Home sales in Western Washington are up for the first time in more than a year and a half, prices are down and the inventory of homes on the market is tighter.
Those results for September were reported Monday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, a real estate consortium based in Kirkland. It covers all 16 counties west of the Cascades and three to the east – Kittitas, Grant and Okanogan.
Home sales in those counties rose nearly 4.1 percent in September and about a percentage point more, nearly 4.2 percent, in King County. The last monthly increase in home sales was 4.8 percent in February 2007.
The region’s median sale price for single-family homes and condominiums fell last month by 8.3 percent to $295,000.
Ag production values up record 23 percent
You might not like the higher prices in the grocery store, but they meant higher values for Washington crops in 2007.
The overall value of agricultural production last year increased 23 percent to a record $8.51 billion.
Apples once again topped the list at $1.75 billion, compared with the previous high of $1.41 billion in 2006.
Milk production for the first time topped $1 billion, compared with $688 million a year earlier.
Rounding out the top five most-valuable crops and products were wheat, potatoes, and cattle and calves.
EBay restructuring, cutting 1,600 positions
EBay Inc., which still reaps big profits but has been struggling to attract new users, said Monday it will cut its work force by 10 percent – about 1,600 jobs – in an attempt to streamline its business.
About 1,000 full-time employees will be gone, while eBay will achieve the rest of the cuts by letting temporary and part-time workers go and leaving open positions unfilled. It is eBay’s largest round of dismissals ever.
EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe said the company is “creating efficiency” in areas that require it. EBay would not describe which positions would be cut, other than to say they will come across the company and around the world.
The company expects restructuring charges of about $70 million to $80 million as a result of the cuts, mostly in the fourth quarter. EBay said the reductions will lead to $150 million in annual cost savings.
From wire reports