Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Fewer homes 'underwater' * About 52,000 homeowners in the St. Louis area owed more on their mortgage than their homes were worth in this year's first quarter, CoreLogic reported Tuesday. That amounts to 9.3 percent of all homes with a mortgage, down from 9.8 percent in the December quarter and 12.7 percent in the first quarter of last year, the real estate analysis company reported. Rising home prices account for the decline. CoreLogic estimates that housing prices here rose 4.8 percent in the 12 months ending in March. An additional 3.6 percent of area homeowners have less than 5 percent equity, which would make it difficult to sell the home and pay a real estate commission without taking a loss. It also makes refinancing the mortgage more complicated. Nationally, 10.2 percent of mortgaged homes have "negative equity," or are "underwater" on their mortgages, meaning the homes are worth less than the mortgage amount.

NAI Desco gets new CEO * NAI Desco has named Toby Martin as its new chief executive and principal. Martin is a 25-year veteran of real estate and development, and previously worked with DTZ Cushman and Duke Realty Corp. NAI Desco is a commercial real estate firm founded in 2000. It has offices in Clayton and O'Fallon, Ill.

Toyota expands recall * Toyota Motor Corp. will recall almost 1.37 million more vehicles in the United States because of potentially deadly front passenger-side air bags made by Japan's Takata Corp., Toyota said Tuesday. The expansion pushes the total number of Toyota vehicles recalled in the United States because of dangers posed by Takata air bags to more than 2.9 million. On Monday, Honda announced the recall of 1.39 million Accord and Civic cars in the United States with faulty front passenger-side Takata air bags. Those cars had previously been recalled for front driver- side air bags.

UAW to begin talks * The United Auto Workers, seeking to close the pay gap between veteran and newer workers, will begin formal negotiations with the biggest U. …

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