•Daniel Island transactions, values on increase last year•
Take a look at the figures, and the city of Charleston’s burgeoning inland enclave in Berkeley County saw real estate gains in 2012.
That’s based on a housing snapshot last month from Daniel Island Real Estate.
According the real estate company, Daniel Island seems to be shifting rapidly from the buyers’ market of the past several years to a market more favorable to sellers.
Contributing to Daniel Island’s “position at the leading edge of the national market turnaround” are Charleston’s popularity and the stability of the island’s established, master-planned community, the real estate firm says.
It notes several signs of the transition from buyer to seller market:
• Booming sales. More island properties sold in 2012 than in any of the previous four years. Meanwhile, single-family home sales increased 10 percent and homesite sales rose 20 percent last year from 2011.
• Fewer marketed properties. Currently, there’s less than three months inventory for homes priced below $1 million, and just three months of condo inventory. Real estate experts say that a figure below six months of inventory is considered a healthy market.
• Surging prices. The median home price on Daniel Island was up 12 percent, while the midpoint lot price rose 15 percent.
• Properties sell quicker. Single-family homes are on the market just more than three months, down slightly from 2011.
• Distressed properties diminishing. Foreclosures dropped 23 percent in 2012, and short sales were off 38 percent.
“It’s exciting to experience the market turn around so distinctly here, and we expect the momentum to continue,” says Rick Vale, broker-in-charge and vice president of sales for Daniel Island Real Estate.
The pace particularly accelerated in the second half of the year, which is when 64 percent of single-family home sales occurred on Daniel Island. “With properties selling more quickly than they have in years, we don’t see any signs of that activity slowing as we approach the spring selling season,” Vale says.
•Home, Garden TV ‘dream home’ opens for viewings•
A dropout prevention program’s local affiliate will be the beneficiary of funds raised in tours of a cable-network-sponsored, energy-efficient home.
That property is HGTV Dream Home 2013, located at Indigo Park at Kiawah Island. It is the 17th “dream home” showcased by the network.
Tickets to tour the Indigo Park home are $20 each.
Dyal Compass, the neighborhood developer, says it has chosen Communities in Schools to receive ticket proceeds from the tours.
Communities In Schools is a national dropout prevention group that surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life, according to Dyal Compass. Visit www.cischarleston.org for more on the local Communities in Schools group.
Tours of the home kicked off Thursday and will continue through Monday. Other viewing times are Friday-Feb. 24, March 1-3 and March 8-10.
Guests wanting to take the tour are asked to reserve a date online when tickets are purchased.
The HGTV-exposed home is the third of what will be 16 newly constructed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified residences in the Indigo Park development. The houses are built on 12 acres of land overlooking a picturesque marsh, according to Dyal Compass. Two model homes at Indigo Park are available for purchase or lease.
For more information on the HGTV dream home, visit www.hgtvdreamhometours.org.
•Huffines wins wildlife federation award for second time•
One time not so long ago, Calvert Huffines joined 400 fellow Colleton County conservationists to save an area river from pollution.
Huffines says that’s why he gave a favorable nod to winning the 2012 South Carolina Wildlife Federation Land Conservationist Award. According to the group, the Walterboro resident is the first two-time recipient, having been honored a decade earlier.
“I accepted this award on behalf of the Citizens For Colleton County organization, that with more than 400 strong, defeated plans to dump nearly 20 million tons of toxic waste in Colleton County at the headwaters of the Ashepoo River,” says Huffines, who has been a real estate broker and appraiser.
“The citizens of Colleton County worked diligently to protect our unique natural resources from what would have been an environmental disaster,” he says.
For the past 48 years, the wildlife federation has recognized leading conservation contributions. The awards are bestowed at an annual banquet.
The federation last week in Columbia credited Huffines with starting up the first “development standards ordinance” in Colleton County. He also was responsible for the Lowcountry Open Land Trust’s first board of directors while educating other land trusts, attorneys, landowners and accountants on the benefits of conservation easements. Huffines worked with landowners in the ACE Basin — an acronym for the watershed’s Ashepoo, Cumbahee and Edisto rivers — to preserve tens of thousands of acres with conservation easements.
“We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to recognize Calvert for his work on behalf of South Carolina’s natural resources,” says Sara K. Green, the state federation’s director of education.
•The Ponds sets sales records in past two months•
It’s a Dorchester County neighborhood noted for oak-rich surroundings and lots of builder choices.
Now The Ponds can add another feature: a higher volume of home-purchase deals.
The master-planned community spread over 1,950 acres between Summerville and the Ashley River Historic District set transaction records in December 2012 and last month, according to figures from the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.
The residential village posted a nearly 21 percent increase in closed sales for December.
Led by marketing chief Carolina One New Homes, the sales team at The Ponds tallied nine contracts in December, 12 deals in January and has tacked on more four contracts to date in February.
The Ponds salespeople averaged about five contracts a month throughout 2012, according to Carolina One New Homes and developer Greenwood Communities and Resorts.
“It’s satisfying to see The Ponds really hitting its stride as a community,” says John W. Morgan, who is Greenwood’s community manager at The Ponds.
Eighteen of the 25 properties that recently went under contract are homes to be built. The remaining sales are from builders’ existing inventories.
Among the builders that clinched sales in the past three months are Sabal Homes, D.R. Horton, Mungo Homes’ Harbor Homes Division and HHHunt.
The average home sale price was $303,500.
“We are excited to see this upward trend in folks building new homes at The Ponds,” says Will Jenkinson, broker-in-charge of Carolina One New Homes. “I think the fact that the majority are choosing to build homes shows an increase in consumer confidence, and we’re glad they placed their confidence in the wonderful community that is The Ponds,” he says.
