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BCE profit slips but Manitoba Telecom deal boosts revenue

MONTREAL — BCE Inc. saw its second-quarter profit slip compared with a year ago while revenue was boosted by its acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. earlier this year.The company says it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $762 million or 84 cents per share.That compared with a profit attributable to shareholders of $778 million or 89 cents per share a year ago.Operating revenue increased to nearly $5.7 billion for the three months ended June 30 compared with $5.34 billion in the same quarter last year.BCE attributed the decrease in its earnings to higher depreciation and amortization costs, higher interest expenses and lower other income.On an adjusted basis, the company said it earned $792 million or 88 cents per share, down from $824 million or 94 cents per share a year ago. read more

12 million Calgary home listing looks to buck trend in luxury real

by Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 19, 2015 2:00 am MDT Last Updated Aug 19, 2015 at 7:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email $12 million Calgary home listing looks to buck trend in luxury real estate The Manor House in the Aspen Estates in Calgary is shown in this undated handout photo. Luxury home sales in Calgary have taken a hit this year but that isn’t preventing the listing of a $12.5 million home. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada says it’s the highest asking price for a house in the city since 2009. The listing comes as the number of homes for sale at over a million dollars in Calgary continues to climb while sales drop. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – Sotheby’s CALGARY – Luxury home sales in Calgary have taken a hit this year thanks to slumping oil prices, but that isn’t preventing Sotheby’s from listing a $12.25 million home today.The asking price for the 10,000-square-foot home, owned by Calgary developer Jim Quinn, is the highest the city has seen since 2009, says Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.Listing agent Corinne Poffenroth says she’s confident the mansion can sell despite Calgary seeing a 36 per cent drop in sales over the past year for homes priced at more than a million dollars.“We’re not expecting a typical buyer,” Poffenroth said in an interview.“Purchasers at this (price) point are not as impacted by day-to-day shifts in oil and gas or the economy. They’ve typically made their millions, and usually we find these buyers are paying in cash.”The home in the Aspen Estates neighbourhood, developed by Quinn’s company, features a two-storey, seven-car garage, an enclosed galleria leading to a carriage house, two powder rooms, and a 1,200-square-foot patio.The listing arrives on the market as luxury home sales have dropped from three per cent of total sales last year to 2.8 per cent so far this year while also making up a greater portion of listings, says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the Calgary Real Estate Board.“There’s just more choice in that segment of the market,” said Lurie. “It just points to the fact that there’s just generally less activity.”The sales-to-listing ratio for homes in the million-plus range — which is an indicator of the health of the market — is at 26 per cent now, compared with 40 per cent last year, Lurie added.Completed sales of luxury homes are also down. As of the end of July, 15 homes had sold for more than $2.5 million compared with 23 homes last year. Of those, only one was sold for more than $4 million compared with three last year.Jim Sparrow, a Calgary real estate agent with Royal LePage, says “it’s obviously a little darker on the horizon than it was a year ago.”“It’s really not surprising,” he added. “There are people that just think the market’s going to go lower, and there’s fewer people coming into Calgary.”Nonetheless, the abundance of listings isn’t resulting in lower prices being paid for luxury homes in Calgary, says Poffenroth.“We haven’t seen the drastic price reductions some of the buyers were expecting to see,” said Poffenroth.Home sales could pick up in the fall after the typically slow summer season, especially as buyers tire of waiting, she added.“Buyers are sick of waiting around for the price reductions that aren’t happening,” said Poffenroth.She said foreign buyers might also consider buying into the Calgary market with the drop in the Canadian dollar, adding she’s been getting more international inquiries. read more