Real Estate News — Panel talks up home sales strategies, Burton Co. latest to begin designing houses at Carolina Park
•ReMax in Charleston area hosts symposium on real estate success•
Think YouTube, and many people envision the piano-playing cat, outrageous stunts or maybe the program Tosh.0 on Comedy Central.
But the anything-goes website also shows constructive information presented by businesspeople including Realtors.
Mark Gouhin is one such Internet promoter. The agent with ReMax Southern Shores in Myrtle Beach recruits clients via YouTube videos, opening with a simple “Hi, I’m Mark Gouhin,” and then launching into his spiel.
“People think they know me,” Gouhin says, explaining why he hypes the business online. “YouTube is kind of like my yard sign,” he says.
Gouhin joined fellow ReMax brokers from Raleigh and Charlotte on a panel discussion Aug. 8 for “Celebrating Success Charleston.” The event, hosted by David Wertan’s and Lisa Richart’s ReMax agencies, brought together a few dozen area agents to absorb information on innovative sales practices.
Following the session, the attendees finished up with entertainment at Marion’s restaurant on East Bay Street featuring the Charleston area cover band Plain Jane.
Eddie Sturgeon, Carolinas business development consultant for ReMax, served as emcee for the discussion group. “Our offices love sharing information,” says Sturgeon, explaining the interest in the symposium.
The Charleston market shows growth for ReMax. The company expects to bump up to seven offices locally by the end of the year, says Sturgeon, who lives in Mount Pleasant.
Wertan says the local ReMax offices hosted a breakfast and lunch in 2012 but wanted to expand the program this year so agents “can get a lot of their questions answered. “I’ve always loved panels,” says Wertan, noting that agents can pick up tips and ask questions face to face from a mix of experts.
The event supported MUSC Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network. ReMax has contributed $150 million nationwide to the fight against cancer among children.
•Mount Pleasant planned community taps local builder•
The most-recent venture to sign on at Carolina Park framed custom homes 20 years ago in the Charleston area and continues to do so today.
Headquartered in Sullivan’s Island, The Burton Co. becomes the sixth builder to erect houses in the master planned village off U.S. Highway 17 North in Mount Pleasant.
“The Burton Co. will add to the range and diversity of homes we’re able to offer, particularly in our Riverside neighborhood,” says Brian Keels, marketing director for Carolina Park. “Burton’s experience with ‘right-sized’ homes — along with its commitment to detail, craftsmanship and quality — is going to strike a chord with a lot of buyers.”
According to Carolina Park, The Burton Co.’s homes boast high-end features and top-notch finishes in flexible, efficient designs. Spiffs include cottage-style exteriors, wide porches, first floor master bedrooms, open living spaces and energy-efficient highlights.
The 2,400- to 2,600-square-foot homes will stand out on sizable, private Riverside home sites convenient to Carolina Park attractions such as the Residents Club featuring an extra-large swimming pool, developers say.
“We are pleased and honored to become a part of the Carolina Park builder team,” says Jack Burton, owner of The Burton Co. “As long-time custom homebuilders in the Mount Pleasant-East Cooper area, I’m confident we’ll provide the perfect complement to the other builders in the neighborhood.”
The half-dozen homebuilders raising houses in Carolina Park offer new dwellings starting in the $300,000s and custom homes in the emerging Riverside at Carolina Park neighborhood beginning in the $500,000s.
“We’ve made a real effort to offer a variety of choices to our customers. With the addition of Burton, we’ve expanded that appeal nicely to reach clients who want the features, quality and aesthetic appeal of a traditional larger custom home in one that is sized for their needs,” says Haley Cuzzell, community sales manager.
Encompassing Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital and Wando High School, 1,700-acre Carolina Park eventually will be home to more than 1,500 families.
•Hartnett Realty adds agent•
A newcomer to the Charleston area real estate scene has joined Hartnett Realty Co. Inc.
Jonathan T. McCarter is now part of the sales team at Hartnett Realty in Charleston. McCarter previously worked in real estate in Tennessee and in the Myrtle Beach area. Also, he is certified general appraiser in South Carolina.
For more information, call Janet Rugheimer at 843-723-7222.
•Bell: Still low mortgage rates, falling inventory benefit local housing market•
A mild uptick in interest rates for home loans shouldn’t sway shoppers from buying a home.
So says Georgia Bell, Realtor with William Means Real Estate, in her latest newsletter.
The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage rose .6 of a percentage point earlier this summer. She cited a report that found the average monthly payment on a $300,000 mortgage would go up no more than $100 or so.
