•Ravenel professional heading up national home inspector society•

Encouraging dialogue among those who check to see that homes are up to par is a goal of Lowcountry inspector Bill Jacques as he leads a top trade group.

“Better communication with our members is a key priority as we continue to maintain the high bar for excellence in our industry and help our members succeed,” says Jacques, who is incoming president of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Jacques, who has run Ravenel-based American Inspection Service Inc. for the past 25 years, has also risen the ranks of the society’s volunteer posts. He has previously served as president-elect, vice president and secretary.

Jacques and the society’s board were introduced at the annual Inspection World educational conference in Las Vegas last month.

According to the group, leading officers and board members plan to address issues from home safety to organizational growth.

“Chapters are a lifeline for ASHI members, connecting them to meetings, networking, professional development and support,” Jacques says.

During his term as president, Jacques intends to reach out to society members and to other professionals in the realty and home inspection fields.

He also aims to attract new members while continuing to educate consumers on how understanding the condition of their property safeguards their large investments, according to the society.

“As an industry leader, ASHI-certified inspectors work with homeowners and buyers to protect their financial assets with comprehensive home inspections,” Jacques says.

Founded in 1976, the 5,000-member society is a respected professional organization of home inspectors in North America. According to the group, its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are industry standards.

The society notes that it is the only accredited home inspection association whose members have completed a recognized third-party certification process.

“Our members are recognized as leaders in home inspection by those in and out of the profession and by government entities,” says Jeff Arnold, the society’s executive director.

For more information, contact Jacques at 843-693-6912 or via email at billaischas@aol.com, or visit www.ashi.org.

•Barkley makes move to Lee & Associates•

A commercial real estate veteran who helped launch two local brokerages has joined another firm in the gradually consolidating industry.

J. Miles Barkley is now with Lee & Associates Charleston as a principal specializing in Asset Management, Brokerage and Product Development, the company says.

Barkley has racked up close to 30 years’ experience in the greater Charleston commercial real estate market. Previously he helped develop the Barkley Fraser Co. full service real estate firm and later The Barkley Co. LLC real estate management firm.

He is a graduate of Centre College in Danville, Ky., and of Porter Gaud School in Charleston.

•CoreLogic: Charleston area saw climb in home prices last year•

House values in metro Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville increased a healthy 5.4 percent last year, but still lagged the nation as a whole.

At the same time, sale prices dipped 0.1 percent in December 2012 from the previous month.

The figures for December are part of analytics company CoreLogic’s monthly Home Price Index. The gauge measures the change in home sale costs year over year and month to month.

The venture also takes a look at price differences when distressed sales are factored out. Distressed sales include properties taken back by the lender and short sales — in which the bank accepts a deal where it gets back just a portion of the money loaned.

Excluding the distressed sales, home prices shot up 7.1 percent in the Charleston area in December compared with the same period a year earlier and decreased 0.8 percent from the previous month.

Greater Charleston figures tended to mirror the U.S. housing market as a whole, although the price changes weren’t as substantial.

CoreLogic, which bills itself as a leader in residential property information, reported that home prices nationwide ballooned 8.3 percent in December from a year before. The price gain is the largest since May 2006 and is the 10th straight month of year-over-year rises nationwide. At the same time home prices increased 0.4 percent in December from November 2012.

According to the entity’s Home Price Index analysis, all but four states are showing year-over-year price gains. In South Carolina, values jumped 7.6 percent year-over-year, ranking 13th highest nationwide.

With distressed sales factored out, home prices climbed 7.5 percent in the past year nationally and 0.9 percent in December compared with November.

Separately, the CoreLogic Pending HPI computes that January 2013 home prices would escalate 7.9 percent from a year earlier and drop 1 percent from a month before, a sign of a winter slowdown.

Eliminating distressed sales from the calculation, January house prices are ready to surge 8.6 percent from a year before, while rising 0.7 percent from a month earlier.

“We are heading into 2013 with home prices on the rebound,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic.

“All signals point to a continued improvement in the fundamentals underpinning the U.S. housing market recovery,” he says.

“December marked … the strongest growth since the height of the last housing boom more than six years ago,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

“We expect price growth to continue in January as our Pending HPI shows strong year-over-year appreciation,” he says.

The top five states in home price appreciation as of December were Arizona, up 20.2 percent; Nevada; up 15.3 percent; Idaho, showing a 14.6 percent gain; California, with a 12.6 percent increase and Hawaii, up 12.5 percent.

