12/27 Business briefs

December 27, 2012 

Bennett Contracting named one of top contractors

BRADENTON -- Bennett Contracting Inc., an excavation and utility contractor, has been awarded the Safety Award and named one of 12 Contractors of the Year in the December issue of Equipment World Magazine, a national construction publication.

The Contractor of the Year award program showcases contractors with between $3 million and $15 million in annual revenue, at least 10 years of construction company ownership experience, a proven safety record and at least five ride-on construction machines, according to the magazine's website.

Bennett Contracting, which earns about $4 million in annual revenue, will celebrate 13 years of business in 2013, the press release stated.

Wagner Realty assumes management of LBK inn

LONGBOAT KEY -- Wagner Realty has taken over the leasing and management services of Wicker Inn, a Gulf-front resort at 5581 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Wagner president David Eckel announced in a press release.

Wicker Inn is a classic, Old Florida beach resort, with tropical decor that includes white wicker rockers on the front porches. Wicker Inn has weekly rentals, with some vacancies still available. For more information, contact Wagner property manater Bonnie Wiedeman at 941-383-5577.

U.S. home prices rise in Oct. from previous year

Home prices in the nation's 20 biggest cities dipped 0.1 percent in October from the prior month but rose strongly from the same month last year, according to a closely watched index, indicating the start of the seasonal slowdown in home prices.

It was the first month-over-month dip after six months of gains for the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of 20 large cities.

The index was up 4.3 percent compared with October 2011.

"Looking over this report, and considering other data on housing starts and sales, it is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

"Higher year-over-year price gains plus strong performances in the Southwest and California, regions that suffered during the housing bust, confirm that housing is now contributing to the economy."

Five cities in the 20-city index turned negative, posting month-over-month declines in October after being in positive territory the month before. Those five cities were Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, Minneapolis and Seattle.

Among all of the cities, Chicago posted the weakest numbers, dropping 1.5 percent, followed by Boston, where prices fell 1.4 percent.Las Vegas posted the strongest gain, with prices up 2.8 percent.

-- Herald staff and wire reports

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