Separately, inventories are dropping in the upscale markets of downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant and other home-related figures are positive, she says.
“Downtown Charleston statistics are looking great,” Bell says. From June 2012 through July, the number of days that single family homes are on the market fell 28.7 percent, inventory – or houses for sale – sank 11.4 percent, while the median sales price gained 13.4 percent in the downtown. Strikingly, condos and townhomes are staying on the market 35.3 percent fewer days than a year before. Townhome and condo median sales prices dipped just more than 1 percent.
Meanwhile, inventories declined 29.8 percent in lower Mount Pleasant, which is typically considered the areas south of S.C. Highway 41. The median sales price increased 9.3 percent and days on the market until sale slipped by 27.7 percent. Similarly, upper Mount Pleasant showed a 24.6 percent drop in inventory, healthy 4.9 percent boost in median sales price and a 35 percent plunge in days on the market before sale, Bell says.
•House prices advance in metro Charleston, state, nationally in June•
Local home costs shot up close to double digits percentagewise in the past year but still lagged nationwide prices that haven’t risen at such a fast pace in 36 years.
The figures stem from the monthly Home Price Index for June from CoreLogic residential property information and analytics firm.
CoreLogic examined numbers in greater Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, finding that home prices increased by 9 percent in June from a year before and by 1.8 percent from the previous month.
When distressed sales such as foreclosed properties and short sales are excluded, year-over-year prices climbed 9.3 percent in the same yearly time frame and 2 percent between June and May.
By comparison, home prices across the country surged 11.9 percent in June from June 2012 and eased up 1.9 percent from the month before, according to Core Logic.
Taking out distressed sales, prices nationwide jumped 11 percent year-over-year and 1.8 percent month-over-month.
“In the first six months of 2013, the U.S. housing market appreciated a remarkable 10 percent,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “This trend in home price gains is moving at the fastest pace since 1977.”
The trend is not expected to abate any time soon.
The CoreLogic Pending HPI, which estimates upcoming home prices, indicates that July costs will increase by 12.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.8 percent from the previous month. Excluding distressed sales, July prices are set to escalate 11.4 percent from July 2012 and by 1.3 percent month-over-month.
According to CoreLogic, the pending Home Price Index is based on Multiple Listing Service totals that measure price changes for the most recent month.
“The U.S. housing market experienced robust price appreciation during the first half of 2013 and our forecast calls for double-digit growth through July,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic.
“Despite their rebound of late, home prices remain reasonable in a historical context, with most states near peak affordability levels,” he says.
By state, prices are increasing in South Carolina at a slower pace than the nation or metro Charleston. The state ranked 19th highest in percentage gain in the CoreLogic home price index at 8.2 percent. Nevada placed highest with a 26.5 percent leap, while home prices in neighboring Georgia shot up 14.3 percent.
Just two states posted home price depreciation. Prices declined 2.1 percent in Mississippi and 1.1 percent in Delaware.
With distressed sales removed, Nevada again led with a 23.6 percent gain. Florida placed fifth, up 12.7 percent. Excluding distressed sales, no states posted home price depreciation in June, according to CoreLogic. South Carolina’s price gain was 7.7 percent to rank 22nd.
Of the top 100 metro areas by population, 99 were showing year-over-year price increases in June, up from 98 a month before.
•Trident Tech students assist in filming sites for East Central Lofts video•
From skateboarding to painting a wall mural, videographers and developers are trying to capture the urban feel of a new rental complex on Huger Street.
Crews including with Trident Technical College are filming in and around East Central Lofts.
“We are getting pretty excited,” says Parker Meyer, executive producer of Parker Meyer Creative LLC.
Her agency’s production crew was on location in the Charleston peninsula and Hampton Park showcasing surrounding neighborhoods. Another “shoot” involves muralist David Boatwright on a scissor lift painting the East Central Lofts sign on the Interstate 26 side of the building.
She says several actors are shown riding bicycles and skateboards through the neighborhood “to convey our livable commercial narrative and digital story alongside our beauty shots of the building itself and the surrounding areas.”
The project has been in development since early May. “Given the rain delays of this historically wet summer, we are so proud to be pulling this off on such a short schedule,” Meyer says.
She credits the director, T.J. Scheideker, for detailed efforts planning the shoots.
“We look forward to being in editing on this next week and to deliver an uber cool video for our clients’ websites this month,” she says.
Meyer describes the commercial video project as “a combination of love and labor of the students of Trident Tech’s Film Department and the sustainable revitalization movement of the post-industrial Charleston Neck.”