Kiawah: Real estate sales volume up 29% through May

Sales volume is up this year at Kiawah Island Real Estate.

Kiawah Island Real Estate said its brisk sales for the year extended into May, though it didn’t have another $20 million property that changed hands like it did in April.

For the year to date, closings reached $113 million, up 29 percent from the first five months of 2014, the firm reported. The firm closed out May with $19 million in sales from 23 transactions but said it did not have year-earlier comparisons late last week.

“The spring has started off with a surge of activity,” said Chris Drury, president and broker-in-charge.

In addition, the agency saw $22 million in new signed contracts for May, a 44 percent increase from May 2014. Year-to-date, the agency has 92 signed contracts with a value of $145 million, compared to 90 signed contracts with a value of $105 million at this time last year.

The firm handles about 85 percent of the listing volume on the resort island.

The Citadel is moving forward with plans to demolish some apartments to make way for its new School of Business.

The state military college is asking the Board of Architectural Review for permission to tear down four one- and two-story buildings at 71-75, 77, and 79-95 Hagood Ave. and 309 Mims Ave. The buildings date back to the late 1950s. The review board meets June 24 at 2 George St.

In a separate issue, the BAR will take up a request from property owner CKC Properties to demolish a one-story commercial structure built in the mid-1970s at 87 Went-worth St. and 11½ St. Philip St., site of Circe’s Grotto. The owner wants to develop a three-story office building on the corner property.

A new Johns Island community is sprouting. Browns-wood Village, a Mungo Homes development off Brownswood Road, will deliver its first homes later this year. Marketed by Carolina One New Homes, pre-construction sales are underway.

The development offers 12 different three- to five-bedroom models from about 1,500 square feet to 3,000 square feet. Prices start in the low $200,000s.The model home is at 3187 Dunwick Drive.

Ryland Homes has opened Phase 7 with 84 home sites in the Carolina Park community off U.S. Highway 17 in the north end of Mount Pleasant.

Many of the homes have pond views. Ryland is offering seven floor plans in two- and three-story designs from 2,072 square feet to 2,964 square feet. Homes start at $410,000. Two model homes are open daily for touring. A townhome section is also being built at Carolina Park.

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Ohio-based custom home builder Schumacher Homes has opened two model homes and a design studio at 271 Treeland Drive in Ladson. A one-story model offers three bedrooms and two full bathrooms in 2,163 square feet. A two-story model is 3,420 square feet and features five bedrooms, three and a half baths and a three-car garage.

The number of underwater homes in the Charleston area continues to recede.

In the first quarter, property information provider CoreLogic found 10,517 residential properties with mortgages, or 6.9 percent, in the Charleston-North Charleston market had negative equity, or were “upside down.” That means borrowers owe more on their loans than their homes are worth.

First-quarter numbers are a lot better than the same three-month period last year, when 15,266 homes with mortgages, or 10.4 percent, were in negative equity territory.

Homeowners get upside down usually because of a decline in property values, an increase in mortgage debt, or a combination of both.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or