Weichert agents exceed income goals in May, April

A starting football team's worth of associates for one Mount Pleasant real estate company earned abundant commissions during the last full month of spring.

Weichert, Realtors - Palmetto Coast posted strong totals in May, as 11 agents beat the company's minimum goal for gross commission income. The glowing performance followed a similarly solid month in April, when a dozen Realtors topped their benchmarks, the brokerage says.

Agency broker-owner Annalisa Jordan disclosed the individual achievements last month.

In May, the leading Realtors consisted of Sheryl Hill, Tabatha Mohr, Larry Trame, Trish Wheeler, Jonathan Babinchak, Jayme Knoll, Sing Pappas, Michelle Rabon, Kent Covington, Nicole Madey and Laura Murphy.

According to Jordan, the agents sold properties in Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley, Beaufort, Horry and Orangeburg counties.

A month earlier, the income leaders were Babinchak, Knoll, Pappas, Rabon, Covington, Madey, Murphy, Nancy Hansen, Pam Marshall, George Matthews, Mike Miller and Shelley Monahan. They likewise converted sales within the six Charleston area and adjacent counties.

Weichert, Realtors - Palmetto Coast's headquarters are at 1035 Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, Suite B2 in Mount Pleasant. There's a second office in Port Royal. For more information, visit www.weichertpc.com or call 843-375-2075.

David Weekley Homes May River Preserve opens in Bluffton

Wrap your mind around a neighborhood of large yards, winding trails and lakeside settings as well as homes starting at $385,000.

Then take into account it's all open and ready for buyers.

National builder David Weekley Homes disclosed that its value-priced, amenity-filled May River Preserve community launched sales last month. The gated village emerges minutes from Savannah, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island.

The neighborhood will feature David Weekley homes erected in an attractive, historic location on the "majestic" May River Road corridor, the company says.

"May River Preserve offers a beautifully appointed poolside indoor-outdoor pavilion, trellis swings, fire cauldrons, boat storage, optional natural gas and a security gate," says Rachael Olson, sales consultant.

The preserve will offer 93 lakefront and 16 nature preserve home sites. "The Lowcountry architecture sets the ambiance of Bluffton's newest lakeside community, located near your everyday conveniences, beaches and more," she says.

Spiffs include half- to one-acre yards, recreation center and hiking and biking trails. The EnergySaver homes tout a heating and cooling energy usage guarantee backed by the Environments for Living program, according to David Weekley Homes.

For additional information about May River Preserve, contact Olson or Nancy Cantor at 843-757-7033.

Founded in 1976, Houston-based David Weekley Homes builds houses and neighborhoods in 18 cities across the U.S. The company has closed sales on more than 75,000 homes since inception.

To learn more, visit the company's website at www.davidweekleyhomes.com.

Dickinson joins East Cooper firm in downtown office

The Cassina Group says it's signed up a roundly experienced local Realtor who specializes in development and focuses on reaching out to the home-seeking client.

Veteran agent Elizabeth Ramsay Dickinson recently joined the company's downtown Charleston office, based at 69 Morris St.

"Elizabeth has always provided high quality professional real estate service and that is what The Cassina Group is about," says Owen Tyler, managing broker of The Cassina Group. "We could not be more thrilled to have her as part of the team."

According to the real estate firm, Dickinson brings years of general brokerage experience and a strong development background that align with The Cassina Group's culture and goals. She was previously with Carolina One Real Estate on Broad Street for 11 years and before that with Greystar Real Estate Partners.

Dickinson says she's impressed with "The Cassina Group's commitment to investing in technology and the company and agent's integrity."

Jimmy Dye, Cassina Group's co-founder and broker-in-charge, says Dickinson "will be an asset to this company. She is a proven professional and we are excited to have her on board."

The Cassina Group describes itself a boutique real estate brokerage with offices in Mount Pleasant and Charleston.

Last year, The Cassina Group placed seventh in volume as calculated by the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service. Also, S.C. Biz News named the agency one of the top performing companies in the state.

For more, visit www.TheCassinaGroup.com or call 843-628-0008.

Carolina One powers through push-up competition

In a Charleston fundraiser to keep kids in school, 53 teams spent a morning completing 112,130 push-ups. One real estate agency logged 15 percent of them.

Organizers of the 2014 Push-Up & Up Challenge at Marion Square recognized Carolina One Real Estate for enrolling the most corporate teams, 7. They cited the brokerage's Mount Pleasant North office for raising the most money of all the participating teams.

"We were delighted with the large turnout and the enthusiasm shown by our folks," Carolina One event chair Dave Sansom says. "Everybody had a fun time while contributing to an important educational program."

The May 30 athletic challenge supported Communities In Schools, a local dropout prevention program that organizers say empowers at-risk students to stay in school and achieve more in life.

In its third year, Push Up and Up focused on having fun, raising money and promoting physical fitness and corporate wellness, the Charleston area real estate agency notes.

Carolina One says its 40 participants racked up 20,465 push-ups - about 500 apiece - in half-an-hour to bring in $3,540. The event's hundreds of push-up participants all told raised nearly $55,000.

Charleston area house prices shoot up in April

Local home costs continue to rally from the dismal prices recorded in the national housing recession, including an 8.1 percent jump in April from a year ago.

That's according to some of the most recent figures from national analytical firm CoreLogic.

On average, a home priced at $200,000 last spring in the Charleston-North Charleston metro area would be worth $208,100 this April.

Values, meanwhile, moved up 2 percent in April from the previous month.

