Real Estate News — Agency enlists two new associates; rental association to host fiscal overview from Chamber of Commerce vp

Shari Gordon (Provided).

Two agents who bring polished sales and customer service backgrounds are joining separate offices of a top Charleston area real estate player.

Kathryn Poe and Shari Gordon will represent Carolina One Real Estate, described as the “market leader” participating in one of every three transactions.

Poe will be setting up in the West Ashley office on Orleans Road, while Gordon will work from the Highway 17 North office in Mount Pleasant.

An Ohio State University fashion merchandising graduate, Gordon carved out a successful 20-year retail sales career before transitioning into the real estate field.

She brought “superior customer service skills” to her new profession, rising to top producer for several Virginia and Maryland brokerages before relocating to the Charleston area in 2013, according to Carolina One Real Estate Services.

She holds titles as certified residential specialist; e-pro certified; master negotiator; price strategist; and home stager.

The Mount Pleasant resident is married and the mother of three stepchildren. In her free time, she enjoys golf, tennis, boating and skiing.

Poe, born in Columbia and a University of South Carolina graduate, moved to the Charleston area 11 years ago.

She opened May Mojo Boutique in 2006 and operated the shop until it was sold in 2014. She brings more than 15 years’ experience in sales, marketing and business development to the Charleston Central office.

Poe lives in Charleston with husband Kelley and their dog Bird. Her interests include swimming, painting, sculpting and walking local beaches and the Charleston Greenway.

Carolina One Real Estate Services sports 11 sales centers; a full service mortgage division; and seven departments dedicated to insurance, new homes, relocation, commercial real estate, property management, vacation rentals and title services.

Visit the company website at www.carolinaone.com.

Owners of valuable real estate and apartment community backers can glean interesting updates on the local economy this month.

Charleston Apartment Association has invited a commerce promoter to speak to the group at its February dinner meeting 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4831 Tanger Outlet Blvd. in North Charleston. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. The event costs $35 per member.

Laura Bright, vice president of marketing for the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, will speak. According to the Apartment Association, she will share a 2015 economic outlook and other notable statistics for the Charleston area.

For more information, go to www.charlestonapartmentassociation.com.

The Cliffs believes a sophisticated beverage rooted in vineyards will attract patrons while economically benefitting the owner of seven Carolinas communities.

Notably, the Travelers Rest-based company plans to expand its wine program to further cultivate its image as a mountains-resort owner.

The Cliffs achievements include:

- Surpassing $250,000 in wine sales in 2014.

- Launching a “wine society” this year.

- Touting two “culinary team” members for passing certification exams to become master sommeliers.

Eric Cooperman and Tim Smith are taking part in the sommelier education program. Smith, restaurant manager at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove, passed the introductory sommelier course exam, which completes the program’s first level.

Cooperman reached the certification of sommelier by the Court of Masters, marking the halfway point to becoming a “master sommelier.” He’s the beverage director for The Cliffs Clubs.

“Eric and Tim bring an immense amount of knowledge and experience to our clubs,” says David Sawyer, managing director of The Cliffs Clubs. “From gourmet wine dinners, tasting events, panel discussions and Eric’s weekly Wine Consortium, their expertise is evident.”

The Court of Masters Sommeliers’ educational program boasts four levels, and students can take years to achieve the master certification, according to The Cliffs.

Among the skills, students dedicate hundreds of hours practicing wine service and identifying wines in blind taste tests, The Cliffs points out.

Just 140 sommeliers in North America and 219 professionals worldwide have earned the master sommelier title.

The Cliffs, meanwhile, outlines the financial gain from the wide-ranging wine program.

Wine revenues are up 131 percent from last year. A new weekly wine consortium sold more than 560 cases of wine to Cliffs members January-August 2014, “greatly contributing to this increase,” managers say.

Another profitable event was The 2014 Cliffs Wine + Food Festival, which featured six sold-out events held at five of its clubs and brought in more than $50,000 in wine sales. Plans are underway to expand the festival and wine consortium in 2015, according to the resort company.

“At The Cliffs, the culinary scene our members enjoy extends far, far beyond the traditional notion of ‘the country club lifestyle,’” Sawyer says. “The knowledge that Eric and Tim share helps them to better understand the needs and wants of The Cliffs members. A full understanding of the world of wine will allow them to tailor the beverage program to the members’ favor,” he says.

The Cliffs describes itself as a collection of seven premier private, luxury mountain and lake communities in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the western Carolinas. Homes at The Cliffs range from $500,000 to $4 million in price, while home sites start at $100,000.

For more, visit www.CliffsLiving.com.

Home sales in 2014 on Charleston’s “inland island” are less in line with the prior year than with the market’s pre-recession times, its chief real estate agency notes.

Last year “was another one for the records at Daniel Island Real Estate,” the company points out. It marked the “best year since 2008 and the market’s ‘big dip.’”

Moreover, the company expects the upswing to last.

“Homes on Daniel Island are selling for more money and in less time than they have in years,” according to Daniel Island Real Estate.

“With all indicators pointing towards continued overall growth for Charleston’s economic climate, we are forecasting the momentum in the Daniel Island real estate market to continue in 2015 and beyond,” the agency says.

Daniel Island property owners saw “particularly good news” in 2014 as home values increased for the fourth consecutive year, it notes.

Among the statistical highlights:

- The average price of a single-family home on Daniel Island rose 15 percent in 2014 to $787,000.

- Homes sold faster: The average number of days for a single-family home to be on the market was 75 days, an 18 percent drop from 91 days in 2013.

- Condominium and townhome values increased last year as the average price edged up 7 percent from 2013 and properties stayed on the market an average 59 days in 2014 compared with 70 days a year earlier.

