New home sale prices rise but buyers are hanging back

first_img Full Name* Email Address* This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now (iStock)Americans paid more for newly-built homes last month but they didn’t buy as many of them.The median price of new homes that sold in September was $326,800, up 4.5 percent from August, according to the Census Bureau’s monthly report of signed contracts and paid deposits for newly-built single family homes.The data comes as the number of new homes sold last month — seasonally adjusted — fell 3.5 percent, to 959,000, from over 1 million in August.The report found that September’s rate of sales for newly-built homes is up 32 percent year-over-year, despite the August dip.Meanwhile, the number of new homes on the market increased. By the end of September, there were 284,000 new homes listed for sale, about a three-and-a-half-month supply, according to Census Bureau estimates. That’s an increase in supply from 282,000 new homes on the market at the end of August.ADVERTISEMENTBuyers continue to pull the trigger on new properties early in the development process.About 67 percent of the homes sold last month across the U.S. were either under construction or had not yet begun to be built, according to the report’s preliminary seasonally adjusted numbers.Read moreDéjà vu: New home sales hit 14-year high in AugustExisting homes sales remain high, but inventory is “historically low”Housing starts jump as homebuilder confidence risescenter_img Message* The northeast region saw the biggest dropoff in sales with 32,000 new homes sold last month, down nearly 29 percent from the 45,000 sold in August. The western region was the only area to see an uptick in the number of new homes sold in September. It saw a nearly 4 percent uptick, to 271,000 new homes sold last month, from 261,000 in August.About 60 percent of the homes listed for sale at the end of September were under construction, based on the report’s preliminary seasonally adjusted numbers.The decline in new home sales in September contrasts with the volume of existing homes sold. Last month, 6.5 million existing homes sold, a jump of more than 9 percent compared to August’s record-setting sales month.Despite the September drop in new home sales, the industry appears to expect strong demand to continue from buyers, in large part because of the nation’s historically-low housing supply.That fact has propelled developers. September housing starts surged to 1.4 million, seasonally adjusted, as homebuilder confidence hit its highest levels in 35 years early this month.Contact Erin Hudsonlast_img read more

