The Journal Gazette
Saturday, February 20, 2021 1:00 am


January sees rise in existing home sales

News services

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose again last month, a sign the housing market's strong momentum from 2020 may be carrying over into this year.

Existing U.S. home sales rose 0.6% in January from the previous month, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.69 million annualized units, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. Sales jumped 23.7% from a year earlier. It was the strongest sales pace since October and the second highest since 2006.

The housing market has mounted a strong comeback since last summer after declining sharply in the spring when the novel coronavirus outbreak hit. 

New Honda boss promises growth

Toshihiro Mibe, a research expert tapped to be president of Japanese automaker Honda on Friday, promised to steer the company toward new growth by focusing on ecological models and safety technology.

Honda Motor Co. said Mibe replaces Takahiro Hachigo, effective April 1 and subject to shareholders' approval at a meeting in June.

Mibe, who joined Honda in 1987, was instrumental in further forging Honda's partnership with U.S. automaker General Motors Co. GM and Honda have had a relationship for two decades, collaborating on fuel cells, batteries and autonomous driving. A memorandum of understanding calls for a North American alliance, including working together in purchasing and research, as well as sharing platforms, the basic parts on which vehicles are built.

Maine court rules Apple owes taxes

Apple should have paid state taxes on the full price of iPhones sold at discounted prices through wireless carriers during a three-year period at its stores in Maine, the state supreme court ruled.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court unanimously overturned a judge's decision that sided with Apple after the state tax assessor argued that taxes were underpaid by tens of thousands of dollars. An audit found that Apple owed more than $430,000 in sales taxes and more than $100,000 in fines from May 2010 through April 2013.

During the time period, Apple sold iPhones at a discount if the consumer signed a long-term contract with Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and Sprint, and then taxed the consumer on the discounted price. The state contended the iPhones should have been taxed at the full cost because Apple had agreements to recoup the cost difference with the wireless carriers.

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