Data released by the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois showed more people bought homes in St. Clair County this March than last March —the second year in a row that’s happened.
A total of 277 residential units were sold this March, up almost 10 percent from the 252 units sold in March 2015. Total sales this March and last March far outpace tallies for the month in 2012, 2013 and 2014: Fewer than 200 units were sold in each of those three years.
Year-to-date home sales also increased for the county, the data showed. As of the end of this March, 616 homes had been sold. That’s up from 571 for the same period in 2015. The median home sale price in St. Clair County also reached its highest mark in five years at $139,966.
RASI President Doug Payne said now is a good time both to buy a home and to sell one. “Buyers are looking at the historically low mortgage rates and the gorgeous spring weather, while sellers are taking advantage of the steadily increasing home prices,” he said.
St. Louis-based Reliance Bank’s first quarter report was released Wednesday, and it showed the bank with metro-east locations in O’Fallon, Edwardsville and Columbia tallied its best quarterly earnings ever in the first quarter of this year.
Reliance earned $3.4 million before tax, up 40 percent from the same time last year. Income after taxes was $2.4 million.
The bank loaned $794 million in the first quarter this year, which is $66 million more than it loaned out for the same timeframe last year.
Reliance Bank also is in the midst of a push to bring its branches together with coffee shops with the idea of spurring in-person visits. Construction recently began on a new branch in O’Fallon that will share space with a Tim Hortons Cafe and Bake Shop. It will be the second such dual-use site: The bank’s Des Peres, Mo., branch shares space with a Starbucks.
Small businesses in St. Louis are trying to grow while firms nationwide seem only interested in maintaining their current size, a study released Friday showed.
The study, conducted by The Hartford, showed that 56 percent of St. Louis business owners are looking to grow compared to 33 percent of respondents nationwide. It also showed that 55 percent of respondents nationwide would rather maintain the size of their firms compared to only 39 percent of business owners in St. Louis who felt that way.
Going a step further, the optimism measured by the survey appears to have carried over to actual hiring: 54 percent of St. Louis business owners surveyed said they’d hired new workers in the past year, far outpacing the 35 percent of national business owners who have done so.
A little over a week after McDonalds confirmed it would test miniature and extra-large versions of its Big Mac in select locations in Ohio and Texas, the fast food chain randomly revived its Mighty Wings for a limited time in Atlanta.
It’s weird news, considering that when Mighty Wings first made their appearance in 2013, it was a monumental failure. No one bought the breaded, fried bone-in wings — they were priced at a dollar each — and the chain ended up with 10 million pounds of the product locked up in a freezer vault.
Eaters in Atlanta can enjoy the wings until the middle of June.