House rejects move to bolster food stamps before passing tax bill

first_imgby Hilary Niles vtdigger.com House lawmakers rejected an attempt to stave off cuts in the federal food stamp program before approving the miscellaneous tax bill Thursday.Rep. Paul Poirier, I-Barre, (photo right) proposed raising taxes for people in the state’s two highest income brackets to collect an additional $10 million to fund the 3SquaresVT nutrition assistance program. His effort was defeated on a roll-call vote of 115-28.During the debate, Poirier implored his colleagues to restore the food stamp benefits cut by Congress.“One out of every six Vermonters is dependent on some kind of financial help to put food on the table,” Poirier said.His figures were based on a one-month snapshot of 3SquaresVT, the state’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Thirty-four percent of all food assistance recipients are under 18 years old. The average monthly household benefit was $243 before the program was cut last year.“I would ask anybody in this chamber, if you could feed your whole family for $243,” Poirier said.Joined by Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, he pleaded with lawmakers to buck leadership and support his amendment to temporarily raise taxes on the two highest income brackets.The increase would have applied to tax years 2014 and 2015 and then revert to 2013 levels. Poirier wanted to raise the top two tiers from 8.80 percent and 8.95 percent, respectively, to 9.5 percent and 9.95 percent.Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield, said the highest earners already pay their fair share in relation to low-wage earners. The top 3 percent of tax filers contribute more than 40 percent of the state’s personal income taxes, she said. The top-heavy nature of those payments indicates Vermont’s income taxes already are progressive, she said.Citing the same numbers, Pearson challenged her conclusion.“You see why this body of Vermonters does not, in fact, pay an overwhelming amount of our income tax burden,” Pearson said. “Because they don’t earn an overwhelming amount of our income.”Rep. Mike Yantachka, D-Charlotte, said the broader problem is income tax avoidance. He and several others said they preferred a more permanent tax solution, namely shifting the tax base from taxable income to adjusted gross income.Rep. Janet Ancel, D-Calais, chairs the House Committee on Ways and Means, which is responsible for generating tax recommendations and which worked closely with budget-writers in the Appropriations Committee. The two committees cut a projected $71 million shortfall in half with about $35 million in one-time funds and reduced the cost of some debt obligations.They agreed to trim some programs, but cut none. E-cigarettes and snuff were added to a list of taxable tobacco products, but no other new taxes were levied with the passage Thursday of H.884. In all, the bill raises $1.2 million in new revenues.business tax creditsPearson later challenged the job creation impact of some corporate tax incentives provided by the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI). The program’s grants are awarded to businesses that say they could not create certain jobs without assistance from taxpayers.Pearson said the publicly owned Keurig Green Mountain Inc. (formerly Green Mountain Coffee Roasters) and the entrepreneurial success story Dealer.com have received state assistance. His questions and comments implied the companies would have been quite capable of growing their work forces without public funding.“To me, it’s an easy either/or,” Pearson said. “Provide more food for families, or give large companies tax breaks.”Building off that criticism, Rep. Adam Greshin, I-Warren, said he opposed the tax bill because it requires disclosure of the businesses that receive research and development tax incentives. The tax credit is not new, but the waiver of confidentiality is.Ancel defended the waiver. She said that it’s just a business’ name that is disclosed, not the amount of the tax credit or the nature of the research. She said the disclosure is in the interest of transparency and accountability.e-cigarettes and snuffOne of the few new sources of revenue in the tax bill is a levy on e-cigarettes. The product, previously unclassified, would be defined as “tobacco substitute” for tax purposes. Under the bill, all wholesale purchases would be taxed at 92 percent of its wholesale cost.Donahue objected to that definition, saying it should be driven more by health policy than taxes.“This is not something that should be subject to a brief discussion,” Donahue said, noting growing concerns about major decisions being made based on their financial impact alone. “I’m disappointed we would address an issue like this in this way.”Limited objections to the e-cigarette tax were raised. Rep. Robert Helm, R/D-Fair Haven, said he’s concerned about the impact of the tax on a business in his jurisdiction. It was suggested that consumers might move to online, out-of-state purchases.Rep. William Canfield, R/D-Fair Haven, agreed.“I can go down the road to the local head shop and buy a crack pipe, and pay 6 percent tax,” Canfield said. To lay such a high tax on e-cigarettes, which he described as a product to help people quit smoking, is wrong.Many lawmakers took issue with that characterization of e-cigarettes.“They are a poison-delivery system,” Yantachka said, further noting that flavors like bubble gum and chocolate suggest an intention of marketing to children.No amendment to the e-cigarette provision was offered.CORRECTION: The miscellaneous tax bill raises $1.2 million, not $1.4 billion, as originally reported.last_img read more

Mount Philo State Park draft plan meeting April 19

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is hosting a meeting to provide an opportunity for public input on the draft long-range management plan for Mt. Philo State Park. The meeting will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Charlotte Central School on Hinesburg Road in Charlotte.The format for this meeting will be an open house. At 6:00 pm, participants will have the opportunity to review the draft plan, view maps, discuss goals and strategies with staff from the Departments of Forests, Parks & Recreation and Fish & Wildlife, and provide written comments. At 7:00 pm there will be a brief presentation providing a planning overview, highlighting portions of the plan and outlining next steps. Following the presentation, participants can continue to meet with Agency staff and provide comment.Visitors are welcome to arrive and depart at any time during the two-hour meeting.Drafted and reassessed periodically with collaboration among agency experts and public input, long-range management plans for ANR lands represent an important framework for providing responsible stewardship of public land. The Mt. Philo plan sets a long-term outline for management, but also takes into account the nature of this unique state park and incorporates some short-term considerations not typically included in other plans. Careful stewardship of Mt. Philo State Park supports a healthy forest that provides for a range of high-quality recreational activities, especially hiking; supports functioning natural communities; and strives for a careful balance and integration of public uses.Written comments may also be submitted online or through the mail to the following address until close of business on June 1, 2018: [email protected](link sends e-mail) or Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, 271 North Main Street, Suite 215, Rutland, VT 05701(link is external).The draft long-range management plan can be viewed at http://fpr.vermont.gov/state_lands/management_planning/documents/district_pages/district_2/mt_philo(link is external)Source: ANRlast_img read more

