From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Report on defaults is good news for housing

Metro-area foreclosures were way down for April.

According to RealtyTrac, which publishes foreclosure numbers for states and metro areas, there were 133 foreclosure filings in April. That’s down from 269 in April 2012. Yes, a 50 percent drop.

Foreclosure filings have been tailing off all year compared to previous years. March was down 151 from last year; February down 185; January down 145.

Nationally, the trend is the same, with filings as low as they’ve been since 2007, before the housing crisis struck. Foreclosure-prevention measures are partly the answer.

 

STILL CLIMBING: The economic index from the business college at Georgia Regents University rose again, it was reported Tuesday. The index is 4.1 percent higher on March data than it was for March 2012, based mainly on higher residential housing permits and Dow Jones average. Fewer jobless claims also helped.

The index measures “leading” indicators, which means it forecasts the chances for better future economic activity.

 

BIG TIRES: Aiken County is not the only place getting a new plant to build massive off-road tires.

Bridgestone started working on the foundation for a similar plant in Thailand a couple of weeks ago. That factory will also make radial tires for construction and mining vehicles. It will start production in 2015.

Bridgestone’s facility in Graniteville will start making them next year.

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