Home sales

Home sales in the Charleston region started the new year at a brisk pace. File/AP

It’s a seller’s market in the residential real estate business.

Last year, home sellers nationally gained about $20,000, or 11 percent, above the price they paid for houses, according to housing data company RealtyTrac. It was the biggest gain since 2007, when the housing market’s collapse took hold and the Great Recession began.

The gain last year marked the second consecutive year for U.S. home sellers after six straight years of average price losses, the company reported.

“With some local market exceptions, the 2015 home sales data paints the picture of a properly functioning U.S. housing market where homeowners can once again count on real estate as an appreciating asset,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “This return to consistent home price gains for sellers should reinforce confidence in real estate in 2016 and produce another year of solid sales volume as homeowners cash out their equity gains.”

The U.S. median home price at the end of 2015 was $206,500, up 10 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac. December was the 46th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in the U.S. median home price.

The median price in 2015 for the Charleston region was $229,000, up 6.5 percent, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

An Upstate businessman plans to redevelop several buildings on Cannon Street in downtown Charleston for hospitality use.

Greg Atkins of Spartanburg, through an arm called Upper King Investments LLC, recently paid $1.5 million to Geiger Living Trust of Mount Pleasant for the properties at 9, 11, 13 and 15 Cannon St., adjacent to the Charleston Fire Department. The Distinguished Gentleman Barber Shop is at 11 Cannon.

Atkins is planning “a creative redevelopment that will include hospitality and complete renovation of the buildings,” according to the commercial real estate firm Lee & Associates, which handled the property sale.

Atkins submitted plans to the city last May to build a 24-room, four-story hotel behind the buildings and behind 561 and 563 King St., where HoM restaurant and a walkway exist. In the fall, other plans for the site showed an 18-unit multifamily structure over a ground-floor parking garage on the site.

The plans show a separate vehicle entrance and exit on Cannon Street beside the fire station, an old fire tower and other buildings facing Cannon.

Atkins, president of Atkins Machinery, last spring sold the East Central Lofts apartment building on Huger Street for $12.4 million through his Huger Properties LLC.

New proposed condominium and commercial developments will be considered Wednesday by the Charleston Board of Architectural Review.

Concord Park Associates wants to build condominiums at Concord and Laurens streets near the Charleston Maritime Center.

A second request is for a new commercial building at 1081 Morrison Drive, where Edmund’s Oast is located. The 4:30 p.m. meeting is at 2 George St.

Lennar Coastal Carolina Inc. is asking the city of Charleston to approve plans for a 113-townhome development on Sanders Road, off Bees Ferry Road behind West Ashley High School. The city’s Technical Review Committee will consider the request Thursday.

A green building seminar is set for Thursday at The Harbour Club in downtown Charleston. The 5:30 p.m. event at 35 Prioleau St. will promote sustainable practices in real estate, business and public policy.

The scheduled speakers include Stuart Williams, director of Be Earth Foundation, a United Nations intergovernmental agency; Candace Dyal, developer of Kiawah Island’s 16-home Indigo Park, described as the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design community in a resort in the U.S.; Craig Gentilin of Royal Indigo Construction of Johns Island, the builder of Indigo Park; and Hamilton Davis, energy program director for the Coastal Conservation League.

The event is being hosted by Indigo Park and Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty, which handles property sales on Kiawah Island and elsewhere. The free event is open to the public but an RSVP is required to morgan@danielravenelsir.com.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.