US Home Prices Jumped 6.3% From a Year Ago
U.S home prices climbed 6.3 percent in June from a year earlier, as affordability is becoming a greater obstacle for would-be buyers.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose at a slightly slower pace than the 6.5 percent annual gain in May from a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday. But home values are increasing at more than double the pace of average wage growth, weighing down property sales despite solid demand because of accelerating economic growth and solid hiring.
Mortgage rates are also higher than a year ago, creating another price pressure for would-be buyers. The National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes have declined for the past four months. Despite the sales slowdown, inventories remain tight and that has meant that buyers — especially those searching for homes worth less than $250,000 — have scant options.
“Sellers, for now and for the foreseeable future, are still in control in this market,” said Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at the real estate company Zillow.
Home prices in three metro areas have increased by double digits in the past year: Las Vegas (13 percent), Seattle (12.8 percent) and San Francisco (10.7 percent). The smallest annual growth in prices was in Washington, D.C. (2.9 percent), Chicago (3.3 percent) and New York City (3.8 percent).
Swiss Bank Makes $60M Deal With US Over Hidden Accounts
Federal prosecutors say a Swiss bank has reached an agreement to pay more than $60 million to the U.S. and provide information to investigators about concealed accounts Americans used to avoid taxes.
The Miami U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release Tuesday that Basler Kantonalbank will pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service, a fine to the U.S. government and forfeit fees the bank earned from undeclared accounts from 2002 to 2012.
The deferred prosecution agreement signed by bank lawyers says that at its peak, the bank had 1,144 accounts for U.S. customers with a total value of more than $813 million.
Prosecutors say Basler Kantonalbank saw an opportunity when Swiss bank UBS AG came under investigation for similar conduct. That bank also made a deal with U.S. officials.
Texan Says He’s Selling 3D-Printed Gun Plans, Despite Ruling
The owner of a Texas company that makes untraceable 3D-printed guns says he has begun selling the blueprints through his website to anyone who wants to make one, despite a federal court order barring him from posting the plans online.
Cody Wilson says he began selling the plans Tuesday morning and that he’ll sell them for any price. Wilson says he believes that selling them, instead of posting the plans for anyone to view or download for free, will not run afoul of the Seattle federal judge’s Monday order.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia had sought an injunction to stop a settlement that the federal government reached with Wilson’s Austin-based Defense Distributed.
The states argued that posting the plans online for how to make the untraceable plastic guns would pose a security risk.
Dry Eyes: Tesla’s Musk Says He Shed No Tears in Interview
Elon Musk is denying that he cried during a recent interview with The New York Times in which he described how he’d become overwhelmed by the stress of running electric car company Tesla.
On Twitter Tuesday Musk acknowledged his voice cracked once during the interview. But, he added, “That’s it. There were no tears.”
Musk was responding to a Forbes article shared on Twitter and written by Amy Nelson, the founder and CEO of workspace company The Riveter. Nelson wrote that she doesn’t think she could cry in an interview, given the double standards that men and women face in the business world.
Times Finance Editor David Enrich, meanwhile, said on the social media site that the paper stands by its description of Musk’s emotions during the interview .
Tiffany’s Fiscal 2Q Earnings Top $144M
Tiffany & Co. on Tuesday reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $144.7 million.
The New York-based company said it had profit of $1.17 per share.
The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1 per share.
The luxury jeweler posted revenue of $1.08 billion in the period, which also beat Street forecasts. Seven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.04 billion.
Tiffany expects full-year earnings to be $4.65 to $4.80 per share.
Tiffany shares have increased 25 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed slightly more than 8 percent. The stock has climbed 47 percent in the last 12 months.
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