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Business

Real estate

Central Texas home sales cool off in August
Deborah Cannon

Central Texas home sales cool off in August

The long-sizzling Austin housing market is starting to show signs of cooling off.

For the second consecutive month, home sales in the Austin area dropped in August, the Austin Board of Realtors said Thursday. The sales decline shows that the area’s rising home prices have started affecting affordability and slowing sales for many buyers, local real estate expert said.

Last month, 2,835 homes changed hands in the Austin metro area, a 4 percent decline from August 2013, the board said. The median price for those sales, however, was up nearly 11 percent year-over-year, rising to $247,500.

Retail

Wimberley residents help shape new H-E-B store

Over a span of almost two years, Wimberley residents played a significant role in shaping a grocery store now under construction in their city.

A groundbreaking for the new H-E-B, at 14501 Ranch Road 12, was held Thursday and the San Antonio-based company expects work to be complete by mid-2015.

At 46,000 square feet, the store won’t be as large as most H-E-B locations, something Wimberley residents had requested, H-E-B spokeswoman Leslie Sweet said.

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economy

Austin’s economic expansion cooled last year, federal data show

The Austin metropolitan area economy expanded faster in 2012 than initially reported – surpassing the $100 billion mark a year earlier than expected – but the region’s economic growth rate slowed considerably last year, according to data released this week.

After adjusting for inflation, the Austin-area economy grew 2.2 percent in 2013 — faster than the average U.

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Technology

Another New Zealand company opens Austin office

A New Zealand software company is opening a sales and marketing outpost in Austin and could have as many as 100 employees here within two years, company executives say.

Jason Westland, CEO of ProjectManager.com, said he came to Austin a few weeks ago to start hiring staff and said he’s also planning to move to Central Texas. Westland said the company’s headquarters could eventually relocate here.

economy

Fed signals plan to keep key rate at record low

Fed keeps rates low, but brace for the inevitable

Record-low interest rates will be around for at least a few more months, the Federal Reserve made clear Wednesday.

Enjoy the easy money while it lasts.

By mid-2015, economists expect the Fed to abandon a nearly 6-year-old policy of keeping short-term rates at record lows. Those rates have helped support the economy, cheered the stock market and shrunk mortgage rates.

Wall street

Asian stocks mostly down after Fed meeting

Good news on economy pushes stocks to record highs

More encouraging economic news and friendly signals from the Federal Reserve cheered investors on Thursday, as the stock market climbed to another record high.

The gains came a day after the Fed made clear that it's in no hurry to raise a key bank lending rate, easing a major concern for the stock market.

Eight of 10 industry groups in the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose, led by financial stocks.


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