From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Home sales picking up, but there's a lot of inventory

The Augusta area is trending better on home sales, but the time it takes to get a sale is still long.
Before the housing crisis and the recession, it took roughly three month to sell a house. That went up to four to five months during the recession.
But the average days on market right now is longer than six months, according to data from the Greater Augusta Association of Realtors.
There are 1,300 homes for sale right now that have been on the market for more than a year. The number of homes available that have been listed for under a year is 4,400.
So the inventory is high. The average time it is taking to sell a house is long. But there are more homes being sold.
There were 4,800 homes sold in 2011, up from 4,700 in 2010 and 2009.

 

EXPANSION STARTED: A packaging company in Beech Island has started its expansion.
A $3 million construction permit was taken out for work at Pactiv, which is adding to its warehouse and putting in a new production line.
The total investment will be $5.5 million and the company will add 25 workers.
Pactiv makes the packaging that restaurants use for take-out orders and grocery stores use for its deli.

 

BIG NEEDS FOR BIG TIRES: Bridgestone’s need for tires for giant mining machines is not only prompting the new plant in Graniteville, but also an expansion in two Japan facilities.
The Tire Industry Association held a Off-The-Road Tire Conference in California two weeks ago. News out of there is that Bridgestone needs to boost capacity at a tire plant in Kitakyushu, Japan, and steel cord plant in Saga, Japan, to meet demand for ultra large off-the-road tires.
The expansions will be online about the same time as the new plant in Aiken County will be producing the monster tires.
All of this is being fueled by the expectation that demand for tires for mining operations will increase as the mining production increases in the decade to come.

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