Business Briefs: Tennessee home sales drop, but prices rise

Business Briefs: Tennessee home sales drop, but prices rise

June 13th, 2018 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Leadership Tennessee picks 5 Chattanoogans

Five Chattanooga business leaders are among 45 persons across Tennessee selected to be in the sixth class of Leadership Tennessee, an initiative of the College of Leadership and Public Service at Lipscomb University.

The Chattanoogan selected for the new class include Jared T. Bigham, executive director of Chattanooga 2.0; Stacy Goodwin Lightfoot, vice president for college and career success at the Public Education Foundation; Hodgen Mainda, vice president of community development at EPB; David Steele, director of civic engagement and assistant professor of practice at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Dakasha Winton, chief government relations officer and senior vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.

"Each Leadership Tennessee class brings its own experience and insight to the table, and we're especially excited about Class VI and what they bring to the conversation around critical issues in Tennessee," Leadership Tennessee Executive Director Cathy Cate said. "Each class grows together over the course of the year as they challenge their perspectives on issues in their communities. We're looking forward to the conversations Class VI will have over the next year as they develop the program around focus areas they highlight as critical to state success."

Tennessee home sales drop, but prices rise

Tennessee home sales fell 1.5 percent last month from a year ago, but the median price rose 10 percent above what it was 12 months earlier.

Tennessee Realtors sold 7,845 single-family homes in May, 109 less than a year earlier. But the median price increased by an average $11,000 to $230,000.

"The market continues to be characterized by relatively flat sales, rising prices, and many buyers competing for fewer available homes," said Leon Dickson, Sr.,president of Tennessee Realtors.

The inventory of homes on the market was down by 20.7 percent in the past year, dropping from 24,560 a year ago to only 19,473 last month.

Tesla cuts staff by 9 percent

Tesla, in the midst of a challenging effort to transform itself from a niche producer of electric vehicles to a mainstream automaker, said Tuesday that it was reducing its workforce by about 9 percent as it aims to become profitable.

The company's chief executive, Elon Musk, said in a memo he posted on Twitter that most of the employees losing their jobs would come from salaried ranks, and no production workers at Tesla's car plant in Fremont, California, would be affected.

Musk said the cuts were part of a "comprehensive organizational restructuring across the whole company," which had about 37,500 employees at the end of last year, according to Bloomberg. He noted that Tesla had never produced an annual profit since it was founded 15 years ago.

"What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable, clean energy," he said. "But we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable."

German TV report says Amazon destroys goods

BERLIN — German public broadcaster ZDF is reporting that online retailer Amazon destroys a large amount of new and returned goods even though they are in working order.

In a program that aired Tuesday, ZDF quoted current and former Amazon employees saying the products included electronics, appliances and clothing.

ZDF cited one unnamed Amazon worker saying she oversees the destruction of goods worth more than 23,000 euros ($27,000) each day.

Germany's deputy environment minister, Jochen Flasbarth, told ZDF the alleged practice was "a huge scandal."