published Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Business Briefs: Home sales up from year ago

Home sales up from year ago

Home listings grew and sales declined in Chattanooga during September, the Greater Chattanooga Area Association of Realtors reported Friday. Realtors sold 393 houses last month, down 8.8 percent from the previous month. But new listings rose by 11.7 percent to 877, swelling inventory on the Chattanooga market to 4,920 residential units for sale. The median sales price in September was up 1.5 percent to $139,100.

"Employment growth remains critical, providing the very jobs that will stimulate housing demand and higher prices as well as alleviate beleaguered homeowners," said Mark Hite, president of the Chattanooga Realtors group.

Amtrak trains reach 111 mph

In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama's high-speed rail vision, test runs started zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 111 mph Friday.

The 30-mph increase from the route's current top speed is a morale booster for advocates of high-speed rail. But some rail experts question whether the route will become profitable, pose serious competition to air and automobile travel, or ever reach speeds comparable to the bullet trains blasting across Europe and Asia at 150 mph and faster.

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