Three Gophers win consolation draws in Philly

first_imgThree Gophers win consolation draws in PhillyJunior Danielle Mosseau beat the opponent that ended her season a year ago. Zach EisendrathSeptember 25, 2006Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintUsually the fall portion of the women’s tennis season has very little significance. But for Minnesota’s women’s tennis player Danielle Mousseau, her trip to Philadelphia was an important one.Mousseau used her draw at the Cissie Leary Invitational to release demons that have been haunting her for more than four months.Last spring at the Big Ten Championships in Champaign, Ill., Mousseau’s singles match against Penn State’s Katelyn BeVard turned out to be the decisive match in deciding if the Gophers or Nittany Lions would advance to the second round. With the point total tied at 3, BeVard upended Mousseau 6-4 in the third set to advance Penn State with a 4-3 victory.On Friday, the junior capitalized on her payback opportunity. Paired against BeVard in the first round of the main singles draw, Mousseau wasted little time, disposing of her Big Ten foe 6-2, 7-5.Mousseau added to her big weekend when she defeated the Nittany Lions’ No. 4 singles player from a season ago, Jenny Shular, in the consolation bracket.“It was nice to kind of have revenge,” Mousseau saidabout beating BeVard. “It was a big win for my confidence. I was really happy about it because I really wanted to beat her this year. It kind of happened a little earlier than I thought, but I’m happy about it.”Mousseau also had a big weekend in doubles action. Teamed with junior Mariana Spilca for the second-straight weekend, the tandem went 2-1.Even after choosing to mix up a majority of his doubles teams for the road trip, coach Tyler Thomson decided to keep the experienced duo together after they won their match at the Gopher Invitational last weekend.“We understand each other and are really used to playing with each other,” Mousseau said.After saying he was not totally satisfied in the Gophers’ doubles play last weekend, Thomson said seeing improvement was a main part of his agenda this weekend.Although not set in stone, Thomson said his new lineups made progress this weekend. Minnesota went 8-4 in doubles play. “I think there is some shifting still left to do,” Thomson said. “But I thought we played much better doubles this tournament. The second day we won all the doubles besides one. I’m still not sure we have our teams set, but as a whole we played better.”Headlining the doubles efforts was the new team of senior Lindsay Risebrough and junior Alex Seaton. In their first weekend together, Risebrough and Seaton posted a 3-1 mark on their way to winning the consolation doubles draw.After falling to Temple’s Radka Ferancova and Yuri Kurashima in the first round of the main draw, the Gophers’ tandem rallied off three straight wins in the back draw.Risebrough and Seaton downed the mixed-school team of Harvard’s Catriona Stewart and Penn’s Amanda Avedissian Stewart 8-5 in the consolation final.“We ended up getting our rhythm, learning how each other plays and started doing really well,” Risebrough said.Thomson said Risebrough and Seaton both have the athleticism and potential to be a great doubles team if they stick to the basics.“The thing they focused on was keeping things simple,” he said. “They both sometimes have a tendency to hit what we call Hollywood shots that aren’t really necessary. They did a nice job of keeping things simple and doing what was necessary and not any more than that.”Risebrough, who is in the second weekend of her comeback bid after sitting out all of last season because of a shoulder injury, said she gained confidence as the tournament progressed.“I think, for me, every match got better,” she said. “I was a little nervous my first match, but by the end of the tournament I was playing my best tennis.”Thomson said there were a lot of positives to take away from the Gophers first road trip of the young season.“It’s one of those fall tournaments where your goal just is to get a lot of match play in,” he said. “It was a positive because everybody came out of it in tact with their health and we got some real good matches and some good wins.”last_img read more

