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      SC home sales picking up

      GREENWOOD, S.C. (AP) -- Home sales are starting to pick up in some of the parts of South Carolina hardest hit by the real estate bust, such as the once-overheated coastal market.

      At the same time, prices are slowly and steadily rising in other housing markets that never spiked in the first place.

      Cities like Aiken and Columbia saw 2010 prices return to 2006 levels. In the Pee Dee and Sumter areas, last year's median sales prices had shown an increase of 5 percent for the same period.

      The small city of Greenwood is an ideal example of a steady housing market: There was no run-up in prices during the real estate boom, so there was no bubble to burst when sales dried up.

      Total sales in the last three years dropped by half, but the median price increased 9 percent from 2006.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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