Bank of America earns $4.1 billion in third quarter (copy)

Bank of America's new Charlotte office tower is going for a big price. File/AP

NC bank tower fetches top dollar

CHARLOTTE — A North Carolina developer says it's agreed to purchase Bank of America's new tower in Charlotte in what would be the most expensive office building sale in the state's history.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties is expected to finalize the $436 million deal in November as it moves into the Queen City real estate market.

Developer Lincoln Harris and partner Goldman Sachs bought the site for $37.5 million in 2016. Bank of America employees started moving into the 33-story skyscraper last week. Its headquarters remains in another building a few blocks away.

The commercial real estate firm CBRE Inc. says the 2016 sale of One Wells Fargo Center in Charlotte for $284 million is currently the largest office building transaction in the state.

New home sales slid 12.8% in July

WASHINGTON — Sales of new U.S. homes fell a sharp 12.8% in July as higher prices and limited inventory sidelined would-be buyers.

The Commerce Department says that new homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000 units, down from a revised June rate of 728,000. So far this year, sales have risen just 4.1%.

A shortage of available homes, worsened by a construction slowdown, has pushed up prices and made purchases less affordable for Americans. Land and labor shortages continue to slow down builders, prolonging the housing shortage.

As a consequence, even lower borrowing costs have so far failed to induce more sales.

The median sales price fell to $312,800. That is down 4.5% from a year ago, but marks the highest level since April.

VW is recalling 679K cars in US 

DETROIT — Volkswagen is recalling about 679,000 cars in the U. S. to fix a problem that could let the cars roll away unexpectedly.

The recall covers certain 2011 through 2018 Jettas; 2015 through 2019 GTIs; 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 Golfs; 2012 through 2019 Beetles and Beetle Convertibles; and 2017 through 2019 Golf SportWagens. All have automatic transmissions, manual hand brakes and keyless entry.

VW says silicate can build up on a shift lever switch, allowing the key to be removed if the lever isn't in park. That could let the cars roll off unexpectedly.

Dealers will add a switch and circuit board to fix the problem. The recall starts on Oct. 11.

A VW spokesman says he's not aware of any crashes or injuries due to the problem.

British Airways strike dates announced

LONDON — British Airways pilots will go on strike for three days next month in a long-running pay dispute with the carrier.

Pilots' union Balpa announced Friday that the pilots will strike Sept. 9, 10 and 27. 

The airline lost a bid late last month in the Court of Appeal seeking a temporary injunction to prevent strikes by pilots based at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

The union accuses BA is making massive profits at the expense of workers who made sacrifices during hard times.

BA says the union is "destroying the travel plans of tens of thousands of our customers with this unjustifiable strike action." The airline says it is pursuing "every avenue" to avoid industrial action.

The strike dates should not affect the twice-weekly flights BA offers on Sundays and Thursdays between Charleston and London.

US Steel to idle an Indiana plant

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. — U.S. Steel is planning to idle a northwestern Indiana facility and lay off about 150 workers.

The Pittsburgh-based company says it will halt production by mid-November at its East Chicago Tin plant, which makes tin-plated metal for uses such as food and paint cans.

U.S. Steel spokeswoman Meghan Cox saidthe plant was underutilized because low-priced imports have captured roughly half of the U.S. tin products market. Affected  workers are expected to be offered jobs at the company's nearby sites.

U.S. Steel earlier this month told Michigan officials it would lay off up to 200 workers as it idles a blast furnace at its mill near Detroit.

Wire reports

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