Real Estate News — Agency brings on associate; Carolina One broker focuses on house building market

Celena Thornton (Photo provided).

• Thornton joins Keller Williams Realty •

A sizable local real estate company based in East Cooper has signed up a Realtor with prior experience in the mortgage and home building fields.

Celena Thornton is now with Keller Williams Realty. The Charleston native, has more than 10 years combined background in the real estate and finance industries.

She left the mortgage industry in 2007 to delve into real estate. She worked for a local custom- and speculative-home builder before going into general brokerage with Century 21.

During the past few years, Thornton spent time as a stay-at-home mom to help acclimate her daughter. She recently became re-licensed as a Realtor and is ready to use her mortgage background to help make transactions seamless. Thornton lives in Summerville with her husband, Chris and daughter, Addison.

For more information, visit Keller Williams Charleston at 496 Bramson Court Suite 200 in Mount Pleasant.

• New homes outlook for metro Charleston shows confidence building •

Home buyers, sellers, builders and agents are more excited about the market than they’ve been for some time.

That’s the upshot of the latest Charleston New Homes Snapshot for 2012.

“One word comes to my mind when I think about the first half of 2012, confidence,” says Will Jenkinson, broker-in-charge of Carolina One New Homes and co-sponsor of the quarterly report. “From the very beginning of this year, we have seen the ripple effect of the confidence of home buyer, builder and finally the developer,” he says.

Jenkinson says that upbeat feeling was reinforced at the first-time Charleston New Homes Update he hosted with research economist Joey Von Nessen of RESH Marketing last week for local developers and builders. “By all indications, our local new homes market is getting back on the right track,” Jenkinson says.

Among the focal points of the quarterly snapshot are permit activity, new home closings and performance of the area’s top 10 builders.

The figures come from Real Estate Information Service Inc., a Charleston-based housing think tank that coordinates the report.

Single-family permits, he says, trended upwards from Jan. 2011 to April 2012. They rose 13 percent in January-April of this year from the same period in 2011.

“As I have said before, this is a great indicator of our improvement in the market,” Jenkinson says.

Mirroring the rise in permits is a 6 percent increase in real estate closings for the first four months of 2012 compared with the same time frame a year ago. Permits were up 13 percent during that period.

“Since closings follow permits, I anticipate seeing our closings up 10 percent over last year when we close out 2012,” he says.

Meanwhile, the region’s largest new-home builders are showing strength. Business was up 10 percent in the first four months of the year from 12 months earlier among the largest local builders. The top 10 builders account for 80 percent of all the new home closings thus far this year.

For more information, contact Jenkinson at wjenkinson@carolinaone.com or 843-202-2023 or Brian J. Foster, sales and research consultant with Real Estate Information Services at bfoster@reisonline.com, 843-297-7182 or 843-723-8682.

• Daniel Island home deals jump from last year •

House sales are up close to 60 percent at Daniel Island Real Estate, a sign of an improving market, the agency says.

“The sales activity on Daniel Island is the best we’ve seen in a long time and buyers are starting to feel a sense of urgency again,” the company says in its monthly Daniel Island Almanac.

At Daniel Island Real Estate, sales are nearly 60 percent ahead of the 2011 performance at the middle of the year.

“In the past 21 days alone, our sales associates have written 25 contracts,” it says. The contracts include 21 homes (15 of them resales and six speculative homes) and four homesites including a deepwater locale.

“The appeal of Charleston remains stronger than ever,” the company says. “We continue to talk with people at various life stages from around the country who are ready to make the move to the South Carolina coast and Daniel Island.”

• Law gets loss mitigation credentials •

Recent training has earned a William Means Real Estate agent the designation of specialist in handling certain distressed property dealings.

Jay Law was credited with a Loss Mitigation Certification, or LMC. The nationally recognized title notes that he is up to speed on representing sellers and buyers in short sales, selling homes at auction, mitigating losses in foreclosures and handling bank owned properties.

In Charleston real estate since 2001, Law is a broker associate with William Means with his business focused throughout the Charleston area. He is a former broker-in-charge for a national real estate firm and has a Masters of Business Administration from Charleston Southern University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.

Law, a native of Moncks Corner, lives in Charleston with his wife Mandy and two children.

For more information, call Law at 843-442-1529, email him at jaylawrealestate@gmail.com or visit www.charlestonrealestate.com.