•Experienced agents sign on with Century 21 Properties Plus•

One associate owned a real estate company, another was involved in new home construction. Now, they’re both new agents at Century 21 Properties Plus Inc. in Mount Pleasant.

Kathy Emde has 20 years background in real estate and most recently ran her own venture, Primrose Properties. In turn, Aimee Spencer joined Century 21 Properties Plus after working with builders KB Home and Centex.

In welcoming Emde, agency owner Tim Rash says, “We believe her experience will greatly enhance the services we provide to our customers in the Mount Pleasant community.”

The agent says she choose Century 21 so she could be with a company that’s worldwide. “Century 21 Properties Plus is progressive and offers its agents the best of everything to help service our clients with the latest technology and best marketing plans available,” Emde says.

According to Emde, real estate is her career choice. “I have been a broker-in-charge and manager for real estate firms but have decided to do what I do best, help individuals find the home of their dreams,” she says.

Spencer, meanwhile, has seven years experience in the real estate profession. “We are so pleased to announce that Aimee will be joining our team,” Rash says.

Spencer graduated from the College of Charleston with a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications. She and her husband Jeremy have three children.

“I am excited to be part of a nationally recognized brand with a highly respected and professional team,” Spencer says.

As local market experts, Century 21 Properties Plus sales professionals are qualified to help consumers navigate local real estate opportunities and provide sellers with chances to gain added exposure for their properties, the brokerage says.

Century 21 Properties Plus has two area locations, in downtown Summerville at 118 W. Richardson Ave. and in the Park West neighborhood in Mount Pleasant at 3301 Salterbeck Court.

For more information, call 843-856-0021 or visit www.century21properties.com.

•Local charitable groups receive funds from area’s largest brokerage•

Carolina One granted contributions this month to five organizations that cite hands, wheels, ministries, riding and a “sister” in how they help people.

The North Charleston-based real estate agency was making its first distribution of 2013. This time, five groups received $1,280 each. They are Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding, Crisis Ministries, Happy Wheels Inc., Helping Hands of Goose Creek and My Sister’s House.

Selections are determined by the brokerage’s Charitable Contributions Committee, comprised of Carolina One sales associates and chaired by Kris Kordonowy and Tom Tillery.

The charitable contributions committee was formed in 2006 to distribute grants to nonprofits in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. It consists of one agent from each of the 10 Carolina One Real Estate offices in metro Charleston.

According to Carolina One, the goal of the group is “to improve the quality of life in each of these counties by supporting the various organizations that serve these communities.” In the past seven years, the committee has donated more than $156,000.

The next round of contributions is in progress. Groups should fax their applications no later than Sept. 30 to Carolina One at 843-202-3025. Questions should be directed to committee co-chair Kordonowy at 843-202-2025. For more information, visit the company website at www.CarolinaOne.com.

•Consulting group: Carolinas housing recovery underway but spotty•

School quality and home volumes are driving the inconsistent housing rebound in the Southeast, one regional observer for a West Coast firm notes.

California-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting released a housing snapshot for regions nationwide based on reports from their area representatives. “There is no substitute for on the ground research, which is why we have so many offices,” the consulting group says.

Staffing the Southeast region is Atlanta-based senior vice president David Kalosis, a former Pulte market analyst.

He says that “Atlanta and most of the Carolinas have finally joined the housing recovery, but the recovery is very location-specific.”

Kalosis, without going into specifics, points out “several areas where lack of supply is driving new home demand and pricing sharply higher.” Moreover, he contends a region’s rate of recovery “is often closely correlated with the perceptions of local school districts.” Some of the area’s school districts “have changed in the last few years,” he says.

The Southeast isn’t the only area seeing a housing recovery of some sort.

Among the others:

• Florida. “Prices seem to be rising every week in Florida, and the Panhandle has now joined the rest of the state in a solid housing recovery,” Palm Beach-based senior vice president Lesley Deutch says.

• Northeast. The survey manager, New England-based Jody Kahn, says the only strong area is the New York condo market driven by international buyers. The District of Columbia, New Jersey and Massachusetts housing markets are “picking up nicely,” he says.

• Midwest. Senior vice president Lance Ramella, based in Chicago, says that “many of the Midwest markets have finally joined the recovery this spring.”

• Texas. Lot prices throughout the state are at peak values, says senior manager Paige Shipp, based in Dallas. Houston is the hottest market, where strong job growth “is driving tremendous housing demand.”

• Northern California. The housing market strength “reaches from Palo Alto all the way to Sacramento, where homes are now on the market for hours instead of days,” vice president Dean Wehrli says.

• Southern California. Senior vice president Pete Reeb says, “There are far too many builders chasing far too few deals.” That’s pushed land values back up to mid-2000s boom time highs.

• Nevada and Washington. The Las Vegas new home market is back strong, senior vice president Ken Perlman says. That’s particularly the case in the master planned communities, which are “so incredibly affordable,” In Seattle, public builders have created “a tremendous spike in land prices.”

• Arizona. President Don Walker says Phoenix has become ground zero for a growing single-family rental business. Phoenix home prices have increased 19 percent in the last year, “attributable both to investors and entry-level home buyers.”

• Utah. Utah County’s population “exploded 40 percent over the last decade and has very little ethnic diversity, creating plenty of demand and making the target home buyer audience a bit easier to understand,” vice president Nicole Murray says.

