased by 3.2 percent. In Los Angeles County, home sales increased 25.3 percent in May compared with a year earlier. For all of Southern California, real estate sales increased in May by 20.6 percent, and the median price for houses increased by 5.4 percent going from $280,000 to $295,000.

So why are prices of houses going up along the Western coast? DataQuick said one reason prices rose was increased sales activity in higher-priced coastal markets. Also, having low mortgage rates will help improve the economy with housing prices at or near a bottom low.  With the median price is still 40 percent below its peak of $505,000 in the middle of 2007.

Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate said, “Housing has lagged the recovery overall, but we are finally seeing broad-based evidence of a recovery that is kicking into gear. My sense is that there is a broad perception among the potential home buyers that we are close to the low point in the interest-rate cycle and the home-price cycle, and housing affordability is about as good as it is going to get.”

Even though real estate sales in Southern California are booming, it’s still 14.5 percent under the average sales tally for May since 1988.

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Has the Housing Market Hit Rock Bottom? Your Answer Depends on Where You Live

As one can expect, the topic of housing market recovery has dominated conversations about the economy for the last few years. The housing market’s health has a tremendous influence on a variety of industries, making it a major determining factor for the health of the economy as a whole.

There has been quite a bit of debate over the last few months as to whether or not the residential real estate market has already bottomed out. The debate is largely due to the fact that the claim that the market has hit its bottom has been made so many times, only to have prices and sales fall even further.

The truth is that there are more signs than ever before that the market has, in fact, hit its true bottom. Many experts believe that, nationwide, the market has already reached its bottom, and is now in the middle of a very long and gradual recovery. Recovery will most certainly not take place overnight at the national level, and many predict that a noticeable increase won’t take place for another year.

Some markets, however, are still facing declining sales and prices, which has led some experts to question whether it can be said that the market has officially bottomed out. At the same time, there are some areas that are already seeing major gains in pricing and sales. The reality is that the overall state of the housing market truly depends on the city or state being analyzed.

While the market at the national level has shown signs of having already bottomed out, its health at local levels truly varies from city to city and state to state.

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Hawaiian Real Estate Market Experiences Growth

The Hawaiian housing market is starting to see encouraging signs of growth. More potential homebuyers are out looking for homes this year than in previous years. While the market certainly isn’t in the middle of a major boom, it has increased over the past few months. The increases indicate that the market may finally be starting its recovery.

Prices have increased in the state, and with the rise in prices, more interested buyers have come out of the woodwork. Realtors say that there were more closings and showings in the first ninety days of this year than there have been in the last five years.

Condo sales have risen, and single-family homes have shown a gradual increase. The average price for luxury homes has risen to more than six hundred and sixty-four thousand dollars. That dollar figure is the highest the state has seen since its previous peak in June of 2007.

The improving housing market in Hawaii has led to increases in other industries in the state. Retail home improvement and décor stores have experienced improved sales. With increases in sales, there have also been more jobs being created.

Many experts believe that the market will continue its ascent throughout the summer, which is a great sign for those living in Hawaii. The residential real estate market’s success will continue to positively influence the state’s economy as a whole.

While some states are still struggling with homes being listed for months with a a sale, Hawaii has not had that issue for quite some time. In fact, the majority of homes sell within one month of being listed on the market.

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Housing Market Struggles Globally

The housing market worldwide has struggled as a whole throughout 2012. While residential real estate markets in some nations have flourished, the majority of markets have tumbled either due to adverse market conditions or government regulations.

Only a third of all reporting countries reported an increase in home values throughout the year. The remaining two thirds either saw prices remain flat, or decline. The declines varied in severity, with some nations posting absolutely horrific numbers, while others remained relatively flat with a decline of less than three percent.

The markets posting increases were led by Brazil and India. Prices in major Indian cities rose by nearly twenty-five percent. In major cities in Brazil, prices jumped by approximately twenty percent. Austria and Estonia led European countries with increases near ten percent. Norway and Switzerland were not far off, as each posted increases that were greater than five percent.

The United States posted its first increase in a few years, rising by approximately a half of a percentage point. The United States market has varied tremendously from city to city. Some cities like Miami have posted incredible gains. Others continue to see declines in pricing and sales. Economists believe the market in the United States will start to see greater increases in the next year and a half.

Of the markets experiencing declines, Ireland has exhibited the worst performance. Prices fell by almost twenty percent in the last year. Oversupply and severely tightened credit has been a major factor in causing the decline. Greece and Spain also posted declines that were greater than ten percent.

