Kiplinger’s rates Columbia No. 5 desirable mid-size city
Columbia’s family-friendly attractions, government jobs and low cost of living make it one of the Top 10 most desirable mid-size cities to live in the United States, according to a new ranking by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. The city ranked No. 5 on the “10 Great Places to Live” list, which examined cities with populations of 1 million or less. Little Rock, Ark., topped the list. “Surrounded by towering pines and bursting with hospitality, Columbia is as sweet as the area’s ever-present tea,” the magazine wrote. It also mentioned the city’s central location in the state and attractions such as Riverbanks Zoo and EdVenture, as well as downtown’s three rivers and Lake Murray. The magazine also gave a nod to downtown redevelopment – which has been fervent in recent years – saying it “combines historic facades with hip boutiques and eateries.” The September issue of the magazine featuring the list will be available on newsstands Aug. 6 and is online now.
Boeing adding to its California presence
SEATTLE Boeing is moving more engineering work out of the Puget Sound region to California. Management told employees Thursday that after-market engineering work on modifying jets for current customers and converting aging passenger jets to freighters will move from Bellevue and Everett, Wash., to Long Beach, Calif. About 375 engineers now do that work near Seattle. Boeing spokesman Jim Condelles said it’s not yet clear how many of them will be affected. Boeing engineering chief Mike Delaney in May announced the company would establish new engineering centers in southern California and in North Charleston, where it recently opened a 787 manufacturing facility. Delaney announced at that time that a separate set of engineering work – modifying out-of-production airplanes such as older 737s and 757s – would move from Tukwila to Long Beach, affecting as many as 300 jobs. Condelles said the new move involves a separate group of engineers who work on modifications such as aircraft performance upgrades or interior refinishing as well as passenger jet-to-freighter conversions.
Fixed mortgage rates fall again
WASHINGTON Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages fell for the second straight week, a welcome sign for homebuyers hoping to lock in lower rates that had spiked earlier this month. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average on the 30-year loan fell to 4.31 percent. That’s down from 4.37 percent last week but nearly a full percentage point higher than in early May. The rate reached a two-year high of 4.51 percent two weeks ago. The average on the 15-year fixed loan declined to 3.39 percent, down from 3.41 percent last week.
Kristy Eppley Rupon, The Seattle Times and The Associated Press contributed.