•New leaseable condos to open this summer in peninsular Charleston•

This “midtown” is in Charleston, not Manhattan, but the properties are designed with a Big Apple flavor, according to the developer.

The site is East Central Lofts, located at 274 Huger St. in Midtown Charleston. The property is a four-story, 72-condo “New York style loft living idea,” according to Rent Charleston, which is the leasing company and property manager.

The building includes a parking garage and is in walking distance of the Ravenel Bridge and its Wonders Way pedestrian-bike lanes, says Rent Charleston, the 89½ Wentworth Street-based division of J.L. Real Estate.

The architect is McMillan, Pazdan and Smith of 12 Vanderhorst St. in Charleston.

Pre-leasing of the one- and two-bedroom “uber-hip” lofts is underway with a planned move-in date of August 1, according to J.L. Real Estate at 35 Broad St.

Interested parties can make appointments to tour the site during the building’s construction phase. For more information, call 843-723-1988 or email Chad Hinkle at chad@rentcharleston.com.

•Daniel Island sees full-fledged boom in housing sales, construction•

While the Charleston area is witnessing signs of a recovering housing market, Daniel Island seems to be back on track already.

Home sales in April shot up 67 percent from a year before, while properties sold 25 percent faster than in 2012 at the same time, according to Daniel Island Real Estate.

Furthermore, the average time that houses were on the market in April was 84 days. During the month, 29 properties sold. Daniel Island Real Estate says five properties it listed in April “sold almost instantly, going under contract before the month was through. This is a level of activity that we haven’t seen in years,” the company says in its periodic Daniel Island Almanac newsletter.

Meanwhile, the community is seeing a sharp rise in new homes being framed. It comes as Daniel Island reports a three-month supply of available properties: Six months of inventory is considered standard in a normal market, the agency says.

“It’s good to see so much building activity taking place,” the company says.

At present, there are 73 homes under construction in Smythe and Daniel Island parks. Another 35 homes are going through the architectural review process and should be under construction soon.

The building efforts have resulted in a mix of speculative houses from 13 local and regional builders, and of custom builders raising residences for island lot owners.

Presently, 23 builders are constructing dwellings and three more companies will be starting their first spec homes on Daniel Island soon, the real estate agency says.

Separately, a new type of residence is springing up that will provide rental amenities for the Daniel Island Club. It is the Club Cottages, on-site luxury accommodations for members and guests.

Finished this year, the cottages sport “well-appointed interiors and outdoor living spaces and offer views of the 18th hole of the Beresford Creek (golf) course.” The homes, available to club members and sponsored guests by advance reservation, are next to the clubhouse overlooking the Grand Lawn.

Cottages come in two options: full four-bedroom residences or smaller “suites” with two-bedroom configurations. Guests can access the club’s dining and recreational areas and book tee times on the two championship golf courses, according to Daniel Island Real Estate.

•Carolina One sponsors Artwork event highlighting local photographer•

Notable camera shots from a Charleston picture-taker will be shown for two months at a brokerage’s office downtown.

The exhibit at Carolina One Real Estate’s 49 Broad St. location is the work of well-known local photographer Jack Alterman, according to the agency.

The display, sponsored by Carolina One, begins June 7 as part of the First Fridays on Broad Artwalk exhibits and will continue through June and July.

Alterman, a Charleston native, grew interested in photography while in the Marine Corps in 1967. He studied at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif., and in 1980 opened Alterman Studios in Charleston.

According to Carolina One, the artist is “best known for his work in environmental and studio portraiture as well as in landscape and architectural photography.”

His work was exhibited at the 2000 and 2002 Piccolo Spoleto Festivals and Gibbes Museum of Art.

According to Alterman, “The landscapes, architecture and rivers of the low country are an endless source of inspiration. I look for new perspectives that give me an entree to a world often ignored; a world simultaneously old and unseen, but exciting and new.”

He founded the Charleston Center for Photography in 2002 to promote and teach the art and craft of photography, Carolina One says. Nine years ago, he developed and coordinated a multimedia exhibition that brought attention to Charleston’s homeless population, the real estate agency notes.

His book Cornices of Charleston, in collaboration with painter Susan Romaine, was published in 2005.

The exhibit is open to the public. For more information, call the Carolina One Broad Street office at 843-577-0001.

•Remodeling update•

If you don’t think South Carolina is known for its barbecue, then consider this.

The Custom Home + Remodeling Show has landed its second South Carolina cook in two years from the “BBQPitmasters” show on TLC Networks.

Jack Waiboer of Carolina Pitmasters Barbecue Cooking School will be offering grilling demonstrations including free samples at the show, to be held Aug. 16-18 at Johnson Hagood Stadium at The Citadel.

Waiboer is a three-time South Carolina state BBQ champion, according to show sponsor Charleston Home + Design magazine.

He is also a principal founder and master judge of the Southern Barbecue Network judging organization, master judge for the South Carolina Barbecue Association and a “certified barbecue judge” for the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

He will appear on the fourth season of reality cable show BBQ Pitmasters in August. He is also PitMaster for Kraft Foods PitMasters Choice promotion and a BBQ personality for MMA Creative/TrybeTargeting — creators of the World Food Championships in Las Vegas.

Waiboer hosts GrateTV, a weekly show about barbecue, which can be found online.

The custom home and remodeling show scored a coup last year when Solomon Williams of Carolina Rib King, a contestant in BBQ Pitmasters, gave free grilling demonstrations.