‘Creek’ On The Rise: Suburban Berkeley city touts new-home villages, upscale staples while benefiting from outskirt planned communities

Brick accents set off this house at 443 Green Park Lane in Brickhope Green, located in the northeast sector of Goose Creek. The burgeoning city is seeing large communities spring up on its edges (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).

Earlier this month, Rex Coyne started listing 170 Old Jackson Road at Liberty Hall Plantation. The three-bedroom, two-story property is priced at $199,875.

Already, a decent number of possible buyers have expressed interest in the property, says Coyne, of Gatehouse Realty.

“We’ve only had it on the market a week now. I think we’ve shown it seven times,” he says. “That shows the market is pretty healthy.”

This active sales history is typical in Goose Creek, where buyers can purchase homes at value prices in locales close to employers and major thoroughfares. For instance, Liberty Hall Plantation stands a couple of miles east of U.S. Highway 52.

At the same time, Goose Creek has been stretching beyond its real estate roots — in which Crowfield Plantation has been the primary market from starter homes to upscale designs — to a more widespread layout reaching the Goose Creek Reservoir on the south to Carnes Crossroads and the tip of Henry Brown Boulevard to the north.

Coyne says the region’s chief headache right now is a shortage of houses for sale. The total number of homes on the market has fallen by 6.2 percent.

“I think the inventory is getting tight. But the market is good,” he says, noting that new-home builders are starting to catch up with demand.

Meanwhile, home prices rose steadily if not dramatically in the past year, increasing 3.3 percent to $186,760 from $180,709 a year ago, Coyne says.

The values have been increasing for at least five years. According to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, the median price in the Goose Creek-Moncks Corner area in 2010 was $154,945. It’s risen 11.3 percent since then to $172,500 last year, some of the highest points since before the housing recession in the late 2000s.

“The way I always feel, it’s like we are back almost. People bought at a certain time, and (prices) are back” to that point, he says.

Donna Converse, a veteran broker associate with Coldwell Banker United, Realtors in Goose Creek, is also feeling optimistic about the market in Berkeley County’s largest community.

Housing activity is “wonderful,” says Converse, vice president of the North Area Top Producers Club.

“It has been very brisk,” she says.

Like Coyne, the Coldwell Banker agent notices the mild letdown from the shortage of houses for sale.

“We have more buyers than inventory,” Converse says. As a result, prices and negotiations tactics “are leaning toward the seller.”

Converse says Goose Creek should weather the drain in available homes, noting that the middle class area showcases less-costly houses.

“I think one of the things Goose Creek offers is more affordable housing,” she says. “You can do the same home with the same (new-home) builder and floor plan, and it costs $15,000 to $50,000” less in Goose Creek than, for instance, pricey Mount Pleasant, she says.

Goose Creek home prices, she says, have gone up a little.

“We’ve seen a 6-7 percent price increase year to year,” she says, with the average figure around $185,000.

The region, Converse says, is expected to become more sought-after as amenities build up around Nexton near Summerville and at Cane Bay and Carnes Crossroads off U.S. Highway 176.

“Once they expand Nexton, you’re talking good shopping,” she says.

To reach Goose Creek from downtown Charleston, head west on Interstate 26. Proceed less than 15 miles to exit 209A for Highway 52. Take Highway 52 into North Charleston and continue across the marsh viaduct to Goose Creek. The town is spread out primarily along highways 176 and 52.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.

Location: Berkeley County

Number of homes: 8,000

Square footage: 912-4,113 square feet

Look & feel: The expanding city finds itself on the edge of a growth spurt to the east and north. Crowfield Plantation makes up the bulk of the residences in the heart of town, where enclaves of families and couples take advantage of amenities such as a swimming center and golf course. Goose Creek taps into major employers such as Century Aluminum, Google, industries at Bushy Park and the Naval Weapons Station. At the same time, the city has expanded east of U.S. Highway 52 and northwest out Highway 176 toward the master-planned Carnes Crossroads community. Quiet neighborhoods have sprung up along Henry Brown Boulevard where youngsters ride bikes and seniors stroll along sidewalks. Another growing area is on the south side of the city off Foster Creek Road.

Homes on market: 383

List prices: $42,000-$525,000

Schools: Goose Creek and Westview primary; Boulder Bluff, Devon Forest, Howe Hall AIMS, Marrington and Westview elementary; Sedgefield Intermediate; Marrington School of the Arts, Sedgefield and Westview middle; and Goose Creek and Stratford high.

Fun facts: According to the city of Goose Creek’s website, the original settlers in the 1670s came from Barbados; small black settlements in the early 20th century had community names such as Grove Hall, Casey, Bowens Corner, Mount Holly, Back River, Howe Hall and Liberty Hall.