- Homes sold for close to 98 percent of the original list price last year.

Daniel Island Real Estate, meanwhile, says it recorded a strong year as “the island’s most active and experienced real estate team.”

In 2014, the agency sold properties ranging from a one-bedroom condo priced at $120,000 to a $3.4 million waterfront home in Daniel Island Park.

“We sell both new and resale properties on Daniel Island,” the agency says, with its sales associates last year involved in the sale or purchase of 100 new homes and home sites and 117 existing properties.

The associates give back to the community, including with financial and volunteer contributions to Daniel Island School, Charleston Basket Brigade and the HALOS (Helping and Lending Outreach Support) holiday initiative.

“We’re all proud and thankful to be such an integral part of this special community,” the agency says.

Anyone interested in peeking inside buyable houses on or near a quiet barrier island’s beach or golf courses can venture out to a tour of homes for sale today.

Seabrook Island Real Estate will be hosting the open house event from 1-3 p.m. on the island.

To take part, visit the Seabrook Island Reception Center just before entering the Seabrook gate for brochures, a map and to arrange gate access, the agency says.

“While on the island, look for balloons to distinguish the open houses,” the real estate company notes.

At least 14 homes and townhomes will be part of the tour. In order of price, they are 2285 Seascape Court, $1,998,000; 2295 Marsh Hen Drive, $1,399,000; 2445 The Haulover, $779,000; 2202 North Beach Villa, $762,500; 2964 Seabrook Island Road, $749,000; 2420 Seabrook Island Road, $699,000; 2926 Old Drake Drive, $675,000; 2430 Bateau Trace, $649,000; 2995 Hidden Oak Drive, $649,000; 3365 Coon Hollow Drive, $639,000; 2602 High Hammock Road, $584,000; 2800 Cap’n Sams Road, $459,000; 3007 Seabrook Village Drive, $433,900; and Salt Marsh Townhomes, starting at $395,000.

Greater Charleston houses wound up a little more expensive by season’s end — not quite 4 percent pricier, to be exact — than in late 2013.

The finding stems from national real estate tracker CoreLogic’s monthly home price index, which includes U.S., state and local gauges.

In metro Charleston-North Charleston, home prices escalated 3.9 percent last December from a year before. They inched up 0.1 percent in the last month of the year compared with November 2014.

When distressed transactions such as short sales and foreclosures are excluded, year-over-year prices rose 3.1 percent in December compared with the same month in 2013. Also, prices jumped 0.7 percent from a month earlier.

Similar to the Charleston area, South Carolina showed a steady increase in home prices through December. The state placed 27th highest among the 50 states and District of Columbia in the single-family home price rise in December from a year earlier at 4.2 percent. Colorado saw the beefiest price appreciation, up 8.4 percent, while Connecticut witnessed the most severe depreciating values as prices sunk 2.2 percent.

With distressed properties excluded, South Carolina posted a 3.9 percent price boost year to year.

The national price-gain average for single-family homes was 5 percent in December from a year earlier. Month over month, prices dipped 0.1 percent in December from November. At the same time, prices rose 4.9 percent year-over-year when excluding distressed properties and bumped up 0.1 percent in December from the prior month.

Last December marked the 34th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in home prices nationally, CoreLogic says.

Meanwhile, the analytic company’s Home Price Index Forecast anticipates thatr house values will increase 4.8 percent nationally from December 2014 to this December while rising 0.1 percent in January from the previous month.

With distressed properties excluded, prices should rise 4.5 percent year-over-year and 0.1 percent in January compared with December.

CoreLogic dubs its HPI Forecast a “monthly projection of home prices” using the company’s indices and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

“For the full year of 2014, home prices (nationwide) increased 7.4 percent, down from an 11.1 percent increase in 2013,” says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “Nationally, home price growth moderated and stabilized at 5 percent the last four months of the year. The moderation can be clearly seen at the state level,” he says.

“Colorado, Texas and New York stood at the high end of home price appreciation, ending the year with increases of about 8 percent,” Khater says. “This contrasts with previous appreciation rates in the double digits — for instance, Nevada and California which experienced increases of more than 20 percent earlier in 2014.”

Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic, foresees a slowdown this year in price hikes, at least early on.

“Nationally, home price appreciation took a pause in November and December 2014 and we expect a slow start to 2015,” he says. “We expect upward pressure as low inventories and more first-time buyers drive up home prices.”

CoreLogic noted that the five states with the highest home price appreciation were Colorado, up 8.4 percent; Texas, up 7.8 percent; New York, up 7.6 percent; Nevada, up 7.3 percent; and Michigan, up 7.2 percent.

Excluding distressed sales, New York saw an 8 percent increase in home prices year over year, followed by Colorado, up 7.8 percent; Massachusetts, up 7.2 percent; Texas, up 7.1 percent; and Nevada, up 7.1 percent.

FrontDoor Communities recently completed framing its sales office in a new community on the southern side of James Island.

People in the market to buy a house can stop by Freeman’s Point, a new neighborhood off Grimball Road.

Julie Gustavson will be on-site agent for FrontDoor Communities, an Atlanta-based builder and developer and one of the companies that frames homes at Freeman’s Point.

She urges interested parties to “take your first steps to living the waterfront lifestyle.”

The neighborhood resides alongside marsh and creeks. Homes run from the $300,000s to the $700,000s, while lots are $210,000-$225,000.

According to the Freeman’s Point website, the neighborhood provides a host of amenities including Founder’s Park with gazebo, children’s playground and picnic area; a community pool; and pavilion.

For more, reach Gustavson at julie.gustavson@carolinaone.com or 843-352-4988.