Biz week

Home sales picking up

Snohomish County home sales rose for the fourth straight month in September, climbing 9.1 percent compared with a year ago. There were 755 homes sold in the county last month, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Prices and interest rates continued to fall, which may have helped sales. But real estate brokers said the main motivator was the $8,000 federal income tax credit, which ends Nov. 30. The median price for a single-family home was $295,000, a drop of 11.14 percent from a year ago. Bob Maple, an Everett broker for John L. Scott Real Estate, said people who want to qualify for the tax credit should have a deal signed by Oct. 15.

747-8 freighter tests move: Flight tests on the Boeing Co.’s new freighter will be moved from Boeing Field in Seattle to Moses Lake to make more room for the 787 startup. Officials had planned to test both planes by the end of the year, but they announced last week that new 747 would be late and that it was writing off a $1 billion charge from its earnings to acknowledge the costs and lost revenue. Boeing will move the freighter tests to its facilities in Moses Lake and Palmdale, Calif.

Frontier merger dropped: Frontier Financial Corp. continues to look for financial backers after it dropped a proposed merger that would have added $427 million. SP Acquisition Holdings of New York, a group of investors, was looking for a company to buy by Oct. 10, the day it had to dissolve itself if a business wasn’t found. The company couldn’t get federal approval for the merger soon enough, so both parties gave up on the project. Frontier, the parent company for Frontier Bank, is still seeking investors to help it increase the money it has available. Capital is needed to deal with continuing bad loans in the real estate and construction sectors.

Mike Benbow, Herald Writer

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