Biz week

Home sales surge 35%

Home sales in Snohomish County increased 35 percent in October over the previous year as buyers rushed to take advantage of a federal tax credit that was set to run out Nov. 30. Congress, however, both extended and expanded the homebuyer tax incentive this week, giving local real estate agents even more reason to cheer. Pending home sales in the county rose 91 percent over October 2008, according the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Wash., Kan. lawmakers send Obama pro-Boeing message: Congressional supporters of the Boeing Co.’s bid for a $35 billion tanker contract lobbied the Obama administration this week to force the Air Force to include a recent trade ruling in its decision. Boeing backers Reps. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., led the push. Boeing is competing against duo Northrop Grumman and Airbus parent EADS for the lucrative contract. A preliminary World Trade Organization ruling found some Airbus jet programs, like the one used for the tanker bid, benefitted from illegal subsidies.

Port, Collins Building supporters wrangle: The Port of Everett and supporters of saving the Collins Building still don’t see eye-to-eye on the historic building’s future. The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to force the port to re-examine efforts to save the building. Port officials say the Trust’s effort was manipulative and “based on bad facts.”

Starbucks sees upswing: Cost-cutting measures and increased customer visits boosted Starbucks’ profits in its fiscal fourth quarter. The Seattle-based coffee giant earned $150 million, 20 cents per share, for the quarter. The company has fewer stores than it did a year ago but plans to open about 300 new locations.

Michelle Dunlop, Herald writer

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