Top Headlines: Mobile’s home price gains, Standard Furniture layoffs

Alabama saw nation’s biggest home price increases, losses in 2018
One Alabama city saw the biggest home price gains in the nation in 2018, while another had home sellers taking the biggest loss, according to one national snapshot of real estate. Attom Data Solutions’ 2018 U.S. Home Sales Report shows among 127 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more, Mobile saw the biggest year-over-year increase in home prices, at 21 percent. Birmingham also saw some of the highest share of institutional investor sales, at 7.1 percent. Montgomery saw the nation’s highest share of all-cash home purchases last year, with 53.6 percent. – AL.com

Alabama-based auction company finds niche in online collector car auctions
A couple of years ago, Alabama car collector Chip Pearce decided that aficionados of antique cars, muscle cars and other “collector cars” should be able to get them sold without having to ship them across country to the big national auctions. As one of the nation’s leading online auctioneers, he had an idea. He created BidWinCruise.com, which allows owners to consign their cars, have them professionally marketed, and sell them online while they are still sitting in the owner’s home garage. – News release

Standard Furniture to lay off 185 in Bay Minette
A furniture manufacturer is shutting down an Alabama production line and consolidating some operations, affecting 185 jobs in Frisco City and Bay Minette. Standard Furniture Manufacturing Co. announced this week that it would cease the manufacture of laminated case goods in Bay Minette by late March. It also said it plans to relocate its home accessories and warehousing operations to Bay Minette from Frisco City, about 50 miles to the northeast near Monroeville. – AL.com

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Honda’s profit drops from air-bag recalls, flat sales
Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co.’s fiscal third-quarter profit fell 71 percent from a year earlier as air-bag recalls and flat vehicle sales offset gains from cost cuts, the company said Friday. Tokyo-based Honda’s October-December profit totaled 168 billion yen ($1.5 billion), down from 570.3 billion yen a year earlier. Quarterly sales were unchanged at 3.9 trillion yen ($36 billion). – AP

Innovation center to open Wednesday in Tuscaloosa
The EDGE, a high-tech facility designed to support entrepreneurial collaboration and innovation in west Alabama, will have its grand opening Wednesday. Officials from the City of Tuscaloosa and state of Alabama, along with leadership from The University of Alabama and community partners, are expected to attend the celebration, which kicks off with a ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. – News release

Matthew Reichert named to USA research leadership role
The University of South Alabama has named Dr. Matthew Reichert to the position of assistant vice president for research. Reichert will lead the Research Development, Learning and Communication unit of USA’s Office of Research and Economic Development, or ORED. In this role, Reichert will facilitate the establishment and growth of interdisciplinary and large research programs and coordinate the development of research proposals. – News release

Information sessions Tuesday for new CCC program
Calhoun Community College will host information sessions for its Excellence in Process Industrial Controls (EPIC) program on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at 5:30pm on the Huntsville campus in the Math, Science, and CIS building, Multifunction Room and again on Thursday, February 7 at 5:30pm in the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) on the Decatur campus. EPIC combines an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Process Technology with two years of paid industry experience.  – News release

Hilton shows off transformation of property on UAB campus
Dignitaries from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the City of Birmingham, and Hilton Hotels & Resorts gathered Thursday for the grand opening of Hilton Birmingham at UAB, the university’s flagship hotel on campus. Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, representatives from UAB and Hilton welcomed members of the community to observe the hotel’s collaborative transformation into a property that reflects UAB in both subtle and significant ways. – News release

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