Dishonesty Only Provides Short-Term Benefits

first_imgThe New York Times:Is honesty for suckers? If by “suckers” you mean people who care about others and the social good, then yes, it is. If by “suckers” you mean people who care about the long-term aspects of their business (see the drop in stock price of VW) then yes, it is. And if by “suckers” you mean people who care about the meaning of their brand (I own a VW Golf and I don’t think I will ever be able to look at it again in the same way) than yes again.Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Transfer gossip: Chelsea linked with Lemar

first_imgSome of the latest transfer speculation involving Chelsea…Embed from Getty Images Chelsea want West Ham defender Issa Diop, the Daily Express claim.The newspaper declare that Chelsea will bid £40m for the French defender and look to beat Tottenham to his signing.Spurs have previously been linked with Diop, who is Blues boss Frank Lampard’s “primary target” according to the Express.Ake speculation continuesEmbed from Getty Images Chelsea are continuing to show an interest in Lyon’s former Fulham forward Moussa Dembele, according to the Daily Mail.Lyon recently rejected an approach from Chelsea for Dembele and have insisted he is not for sale.The Mail say scouts from Chelsea and Manchester United watched Demebele in Lyon’s cup win against Stade Brest on Wednesday.Related West London Sport story: Lyon reject approach from Chelsea for DembeleDerby want Uwakwe – SunEmbed from Getty Images Chelsea want to sign Thomas Lemar on loan from Atletico Madrid, it is claimed.The Telegraph say both the Blues and Tottenham are keen to take the France international for the rest of the season. Several other European clubs are said to be interested in Lemar, who was linked with Premier League sides prior to his move to Spain.The Telegraph suggest a loan deal would be a short-term option for Chelsea prior to a summer move to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.Blues to offer £40m for Diop, Express claimEmbed from Getty Images Nathan Ake continues to also be linked with a £40m move to Chelsea.The club agreed a buy-back clause for that amount when he was sold to Bournemouth in 2017 and there has been speculation that he could return to Stamford Bridge from the south-coast club.The Sun now say Chelsea will only go ahead with ahead with a deal for Ake if they can first offload Andreas Christensen.Related West London Sport story: AC Milan interested in ChristensenDembele watched by Chelsea, Mail sayEmbed from Getty Images Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook Derby County are reportedly looking to sign Chelsea youngster Tariq Uwakwe on loan.The Sun say the Rams are looking to agree a deal to take Uwakwe for the rest of the season.last_img read more

New Spain coach Enrique promises evolution – and surprises

first_imgSpain’s new coach Luis Enrique said on Thursday that his tenure in charge of the 2010 world champions would be all about “evolution, not revolution” but the former Barcelona manager also promised plenty of surprises in his first squad.Famous for their tiki-taka possession-based passing game, Spain struggled at this summer’s World Cup having been one of the favourites heading into the tournament.Their preparations were left in disarray when coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the competition when it emerged he had agreed to join Real Madrid and Fernando Hierro took charge temporarily.They recorded just one group stage victory against Iran and were then eliminated by hosts Russia in the last 16.“There won’t be a revolution, rather an evolution. You can evolve a style of play without altering it, as I showed at Barcelona,” Enrique told a news conference.“Football is a continuous evolution and we’ll look to do just that to the current idea we have. We can play good football, be aggressive, control the ball and hurt our opponents. There’s things we need to improve, too.”Enrique, who coached Barcelona between 2014 and 2017 winning two La Liga titles as well as the 2015 Champions League, also intimated he would pick players on form and style of play, rather than on reputation.“I can’t wait to announce my first squad; there’ll be plenty of surprises, that’s for sure. The first list I composed had about 70 players on it.“It’s good for them to not know whether or not they’ll definitely be included or not and I’ve not spoken to any players yet.”One of his first tasks will be to resolve the international future of Barca defender Gerard Pique.The 31-year-old had previously stated he was intending to retire from international football after the World Cup but has not publicly confirmed his position since.“His is a special case as two years ago he said he was going to retire. I’d like to be able to count on all players and Pique is of course one of them. He’s shown what a player he is. You need to respect the players’ wishes, though.”last_img read more