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Luxury Housing Market Exhibits Strong Performance

A tattered and worn-down economy has not stopped the super rich from spending tens of millions of dollars on ultra prime property over the last year. Some of the most coveted properties in the world have gone up for sale in the past twelve months, leading the most excessively wealthy to engage in bidding wars against each other, driving up the prices of homes and spurring prices to reach unbelievable highs, including the sale of a Manhattan condo for eighty-eight million dollars.

There are a number of factors contributing to the enormous prices being realized in the United States. However, one of the biggest is the overall financial turmoil in Europe.

Multiple nations in Europe have been in the middle of a difficult struggle. Greece and Spain are just two examples of how the European market is in shambles, and there is no sign as to when the situation will improve. As such, many of the continent’s richest individuals are opting to invest in real estate in other parts of the world.

Many of those foreign investors are, instead, looking to the United States. In particular, they are eyeing such traditional hotspots as New York City, and new areas of growth such as Miami. Foreign buyers have been a big part of the stabilizing of the residential property market in the United States.

Europe isn’t the only area where foreign investors are looking to escape. Other nations, such as China, have crippled buyers by imposing restrictions on the market. As such, wealthy buyers in those countries have eyed the United States as a potential area of investment.

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Phoenix Housing Market Continues to Improve

The Phoenix residential real estate market is quickly becoming more favorable to sellers, as the average home selling price continues its upward path. Housing prices are twenty-five percent higher than they were on year ago, and it is likely that they will continue to rise in the coming months.

The median selling price in Phoenix is now at one hundred and forty thousand dollars. While more homebuyers are entering the market, one of the biggest factors in the pricing gains seen thus far this year is the limited number of sales inventory. With fewer homes for sale now than there has been in the last few years, it is likely that housing prices will continue their ascent.

The limited sales inventory has led to bidding wars in which homebuyers are paying more than the asking price in many cases. That trend is very much making the housing market a seller’s market. The sales inventory figure is at its lowest in Arizona since before the 2007 boom.

The limited sales inventory is not the only major factor making an impact. There have been far fewer foreclosures this year than in previous years. Because foreclosures typically sell for far less than a non-foreclosed house on the regular market, they have had a major role in depressing prices. With fewer foreclosures, one can expect prices to increase.

Lastly, new home construction is up from where it has been in the last few years. Because new homes tend to cost more, any increase in sales has a positive impact on the growth in home values in the area.

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Housing Market Showing Signs of Growth in Spring Months

Economists believe that this year’s Spring season in the residential real estate market may be the strongest it has been since the housing crash six years ago. With depressed prices all around the country, record-low mortgage rates, and the strong possibility that the market is finally on the path to recovery, many potential homeowners are starting to take advantages.

The number of total housing sales is up by more than ten percent from one year ago. Many believe that the market may finish the year up by more than fifteen percent. Many areas are finally starting to see bidding wars take place on homes. Sales inventory levels are down, as homes are selling at a far more rapid rate than they have in the past.

For the first time in six years, there are more buyers than sellers. It is for that reason that residential real estate prices are starting to increase. Despite the bidding wars, prices are still only a fraction of what they were at the peak of the housing bubble seven years ago.

Even areas that were hit particularly hard by the recession are reporting positive, albeit small, growth in their real estate market.

While increasing housing prices are a good sign of recovery, one of the most significant signs is the dwindling supply. The number of homes in inventory nationwide has dropped by a nine-month supply to a six-month supply in the last year. As the number of available homes decreases, sales prices will increase and the market will show positive growth.

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Las Vegas Real Estate Heating Up

Las Vegas Real Estate Heating Up

The latest residential real estate market report from Las Vegas indicates that the prices are up from one year ago for the first time in two years. Median home prices increased two and a half percent from a year ago, and more than four percent over the previous month.

The increase in April is fairly significant, as there is no added gimmick that has contributed to the overall growth. The previous increase came about largely due to the peaking of a housing tax credit.

Las Vegas is not the only market enjoying recent growth in the past few months. Many cities around the United States are also facing similar growth. Some cities, such as Miami and Phoenix have seen unprecedented increases in pricing.

One of the major factors contributing to the increases in the housing market of Las Vegas has been the declining inventory. Sales inventory numbers are at the lowest that they’ve been in years. As such, demand in many of the properties has increased.

The improving job market has also been a major contributing factor.

The majority of those looking to buy homes in Las Vegas are investors that are taking advantage of foreclosed properties. With mortgage loan rates at all-time record low levels, and foreclosed properties being sold at bargain prices, investors see the market as one that is offering immense profit potential.

The investors do not plan to resell these homes right away, but rather rent them out with intentions of selling them a few years from now when the market is hot.

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