When excluding distressed deals such as foreclosures and short sales, year-over-year prices rose 7 percent in April from a year before and increased 0.8 percent from March.

The Charleston area's home price gains slightly lagged both the U.S. and South Carolina during the spring month, according to the CoreLogic numbers.

Home prices nationwide surged 10.5 percent in April from the previous year, marking 26 months of consecutive year-over-year increases. From a month earlier, prices rose 2.1 percent. Excluding distressed properties, values moved up 8.3 percent year-over-year.

At the same time, South Carolina posted a 10 percent boost in April from a year ago in what CoreLogic calls its "home price index." That rate gain was 12th highest in the U.S. California lead at a 15.6 percent rise year-over-year, while Arkansas placed last, up 0.5 percent.

With distressed properties excluded, the Palmetto state showed a 9 percent gain, or 9th highest.

CoreLogic also released its HPI Forecast, which brings together existing public data and proprietary information to predict the upcoming month.

According to the April forecast, prices were to rise 6.3 percent nationwide in May from the previous year and 1 percent from one month earlier.

"The weakness in home sales that began a few months ago is clearly signaling a slowdown in price appreciation," says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic. The 10.5 percent increase in April, compared with a year earlier, was the slowest rate of appreciation in 14 months, he says.

"Home prices are continuing to rise as we head into the summer months," says Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive. "The purchase market continues to suffer from a dearth of inventory which we expect will continue to drive prices up over the year."

Medical building kicks off Carnes Crossroads commercial development

Later this year, the first commercial development will break ground in a master planned community at the border of Summerville and Goose Creek.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare has shown plans for a 60,000-square-foot medical office building at the 2,300-acre Carnes Crossroads village at U.S. highways 17A and 176.

The structure "will be home to medical offices and outpatient facilities, including diagnostic imaging, urgent care and oncology services," the Carnes Crossroads online newsletter notes.

Roper St. Francis is a private, not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Charleston area. The new Carnes Crossroads center should be "a convenient location to serve the needs of residents in our growing area," the newsletter says.

Construction of the medical office building should start later this year, thus beginning the commercial development along Highway 17A at Carnes Crossroads. The center is expected to be finished by the end of next year.

"Summerville and Goose Creek will see the addition of many shops, restaurants and conveniences as our community evolves," the newsletter points out.

South State Bank brings on mortgage officer

A veteran home loan manager with two of the larger banks in the Southeast has joined the company emerging from the SCBT and First Federal merger.

Bringing 20 years of mortgage lending experience, Kevin Brookes has been named Mortgage Loan Officer/Vice President at SCBT and First Federal. The entities are being rebranded as South State Bank.

Brookes works from the bank's mortgage operations at 2440 Mall Drive in North Charleston.

Previously, Brookes was area sales manager for Bank of America and loan officer with Wachovia, now Wells Fargo. He has a bachelor's degree in business from Radford University.

For more information, reach Brookes at Kevin.Brookes@SCBTonline.com or 843-324-0279.

Southern Shores lines up host of Realtors

A steadily growing brokerage formed just eight years ago in the Charleston area has brought on four new agents and staff people to help handle its expanding base.

Locally owned and operated Southern Shores Real Estate Group enlarged its workforce in the past three months.

According to the company, the new Realtors and employees include:

- Chris Patricola, a licensed real estate agent from New Jersey who recently relocated to Mount Pleasant. He brings "extensive knowledge and experience in real estate." Previously, he worked in manufacturing and the mortgage industry. Along with his Realtor background, Patricola owns and manages several properties. That experience "will be a valuable asset" to Southern Shores' property management and vacation rental groups. Patricola will be based in the agency's West Ashley office. "When Chris is not working on his career, he is spending time with his family and children."

- Kylie Hampton, who joins the agency with experience as a community and property manager to add to her new venture in real estate sales. She has a bachelor's degree in criminology with a focus in psychology, and a master's degree in criminology. Originally from Pennsylvania, Hampton recently relocated to the Charleston area, where she earned her real estate license. She will be based in the Summerville sales office.

- Barbara Limehouse, a licensed real estate agent who will be based in the Summerville office. She is a long-time Summerville resident with more than 20 years of business and work experience "as well as an extensive knowledge of the Summerville market." She previously worked in retail sales, has been a master gardener since 2002 and "is a champion of the local Summerville area and culture."

- Lisa Provost, a 14-year resident of Summerville who has joined the Summerville office sales team as a licensed real estate agent. She previously worked at Summerville High School, raising her four children. Provost's children include three Summerville High School graduates and a rising senior. She will be "a tremendous asset to local families, and will also have a wealth of knowledge to provide for families relocating to the area."

- Leigh Stephens, who joined the West Ashley office as the lead "field service coordinator" of Southern Shores Construction & Maintenance. She previously was operations manager for a local heating, ventilation and air conditioning company and "brings extensive coordination and management experience." Along with her management background, Stephens is also a licensed real estate agent.

- Danielle Faulk, who joined the Summerville office staff as administrative coordinator. She previously worked in administration at another local real estate company. Her real estate industry experience and knowledge will be invaluable. "She will be lending her exceptional organizational talent and working closely with Broker-In-Charge Bill Milo to establish the new, growing Summerville office."

Southern Shores Real Estate Group offers an array of services encompassing real estate sales, property management, HOA-community management, vacation rentals, construction and maintenance, and cleaning and custodial services.

Charleston "locals" Chris Barnette and Cheryl Ludlam own the company. For more information, visit www.SouthernShoresRE.com.