The four states that reported home price depreciation were Delaware, down 3.4 percent; Illinois, off 2.7 percent; New Jersey, down 0.9 percent and Pennsylvania, down 0.5 percent.

•S.C. Building Council calls for 2013 awards nominations•

To hear organizers tell it, they are looking for “Green Building Rock Stars, Sustainability Super Heroes or just plain leaders.”

The event is the seventh annual Green Building Leadership Awards Program. Its backer, the South Carolina chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, is presently seeking nominations.

Winners will be honored at the awards program, sponsored by Duke Energy, and a luncheon sponsored by BMW. Both functions take place in conjunction with SustainSC2013 April 24-26 in Myrtle Beach.

The awards honor people, organizations and projects that have furthered the cause of green building in South Carolina, according to the council.

Groups and people can submit nominations for Leadership Awards and Exemplary Project Awards through Thursday (Feb. 28).

The work must have taken place in South Carolina and the projects completed in the past three years.

More than 30 honors have been doled out in the past six years.

Charleston area recipients include John Knott, Noisette in 2006; North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey in 2008; James Meadors and the Charleston Green Committee, Tony Bakker and Beezer Molten and Halfmoon Outfitters, in 2010; Don Cameron, Housing Authority of Charleston in 2011; and Bryan Cordell of the S.C. Sustainability Institute last year. For more information, contact council Executive Director Melissa Le Roy at execdir@usgbcsc.org.

•New, existing agents pairing up at large local brokerage•

Judging by two recent moves, real estate duos are trending upward on Daniel Island.

The community’s chief home sales agency brought on two associates, each of whom are teaming with a veteran of the firm.

Daniel Island Real Estate says that longtime island resident Rosie Stieby is partnering with 17-year sales pro Sally Castengera as an agent after previously working as sales assistant.

Castengera and Stieby met in 1999 when the sales vet showed Stieby and her husband the first neighborhoods on the island and sold the couple their home.

Formerly from Ohio, Castengera was one of the first residents on Daniel Island and has been active with the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association and the island’s successful Flying Fish summer swim team.

“Sally and Rosie both have a strong work ethic and share an incredible passion for Daniel Island,” says Rick Vale, broker-in-charge and vice president of sales for Daniel Island Real Estate.

Also joining Daniel Island Real Estate is Sean Tipple, who is teaming up with Carey Tipple to focus on island residential sales.

The couple moved from Ohio to Daniel Island after being smitten with Charleston on a weekend visit for the Cooper River Bridge Run.

Carey Tipple has been working with Daniel Island Real Estate for more than nine years, including three years as an assistant and six years as a sales associate. Sean Tipple left a 15-year career in mortgage banking to help create the husband and wife sales team.

The Tipples started a family on Daniel Island and have two daughters with a third child on the way.

“Sean’s background in mortgage banking will be an asset,” Vale says. “He and Carey are a dedicated and hard-working team.”

A subsidiary of Daniel Island’s master developer, Daniel Island Real Estate touts itself as the market leader for residential real estate sales on the island. For more information, visit www.danielisland.com.

•Keller Williams brings on shopping center specialist•

A new agent for one of the larger real estate firms in the Charleston area arrives with a diversified background in the retail trade.

Michael K. Elleman is president of Retail Portfolio Strategies Inc., which provides real estate advise to retailers “by focusing on strategic development, portfolio optimization and transactional activity,” according to Keller Williams Realty.

Elleman, who has joined Keller Williams Charleston Mount Pleasant, is a shopping center specialist with 28 years experience in the retail and shopping center industries.

Most recently, he was senior vice president-Real Estate for Chico’s FAS Inc. He headed all real estate activities for Chico’s, White House/Black Market and Soma Intimates.

Elleman previously was a senior vice president at Charlotte Russe/Rampage Stores, overseeing the real estate and construction division; and held various leadership roles at Limited Brands Inc. He began his retail career with Gymboree Corp. Prior, he was involved on the landlord side of the table, including 11 years with Corporate Property Investors — since acquired by Simon Property Group.

In 2008, Elleman was elected to the board of trustees of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He has served on the council’s Committee on Open Air Centers, was the 2010 Dean of the School of Retailing at the University of Shopping Centers and is a speaker and panelist at council events. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Missouri and a master’s in business administration from Kennesaw State University.