•Agent who recently moved to Charleston area joins Weichert, Realtors•

Arriving with a financial background, Tonja Cooper has signed on with a local real estate brokerage to handle deals in Dorchester and Berkeley counties.

Cooper has teamed up as an agent with Weichert, Realtors - Palmetto Coast. She will assist homebuyers and sellers in the Summerville vicinity, according to the company.

She holds an associate’s degree and has a professional background in the insurance industry. She is also a member of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.

Cooper relocated to the Charleston area 18 months ago.

Weichert, Realtors - Palmetto Coast is at 1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite B2 in Mount Pleasant with a satellite office in Port Royal. For more information, call 843-375-2075 or visit www.weichertpc.com.

•CoreLogic finds home prices climbing in Charleston area, also increase in U.S.•

Houses in greater Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville valued at $100,000 last April would be worth on average $113,600 as of two months ago.

That’s based on new figures from national analytic company CoreLogic.

The California-based firm released monthly housing figures for the U.S., the 50 states and dozens of metropolitan areas in its HPI (Home Price Index) report.

In metro Charleston, home prices surged by 13.6 percent in April from a year earlier. Compared with the previous month, values picked up 2.1 percent.

CoreLogic also calculated price changes with distressed sales such as foreclosed properties and short sales excluded. In those cases, Charleston area homes prices climbed 11.9 percent in April from the same time frame in 2012 and rose 1.4 percent from March.

Nationwide, overall home prices increased 12.1 percent year-over-year in April, marking the largest such increase since February 2006 and the 14th straight month of rises. Prices gained 3.2 percent in April from March.

With distressed sales factored out, house prices across the U.S. climbed 11.9 percent between April and a year before. Excluding foreclosures and short sales, values went up 3 percent in April from March.

CoreLogic also reported its “Pending HPI,” which offers its take on the not-yet-released May figures.

According to the researcher, May 2013 home prices are expected to wind up 12.5 percent higher than in May of last year while rising by 2.7 percent on a month-over-month basis from April.

By comparison, May home costs excluding distressed sales should go up 13.2 percent from the previous year while picking up 3.1 percent from the previous month.

“The pace of the housing market recovery quickened in April as home prices rose across the U.S.,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic. “For the second consecutive month, all 50 states registered year-over-year home price gains excluding sales of distressed homes,” he says. “We expect this trend to continue, bolstered by tight supplies and pent up buyer demand.”

By state, Nevada had the highest home price appreciation as of April at 24.3 percent followed by California, Arizona, Hawaii and Oregon. Just two states, Mississippi and Alabama, showed price depreciation, falling 1.7 percent and 1.6 percent respectively.

“House price growth continues to surprise to the upside with an impressive 12.1 percent gain year over year in April,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Increasing demand for new and existing homes, coupled with low inventory, has created a virtuous cycle for price gains,” he says.

•Carolina One pitches in for Dorchester County animal protection group•

It was definitely “be kind to animals” week in Dorchester County, according to Carolina One Real Estate.

Agents and staff of Carolina One’s Summerville Main Street office collected and delivered more than a ton of dog and cat food, kitty litter, chew toys, blankets and animal bedding for the Frances R. Willis SPCA on U.S. Highway 78 in Summerville.

“Our folks worked really hard for two weeks to fill a desperate need at the animal shelter,” says Christina Ellis, office manager. “The SPCA does a great job on a shoestring budget and we were happy to help them out,” she says.

The effort for the SPCA is part of the company’s Carolina One Cares Initiative.

•West Ashley-based real estate company adds construction, design wing•

Southern Shores Real Estate Group’s roots are in home sales, rentals and property management. Now, it has branched into building and planning.

The company this spring rolled out Southern Shores Design & Construction Group.

Cheryl F.C. Ludlam, co-owner of Southern Shores and licensed residential builder; and business partners Chris Barnette and Rodney Hancock recently broke ground on a Johns Island neighborhood and are close to completing the first construction phase of single-family homes.

Earlier, the division completed a major renovation project in downtown Charleston, it says.

Southern Shores Design & Construction offers licensed and professional construction services and specializes in residential construction — notably custom homes — as well as major renovations and additions.

Other expertise includes sales, rentals, property and community management services, minor maintenance repairs and custodial services.

“We are excited to add new home construction and custom-built homes to our array of synergistic real estate services,” Ludlam says.

For more on Southern Shores Design & Construction, visit the main office in West Ashley, call 843-225-2990 or go to www.SearchSouthernHomes.com.

•Daniel Island show-house tour to start in late June•

Boasting a scenic view and sporting an “all star team” of designers, this dwelling soon will be open to the paying public for four months.

Answer is — the 2013 Coastal Living Showhouse on Daniel Island.

According to sponsors, the newly framed home by Max Crosby Construction is “a showcase of coastal home innovation, decor and construction.” The house, to be open June 28-Oct. 20, is on deepwater overlooking the Wando River.

Tickets, which are $15 a person, are available for purchase on-site during regular tour hours and online at danielisland.com/coastalliving. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

From June 28 through Aug. 18, the home will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. The house will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays from Aug. 23 through Oct. 20.

