The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes fell in September to the lowest level in nine months. The decline reflects higher mortgage rates and home prices that have made purchases more costly.
The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index dropped 5.6 percent last month from August to a reading of 101.6. That also pushed the index below its year-ago level, the first time thats occurred in nearly 2 1/2 years.
There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale. The drop suggests final sales will decline in coming months.
Résumé workshops offered by WorkOne
WorkOne Northeast career centers in Fort Wayne and Auburn will offer a pair of free résumé workshops on résumé development early next month.
The first session is from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Auburn center, 936 W. 15th St. The second session is from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Fort Wayne center, 201 E. Rudisill Blvd., Suite 102.
People are asked to call 446-3722 in Fort Wayne or 925-0124, ext. 267, in Auburn to confirm attendance. Applicants should provide their name and phone number when registering.
Old National reports sharp earnings gain
Old National Bancorp on Monday reported third-quarter earnings of $23.9 million, or 23 cents per diluted common share, a 21 percent increase over the $19.7 million, or 20 cents a share, posted for the same quarter of last year.
The Evansville-based parent of Old National Bank achieved the increase despite reporting $2.3 million in charges related to the July 12 merger and integration of 24 former Bank of America branches in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan.
Old National, which operates one local branch, is poised to enter the Fort Wayne market in a much bigger way. The company announced last month its planned partnership with Tower Financial Corp. Old National has offered to pay Tower shareholders 1.2 shares of Old National stock and $6.75 cash for each share of Tower Financial common stock. The estimated total value of the deal is $107.7 million.
Bob Jones, Old Nationals president and CEO, said the Bank of America and Tower Bank acquisitions reflect the banks continued focus on seeking growth opportunities that benefit clients and stockholders.
Parent of iAB Bank posts earnings slip
Independent Alliance Banks Inc. has reported third-quarter earnings of $2.01 million, or 49 cents per common share, a 12 percent decrease from the $2.29 million, or 56 cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2012.
The Fort Wayne-based holding company for iAB Financial Bank reported earnings on Friday.
Earnings declined because higher mortgage rates prompted fewer customers to seek new or refinanced mortgages, officials said. As a result, the bank made less money from processing mortgage applications.
The company also reduced the amount it set aside to cover bad loans to $300,000 during the quarter, just more than half of the $565,000 funneled into reserves during last years third quarter.