Sales by county

Charleston: 570 homes sold at a median price of $234,950. Last August, 483 homes sold at a median of $219,000. Berkeley: 240 homes sold at a median of $173,945. Last August, 226 homes sold at a median of $158,950.Dorchester: 175 homes sold at a median of $164,000. Last August the same number of homes sold, at a median of $165,000.Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

More than 1,000 homes were sold in the greater Charleston area in August — a solid increase over 2011 and the latest in a months-long string of encouraging trends for the real estate industry.

Home sales are up about 10 percent so far this year, for the region that includes Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester counties.

Statistical reports from the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors have been showing encouraging residential real estate trends since the fall of 2011. Sales have been rising, inventories have been falling and median sales prices are hinting that real estate values are starting to rise.

All the while, mortgage rates for borrowers remain at attractive levels.

But it’s been a lopsided recovery, with Charleston County responsible for much of the region’s gains in sales.

For example, in August 110 more homes were sold across the region than in 2011, and Charleston County accounted for 87 of them. In Berkeley County, where year-to-date sales have been flat compared to last year, August showed modest improvement, while Dorchester County’s August home sales were the same as last year.

“The August sales figures are ongoing evidence of consistency and stability in our market,” said Herb Koger, the association’s president.

After five years of falling real estate sales, Realtors have been focusing on stability, particularly in over-built areas. In Charleston County, it looks more like a recovery, with home inventories at low levels and sales up double-digits over 2011.

The association said sales volume this year is the best since 2007. Also, July home sales were revised upward by the North Charleston-based group to 984 sales from the preliminary figure of 972 transactions.

Add it all up and across the Charleston area 6,978 homes were sold in 2012, through August, at a median price of $190,555. During the same eight-month period last year, 6,351 homes were sold at a median price of $178,844, according to the association.

Koger cited remarks that National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun made last month at an event in Charleston. Yun said the real estate market recovery began toward the end of 2011 and “could be a sustained recovery over the next five years.”

“As we heard from ... Yun last month at the market update, our local market is being re-established on a firm foundation of sustainable sales and price growth,” Koger said.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.