Metro Charleston new homes ‘snapshot’ shows consistency

Just like a quarterback who doesn’t throw an interception, the new homes market in the Charleston area has remained unflappable.

That’s the take from the latest Charleston New Homes Snapshot, authored by Will Jenkinson and sales and research consultant Brian J. Foster.

“I used the word ‘consistent’ to describe the first of this year in the new homes market,” says Jenkinson, broker-in-charge of Carolina One New Homes.

“With rates continuing to stay below 5 percent and the local job market continuing to improve, I do believe that we will continue to have a strong second half of the year in our local market,” he says.

Among the findings as compiled by Real Estate Information Service Inc., Johns Island and Bees Ferry Road corridor west of the Ashley, both in Charleston County, are driving new home closings in the first half of the year. Charleston County posted 352 closings, or 37 percent; Berkeley County had 334, or 36 percent; and Dorchester County tallied 256, or 27 percent.

Also from the Real Estate Information Service, transactions declined slightly while prices rose a little in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period of last year among the top 10 local builders. Home closings were down 1 percent, while the average price was up 2 percent during the time period.

Headed by Pulte Group for national builders and Harbor Homes for private outfits, the top 10 accounted for 78 percent of home closings in the first six months of the year.

Statewide, greater Charleston leads other metro areas in permits and new home closings for January-June 2011. Greenville placed second in permits, and Columbia was runner-up in closings.

“I expect Charleston to remain the leader in both of these areas with the growth of our job market base through 2011,” Jenkinson says.

All told, greater Charleston reported 1,150 single family permits and 900 new home closings; Columbia tallied 1,100 permits and 790 closings, Myrtle Beach posted 750 permits and 690 closings and Greenville totaled 1,100 permits and 420 closings.

Mortgage broker offers website searches

Bobby Wallace of Anchor Mortgage has secured licensing rights to HomesByLender.com in Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester and Colleton counties.

The system involves For Sale By Owner properties.

According to Wallace, property owners who are trying to sell without the assistance of a real estate agent now have another option to increase exposure.

HomesByLender.com is a national FSBO searchable website that allows property owners to upload information relevant to the property they are trying to sell. Homebuyers can easily locate homes that are generally not available on the MLS and finance these homes with a recommended Charleston mortgage professional.

With HomesByLender.com, FSBO clients have access to a “for sale by owner” system that includes national exposure through the HomesByLender.com site, use of a yard and car window sign, access to a certified mortgage planner to assist with financing questions and a FSBO assistance package.

To use the site, visit www.homesbylender.com/charleston then, in the right side column of the page, select AddYour Home.

HomesByLender.com Inc. and its local site operators do not guarantee the accuracy of information listed for each advertised property. The system is simply an avenue for the “do it yourself seller” to place an online ad similar to one in a newspaper or magazine while also advertising mortgage services.

Wallace's office is at 895 Island Park Drive on Daniel Island. For more information, contact Wallace at 843-200-5617, via email at bobby@anchor-mtg.com or by visiting www.homesbylender.com/charleston.

Local Realtor, shopper touted on HGTV’s 'House Hunters'

A Charleston real estate firm made a splash this week debuting on television with a first-time homebuyer on a national reality show.

Realtor Molly Conn of The Cassina Group, showed a shopper three houses in the Charleston area in an episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters” series, telecast Sept. 12 at 8 p.m.

The show follows a homebuyer and their Realtor as they look at three homes in a specific geographic area and then reveal which home they purchase, according to Cassina Group.

For this episode, Conn takes a young woman — relocating to Charleston for a nursing job downtown — and her boyfriend through homes in West Ashley, Johns Island and North Charleston. They tour model homes at The Cottages at Johns Island and Baker Plantation in North Charleston, as well as an older home in West Ashley, Cassina Group says.

“This buyer was a well thought-out, organized homebuyer who knew exactly what she wanted,” Conn says. “She had high expectations on a tight budget (under $200,000), but ultimately we were able to meet those expectations after a little exploring.”

The show was filmed last year. For more information, visit www.TheCassinaGroup.com, call (843) 628-0008 or go to Conn’s blog at http://mollyconn.wordpress.com.

Myrtle Beach area condo auction set for next month

Interested in beachside properties for less than $100,000? That’s the initial pricing set for the Oct. 8 bidding on 52 condominiums on the Grand Strand.

California-based real estate investment and services company Kennedy Wilson says it is making preparations to auction the oceanfront and ocean-view condos.

The auction will begin at 1 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort, 9800 Queensway Blvd. in Myrtle Beach.

Properties include 25 luxury ocean-view condos at Prince Resort at the Cherry Grove Pier; 15 oceanfront resort condos at Coral Beach Resort & Suites; and 12 oceanfront sun-suite studios at Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort. The properties are in North Myrtle Beach and in Myrtle Beach.

Starting bids on one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury condos at Prince Resort range from $60,000 to $120,000. They were previously $350,000 to $690,000. Starting bids on the one-bedroom, one-bath oceanfront condos at Coral Beach Resort begin at $45,000. The suites were priced up to $300,000. And starting bids on studio condos with oceanfront and ocean views at Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort are $20,000-$25,000. They had been priced up to $194,900.

“The upcoming auction at Myrtle Beach is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for vacationers or stay-cationers to stake out their place in the sun,” says Rhett Winchell, president of KW Auction Group.

“Each one of these three oceanfront communities offers something special to lovers of resort-style living,” Winchell says, “and at these exceptionally low prices they'll love living here even more.”

A free “All About Auctions” information session will be held Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. Registered bidders are invited to attend. The session, to be held at the Prince Resort at the Cherry Grove Pier, will allow registered bidders to familiarize themselves with the auction process, practice bidding strategies and learn how to pre-qualify for financing. There also will be a live practice auction.

For more information, visit www.MyrtleBeachCondoAuction.com or www.kennedywilson.com.