New home developments are surging in the Lowcountry this year, but the market is showing signs of a slowdown due to a dwindling supply of ready-to-use lots, according to a new report.

The Charleston New Homes Snapshot for 2013 from Carolina One Real Estate says new home projects are still going strong. Permit activity is up 18 percent compared to the first eight months of 2012. A total of more than 2,500 new home permits have been issued in that time, the report said.

Permit activity is one way experts gauge builder confidence in the new homes market.

The strong demand and high sales have resulted in developers burning through the surplus of available land that had been sitting unused during the recession, according to Will Jenkinson, broker-in-charge for Carolina One New Homes.

“Trees are being knocked down right now and by about this time next year we will get the inventory of new lots where you can build new homes.”

The report also showed that Charleston County is taking the lead in new homes projects.

The county has several large-scale homes developments, which includes Carolina Bay in West Ashley and Carolina Park, which is off U.S. Highway 17 in the north end of Mount Pleasant.

Berkeley County marked the second most active market for new homes.

The county is in the midst of a major uptick in new homes developments on tap, especially areas surrounding Summerville. Larger-scale projects include Cane Bay, Carnes Crossroads and Nexton.

Home prices

South Carolina home prices have leveled since the recession, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report looking at the erosion of home values.

The federal agency report looked at average home values, as reported by homeowners, from two three-year spans: 2007-09 to 2010-12.

South Carolina fared better than most of the nation since the $136,300 average between 2007 and 2009 was exactly the same figure for 2010 through 2012, according to the data.

South Carolina was the only state to record neither a gain or loss comparing the two three-year spans.

The national average of $191,900 before the recession shrunk to $174,600 between 2010 and 2012, the agency reported.

The state with the largest post-recession depreciation was California.

The Golden State’s home average dipped to $358,800 from $461,400.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.