Business briefs

Aug. 19, 2013 @ 05:54 PM

M&F sees net loss in 2Q
DURHAM – M&F Bancorp, the holding company for Mechanics and Farmers Bank, reported a net loss for the second quarter of the year of about $66,000.
That’s compared to a profit in the same period last year of $124,000. The company also reported a net loss for the first six months of the year of $115,000. That’s compared to a profit in the same period in the prior year of $207,000.
Kim Saunders, M&F’s president and CEO, said in a statement that the bank is continuing to experience “significant pressure” on its loan portfolio due to a challenging loan environment and competition for qualified borrowers.
Saunders said the bank is continuing to work on reducing non-performing and classified assets in the year. The bank’s non-accruing loans decreased from $10.4 million as of Dec. 31 of last year to $7.34 million on the same date this year, according to regulatory filings.

July home sales up in Durham County
DURHAM – Durham County saw a 34 percent increase in home sales in July compared to the same month last year, according to the Triangle Multiple Listing Service data, as well as an uptick in its median and average sales prices.
There was a 5.3 months’ supply of inventory on the market in the month, and the inventory of closed homes for sale was down by 14 percent.
There was also an uptick in closed sales across the Triangle. The four counties of Durham, Orange, Johnston, and Wake, saw an increased in closed home sales of 37 percent.
Stacey Anfindsen, a residential real estate appraiser and market analyst for Birch Appraisal group in Cary, said July was “another great month” in what he called a great year. He said he expects sales to increase in the double digits in the remainder of the year, but not to be in the 30-percent range.
The increases are being driven by an improvement in the overall economy, Anfindsen said, as well as by an upward trend in interest rates, pent-up demand as well as by population growth.
While he said home sales are ticking upward, prices haven’t returned to pre-recession levels. And while the median and average prices were reported as increasing in the month in Durham County overall, he said the trend may not apply to county submarkets.
“It is a buyers’ market for probably everything above, I’d say, $500,000, it’s still a buyer’s market,” he said. “It is a sellers’ market for anything below $300,000. That being said, a house in really rough shape -- buyers are still really picky.”

N.C. Hispanic Chamber to hold luncheon in Durham
DURHAM – The N.C. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is holding the Hispanic Heritage Luncheon on Sept. 25 focused on the entrepreneurial spirit of Hispanic-Americans and their impact on the economy.
The keynote speaker at the event is slated to be Nina Vaca, chairman emeritus for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the founder and CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources Inc., a Texas-based provider of vendor management and technology services.
The event will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at The Cotton Room at 807 E. Main St. Tickets are on sale at 
http://nchispanicchamber.chambermaster.com/Events/details/hispanic-heritage-luncheon-71.

Black Women in Business group to launch
DURHAM – Black Women in Business, a group focused on professional development for black women, is launching Sept. 10 with an event at Durham-based N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s headquarters.
The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. It will include a session by Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, an associate professor at the Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, on the perceptions of black women in leadership roles, according to a news release.
The cost of the event, which includes a meal and session materials, is $21 for registration by Sept. 1, and $27 for registration after that date.
The group is planning to offer online and live events, including monthly professional development sessions as well as to create opportunities for mentoring and networking, among other offerings.
For information on the launch and to register, go to http://bwib-nc.com/upcoming-programs/.