September 5, 2009 in Business

In brief: August home sales higher than in ’08

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

Home sales dipped 9 percent in Spokane County from July to August, but sales of existing homes were up over August 2008, the Spokane Association of Realtors said Friday.

Prices were down from the previous month and from last year, and the number of homes on the market grew slightly last month, according to the group’s monthly market report.

Realtors closed 488 sales in August, down from 537 in July but up from 475 in August 2008. For the year, 2,884 homes have sold in the county, a decrease of about 17 percent over the first eight months of 2008.

The biggest drop is in new home sales: 355 new homes have sold through August, down 35 percent from last year, when 547 had sold through August.

Homes on average sold for $189,711 in August, down from $194,324 in July and $203,271 in August 2008. The median price was $169,975, compared to $176,000 in July and $185,000 a year ago.

There were 3,466 homes for sale in August, up from 3,412 in July and about the same number as in August 2008.

Scott Maben

FAA looking into MD-80 repairs

Dallas – Federal regulators are investigating American Airlines over structural repairs to its aging fleet of MD-80 series aircraft.

The Wall Street Journal reported Federal Aviation Administration officials suspect American rushed to retire one of the planes to keep it away from inspectors. A spokesman for American denied the accusation and said mothballing the aircraft wouldn’t let it escape FAA scrutiny.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the investigation centered on repairs to the rear bulkhead of the MD-80 series aircraft.

FDA: Glaxo vaccine prevents cancer

Washington – Federal regulators said Friday that a GlaxoSmithKline vaccine prevents the leading cause of cervical cancer in women, bringing the company one step closer to competing with Merck’s blockbuster Gardasil, which has controlled the U.S. market for three years.

In documents posted online, the Food and Drug Administration said Cervarix – Glaxo’s vaccine against human papillomavirus, or HPV – successfully blocked the two leading strains of the virus nearly 93 percent of the time.

Even as the British drug maker moves closer to competing in the U.S., Merck is poised to begin marketing Gardasil to boys and men. In a separate review, the FDA said that vaccine prevented genital warts in males 90 percent of the time. The agency will ask a panel of experts next week to weigh in on both vaccines. The FDA is not required to follow the group’s advice, though it usually does.

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