published Friday, November 9th, 2012

Business Briefs: Home sales up in third quarter

Home sales up in third quarter

Chattanooga area home sales were up 11.5 percent over last year during the third quarter, the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors said Thursday.

Local Realtors sold 1,822 houses from July through September this year at a median price of $137,250. In the same period a year ago, Realtors sold 1,634 houses in the Chattanooga area at a median price of $134,825.

Foreclosure sales comprised 24.9 percent of all home sales in the third quarter of this year.


NRC chief wants earthquake data

The new chairwoman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says she supports a push to re-evaluate the earthquake risks at nuclear power plants.

Allison Macfarlane said that a spate of natural events shows the industry needs to re-evaluate geologic risk. In 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami severely damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan, leading to multiple meltdowns.

The North Anna nuclear plant in Virginia was struck by an earthquake last year that caused peak ground movement at twice the level at which the plant was designed. No major damage or complications were reported. A re-evaluation of seismic hazards is under way in the United States.


State's jobless claims up

The number of jobless claims filed during October in Tennessee rose by 1.3 percent over the previous month but were still 15.7 percent below the same period a year ago, according to a report released Thursday by the Business and Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University. Seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance for Tennessee rose to 6,429 per week in October, reflecting an increasing number of layoffs. The trend also climbed, rising by 99 claimants. The trend has been on the rise since April.


Social Security cuts office hours

The U.S. Social Security offices in Chattanooga, Cleveland and Athens, Tenn., will be open 30 minutes less each day, starting Nov. 19, as part of the agency's operating budget cuts. The local Social Security offices will operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting next year, the offices also will close to the public at noon every Wednesday.

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