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Empire Communities nabs five trophies at Houston’s Best PRISM Awards

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Prolific Canadian homebuilder Empire Communities entered the Texas market two short years ago and is now winning awards for their efforts.

The developer is celebrating 25-years of building excellence, and its push into the Houston-area has been so successful with buyers that they are now expanding into the Austin and San Antonio markets.

Awarded by the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA), Houston’s Best PRISM Awards are an annual event designed to recognize excellence within Houston’s homebuilding industry. The recipients were chosen by a panel of premier industry professionals from around the country.

Empire Communities took home five trophies across multiple categories, including Product Design for $400,000 to $500,000, Interior Merchandising of a Model Home in the $350,000 to $400,000 and under $250,000 categories, Sales Brochure of the Year and Website of the Year.

The developer was also a finalist in the Interior Merchandising $300,000 to $350,000 and $400,000 to $500,000 categories.

Empire Communities offers a wide selection of unique home styles and sizes, ranging from 1,500 square feet to more than 4,800 square feet with thoughtfully-designed floorplans and unique exterior and interior finishes. Prices ranges from the low-$200,000s to more than $1 million.

In the Houston area, Empire Communities has launched several stunning developments over the last two years.

Located in Magnolia, TX, Empire Woodforest offers three- to four-bedroom homes that range in size from 2,521 square feet to 3,424 square feet. Empire Woodforest has a total of four quick move-in homes currently for sale.







Empire Woodforest boasts an impressive array of fun outdoor amenities and activities, including tennis and basketball courts, extensive hiking trails, swimming pools and a golf course. Pricing for available units starts at $334,900.

The Empire Hidden Lakes community in League City, TX offers a relaxed coastal vibe with plenty of on-site amenities. Surrounded by a wealth of entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities, residents can unwind and enjoy life at its best — both indoors and out.







Prices start at $382,000 and go up to over $484,000.

The Empire Dellrose community is set on 600 sprawling acres in Northwest Houston and puts convenience and recreation at the forefront with easy access to the Grand Central Parkway and a myriad of amenities for active residents. Prices start at $382,000 and go up to over $484,000.

Empire Dellrose has miles of walking trails, a recreational clubhouse, pool and playground. There are five quick move-in homes currently for sale. Pricing starts at $217,000.







Empire Reserve at Spring Lakes, located in Tomball, TX, has a total of 26 units, with two quick move-in homes currently for sale. Available sizes range from 3,097 square feet to 4,815 square feet, with pricing starting at $550,000.







Empire Fairway Farms offers residents the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of Tromball and unwind surrounded by lush woods and green pastures. Homes range in size from 1,747 square feet to 3,102 square feet in three- and four-bedroom floorplans. Six quick move-in ready homes currently for sale and pricing starts at $275,000.







Empire Coastal Point is League City’s newest master-planned community and provides residents with a spectacular one-of-a-kind, laid-back coastal lifestyle with easy access to major freeways, retail areas and popular area amenities, like the Kemah Boardwalk and Galveston Beach. The development is now in registration and sales for available units start from the low-$300,000’s.







Ideally located in prime Northeast Beltway off North Sam Houston Parkway and Woodlands Hills Drive, Empire Balmoral offers exceptional living and the ultimate Caribbean-inspired vacation spot all year long in Humble, TX.







Sales for available units start from the low-$200,000’s. Empire Balmoral homes range in size from 1,500 square feet to 2,100 square feet, in three- to four-bedroom floorplans with four quick move-in homes currently for sale.

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Covid-19 altering Canadians’ housing needs: RBC

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Amid a pandemic-driven shift in demand as well as a surge in new listings, the Canadian housing market remained strong in August, RBC Economics reports.

Citing preliminary data from local real estate boards, RBC said that markets in many areas of the country remained “red hot” in August.

“But the bigger story might be that Covid-19 is now prompting more people to sell,” the report said, noting that new listings surged in urban centres such as Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

“We think this in part reflects the pandemic altering the housing needs of many current owners — who are opting to move, something they might not have considered just a few months ago,” it said.

RBC noted that the Toronto market saw new listings jump 57% year over year in August, powering a 40% increase in home sales.

Sales were up more than 20% from July’s near-record levels, it said.

“Clearly, [that] market has fired on all cylinders this summer, making up for the major disruption caused by Covid-19 in the spring,” RBC said.

The primary drivers of sales activity and higher prices were low-rise homes, including single-detached homes, RBC reported.

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RBC’s customer base makes it a favourite of cyber attacks – security experts

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Royal Bank of Canada is among the most targeted institutions by cyber attacks due to its broad customer base, according to an analysis by Palo Alto Networks.

From December 2019 up to present, cybercriminals have been establishing malicious pages disguised as websites by major companies to conduct phishing attempts and other similarly invasive attacks.

RBC ranked third in the most spoofed domains list, more than streaming giant Netflix and professional networking portal LinkedIn. PayPal and Apple ranked first and second, respectively.

“When you look at the broad customer base that RBC has, it makes sense, especially when you compare it to some of the other big names,” said Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat research at Palo Alto Networks. “These attackers are going after [domains] where they can make the most money, so they’re focusing on these organizations that have really broad customer bases because that really ups the number of potential victims.”

In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Miller-Osborn outlined what consumers should be looking out for to filter our fraudulent emails.

“Typically, the ones that are going to be scam-related are trying to invoke some sort of emotional response,” Miller-Osborn said. “So they might say something like ‘Someone tried to change your password, click here to say whether or not that was you,’ or ‘Click here to confirm this charge on your statement,’ or ‘We’ve locked your account for strange activity.’ Essentially, things that will make people anxious and will make them want to click first, and not take a step back and pause to think, ‘Is that really the kind of email that my bank would usually send?’”

Other red flags include misspellings and basic grammar errors in the message, especially the sender line.

“Attackers try to closely mimic domain names, so you might see the number zero substituted for ‘o’, or a one substituted for the letter ‘l’. Little thing like an extra ‘s’ or ‘c’ in the name. These things, people tend to glance over very quickly and not notice.”

Miller-Osborn said that these measures should be done in concert with the most effective step in deflecting a spoofing attempt: Calling the bank and asking them if the email that they supposedly sent was legitimate.

 

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Queen confirms new home at Windsor Castle with Buckingham Palace for ‘selected events’

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The Queen will be returning to Windsor Castle in a matter of weeks, with Buckingham Palace only used for ‘select events’.

Her Majesty and her husband Duke of Edinburgh will first spend time privately at Sandringham when they leave Balmoral next week, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

She had been spending summer at her retreat in Aberdeenshire amid speculation that she would not return to the capital amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson said: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will depart Balmoral Castle during the week commencing September 14 to spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate.

“Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.

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