According to backers, “This popular annual home design project from Coastal Living magazine typically draws thousands of visitors from across the nation.”

Located within the city of Charleston, Daniel Island is a 4,000-acre community featuring traditional neighborhoods, private golf courses, pro tennis and soccer venues and a “growing collection of amenities in a self-contained island town setting,” according to developers.

The “all-star” design team behind this year’s Coastal Living house includes builder Jamison Howard of Max G. Crosby Construction Co. Inc; interior designer Ginger Brewton of Ginger Brewton Interiors; architectural design provider Our Town Plans; and Jeff Elliott of the Daniel Island Co. providing the landscape architecture design.

Max Crosby Construction, founded in 1977, is a noted local custom-home builder that emphasizes quality and attention to craftsmanship. Max Crosby Construction was the exclusive builder of the 2006 Southern Living Idea House.

Ginger Brewton Interiors was formed by Brewton in 2005. She studied at the New York School of Interior Design and now runs a full service, high-end, residential and commercial design studio.

Show-house sponsors consist of AZEK Building Products, Belgard Hardscapes, Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights, Circa Lighting, First Federal, Home Telecom, Laura Ashley, LEE Industries, Lloyd/Flanders, Marvin Windows & Doors, Metal Roofing Alliance, Moen and Sunbrella.

The 2013 Coastal Living Showhouse on Daniel Island will be part of a special editorial section in the October 2013 issue of Coastal Living, a national magazine launched 16 years ago by Time Inc. Lifestyle Group.

For further information, visit danielisland.com/coastalliving.

•Groups to host parade of homes back-to-back weekends•

A trio of ventures are sponsoring the Mount Pleasant Parade of Homes to tout East Cooper’s housing upswing.

The event will take place two straight Saturdays and Sundays: today-June 16 and June 22-23.

“In recent months the housing and condominium market in the East Cooper area has seen a rapid surge resulting in less than three months of inventory,” according to Parade of Homes organizers.

Charleston Home Builders Association, SCE&G and Mount Pleasant Magazine will sponsor the tours — featuring new-home and custom homebuilders, condominiums and communities that will open their doors to the public.

Among the builders and agencies participating throughout the East Cooper area are The Tides condos and Royal Palms represented by Carolina One; Masonborough at Park West represented by Emerald Homes; Sweetgrass Village, Oyster Point and Kingsbridge showcased by D.R. Horton; Wexford Park represented by Dobson Homes; and Rivertowne displayed by FrontDoor Communities.

For more information, visit www.MountPleasantParadeofHomes.com.

•Carnes Crossroads Real Estate makes contribution to local food bank•

An acknowledged newcomer to the Goose Creek area has presented a sizable gift to one of the region’s more prominent charities.

Carnes Crossroads Real Estate partnered with the Employee Advised Fund of the Daniel Island Co. to donate $5,000 to Helping Hands of Goose Creek. The organization is an emergency food distribution service and community outreach program serving residents in need in greater Goose Creek, according to Carnes Crossroads Real Estate.

The donation includes a $2,500 gift from Carnes Crossroads Real Estate and a $2,500 match by the Employee Advised Fund of Daniel Island Co. — the parent of Carnes Crossroads Real Estate.

“We’re just getting established in Goose Creek and we aim to become active members of this growing area of Berkeley County,” says Chuck Buck, broker-in-charge at Carnes Crossroads Real Estate.

“Helping Hands of Goose Creek does so much to help our neighbors in need. We hope this will be the beginning of a partnership that will evolve as our community continues to develop,” he says.

The charity opened its food pantry in 1989 to distribute food to families in crisis situations. Over the years, services have expanded to include hands-on budget training for clients, computer training and employment assistance. Assisting the organization are volunteers and outside interests such the Trident Literacy Association. According to Carnes Crossroads Real Estate, food distribution remains the group’s core focus.

“Helping Hands of Goose Creek would like to thank the employees at Carnes Crossroads Real Estate and the Daniel Island Co. for their kind and generous contributions,” says Michelle Arrendondo, the organization’s executive.

“We are very excited about this new partnership and look forward to working together to build and strengthen this wonderful community,” she says.

Carnes Crossroads Real Estate is the residential sales company responsible for new-home sales within the Daniel Island Co.’s emerging Carnes Crossroads community in Goose Creek.

The 2,300-acre mixed-use community is expected to include traditional residential neighborhoods, southern architecture, parks, trails and lakes carefully integrated with retail businesses, corporate offices, medical facilities, schools and churches. As many as 15,000 people are expected to call Carnes Crossroads home when it’s fully built out.

The Employee Advised Fund of the Daniel Island Co. is an employee charitable contribution program funded through voluntary payroll deductions and administered by the Daniel Island Community Foundation.

Employees of the Daniel Island Co. and subsidiaries such as Carnes Crossroads Real Estate can elect each year to contribute a portion of each paycheck for the fund. The Daniel Island Co. matches employee contributions dollar for dollar, and an employee advisory committee guides decisions on contributions throughout the year.

For more information visit carnescharleston.com or HelpingHandsOfGooseCreek.org.