According to Morgan, the neighborhood claims homeowners of various ages who are “making the most of everything The Ponds has to offer.” He cites the community-based YMCA, trails and ponds, the Pavilion and the new Ponds TreeHouse play structure designed and built by Lowcountry artist Wayne Edwards. Other amenities are a swimming pool, 11-acre multipurpose field, restored historic farmhouse and outdoor amphitheatre.
About half of the 21 miles of community and conservation trails have been refurbished. In addition, there will be 38 miles of sidewalks.
For more information, call 843-832-6100 or visit www.discovertheponds.com.
•Former Army regular joins national brokerage’s local office•
One of the new agents with Keller Williams bolstered her schooling and saw new places while in the military.
Georgiann Coluccio is with the company’s Charleston-Mount Pleasant office. She graduated from James Island High School and spent two years at the College of Charleston before joining the Army National Guard and regular Army.
While in the armed forces, “she had the opportunity to further her education and travel,” according to Keller Williams. Back in college, she earned a bachelor’s degree in 2008.
Coluccio lives on James Island with her three sons. She enjoys going to the beach with her family and playing volleyball, the brokerage notes.
•Foreclosure cases drop in U.S. and state in December, locally in November•
South Carolina is close to mirroring the national outlook when it comes to the volume of properties that are distressed and face being taken over.
The state’s “foreclosure inventory” stood at 3 percent in December, compared with a U.S. rate of 2.9 percent, according to CoreLogic analytics firm. Among all states, South Carolina is tied for ninth highest percentage-wise with Ohio and New Mexico.
CoreLogic this month released its National Foreclosure Report, which takes a look at completed and pending foreclosure cases.
The company says 56,000 foreclosures were completed nationwide in December 2012, down 21 percent from 71,000 a year earlier.
By comparison, foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. They started to rise as the housing market declined in 2007 and continued to increase until recently.
Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure, according to CoreLogic.
At the same time, about 1.2 million homes were in the national foreclosure inventory as of December, compared with 1.5 million a year ago. That’s off 19.5 percent.
The foreclosure inventory is the share of all mortgaged homes in any stage of the foreclosure process, the analytical firm says.
“The most encouraging foreclosure trend reported here is that the inventory of foreclosed properties is almost 20 percent smaller than a year ago,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.
“This big improvement indicates we are working toward resolving the backlog of the most distressed assets in the shadow inventory,” he says.
Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic, says, “The rate of foreclosures continues to trend down, albeit at a slower rate as we exit 2012.
“This trend should continue into 2013 and is another positive signal that the gradual healing process in the housing market is gaining traction,” he says.
According to CoreLogic, states with the highest number of completed foreclosures last year were California at 100,000; Florida, 98,000; Michigan, 74,000; Texas, 57,000; and Georgia, 49,000. States (and districts) with the lowest number of completed foreclosures in 2012 were District of Columbia, 89; Hawaii, 421; North Dakota, 521; Maine, 537; and West Virginia, 645.
Separately, foreclosure rates in metro Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville fell noticeably in November 2012 from the same period of 2011.
CoreLogic found that the rate of foreclosures among mortgage loans was 3.44 percent in November, dropping 0.47 percentage points from November 2011 when the rate was 3.91 percent. Local foreclosure activity was higher than the national rate of 2.97 percent in November 2012.
Also, the mortgage delinquency rate in Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville decreased year-to-year in November.
According to CoreLogic data, 6.31 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent in November, compared with a 7.13 percent figure in the same month of 2011.
•Greenwood Communities shuffles corporate duties•
A scion of the founding family will take over as president of Greenwood Communities and Resorts, one of a few top-level changes.
The Greenwood-based company, which has a host of developments including Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island and The Ponds in Summerville, recently disclosed various management shifts.
Heading the list: Bubba Self will take the helm as president and chief operating officer, the company says. He joined Greenwood in 1996 and is part of the Self family that founded the company.
Self most recently served as chief financial officer for the company. Prior to that, he was assistant vice president of amenities, vice president of club operations and vice president of financial operations.
The new president holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Furman University and an MBA from the University of South Carolina, the company notes.
“I am excited to lead Greenwood Communities and Resorts into 2013 and beyond and continue to grow our portfolio of beautiful and amazing properties,” Self says.
“We have long served as a leader in the Southeast in our management and development of both residential and resort communities, and I look forward to furthering our mission of creating memorable places that foster meaningful and fulfilling lives,” he says.
In other moves, Greenwood named:
•Brad Marra as assistant vice president, resort operations. He was formerly director of sports, recreation and merchandising at Palmetto Dunes. In the new role, Marra will oversee all operations at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, including golf, tennis, outfitters and the marina. He has a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Georgia Southern University.
•Jennifer Manzanera, assistant vice president, human resources. Manzanera, who has been with Greenwood since 2007, was promoted from director of human resources. Prior to working at Greenwood, she served as human resources director for two large physician groups. Manzanera holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Miami University of Ohio and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
• Thomas Self, vice president, controller. Also a member of the founding Self family, he is joining the company after working for Elliott Davis — one of the Southeast’s largest accounting firms — in its real estate department. Self is a certified public accountant and member of the South Carolina Bar Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Furman University, as well as a Juris Doctor and master’s degree in accountancy from the University of South Carolina.
Greenwood-built residential and resort communities also include The Reserve at Lake Keowee and Big Canoe near Atlanta. The company developed gated Coosaw Creek neighborhood in North Charleston and Beresford Hall in Berkeley County.