One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities.

Anyone who comes across Harrison Township is quickly aware that it is more widely known as Mullica Hill.

What about South Harrison Township?

The less widely known Gloucester County community remains rural, with new construction on large lots, horse farms, roadside produce stands, and the Wagonhouse Winery - the only place allowed to sell alcohol in a historically "dry" town.

By comparison, Harrison Township is "a metropolis," says Patricia Settar, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors in Mullica Hill, just a five-minute drive away.

"If you like open space, go to South Harrison," says Settar, noting that even new construction is on lots no less than an acre.

For example, her $429,000 listing in builder Bruce Paparone's Cambridge development is a two-year-old Wexford model house with a walkout basement on two acres.

The development, which consists of the Cambridge's 34 homes and 16 more on a cul-de-sac called the Bluffs of Cambridge, ranged in price from $359,900 to $429,900 for single-family detached from 2,710 to 3,600 square feet, says Paparone.

The community sold out after slightly more than two years, he says.

Ryan Homes' Deer Run is sold out. The community, with sites from one to five acres, and houses from 2,300 to 2,700 square feet, ranged in price from $305,990 to $464,990.

Bob Nocentino is building the Crossroads at Mullica, which Realtor Bob Johns of Century 21 Rauh and Johns in Sewell, who is selling them, said reflects "the upscale buyers' housing needs and architectural preferences of today."

The 21 custom houses are being built on lots that are also not less than an acre, range in size from 3,130 to 5,398 square feet, and are priced from $434,900 to $724,900.

"We recently signed a new contract on a sale in the range of $700,000," Johns says.

Developer Craig Taylor is also building custom, with a house on Lincoln Mill Road on a 5.48-acre lot listed at $425,000.

One of Taylor's specialties is acquiring large parcels from time to time and developing them as "mini-estates" and horse farms for clients.

Much of what has been and is being built is custom on extra-large lots, Settar says, with Leasford Close, started in the late 1980s, an early example.

"It was one of the most exclusive communities in South Jersey, with some of the custom houses built on five to 10 acres," she says.

"I love walking my dog through there," Settar says of Leasford Close.

Houses in Leasford Close, which range in price from $450,000 to $650,000, were not cookie cutter by any means, Settar says, with some substantial houses, as well as smaller and simpler ones.

Leasford Close reflects what people like about South Harrison: "Live expensive and live simple," Settar says.

Sandy Huckins, Settar's assistant, says she and her husband moved to South Harrison from Tennessee "because it wasn't filled with cookie-cutter developments."

Says Johns: "The area is simply beautiful and has preserved the beauty of country living, yet still offering many conveniences of local businesses, retail establishments, schools, and restaurants."

Both the center of Mullica Hill and Swedesboro are just a few minutes drive from South Harrison, and the proximity of Interstate 295 and the New Jersey Turnpike bring relocating employees to the area.

There aren't a ton of houses for sale - just 31 active listings recently. There were 16 pending sales, and 10 have settled since Jan. 1.

The average list price was $339,000, Settar says, and the average sale price was $312,445.

Although Nocentino has a contract for $700,000, the highest-price sale since the first of the year was $595,000, Settar says.

It isn't uncommon for a house in South Harrison to sell for $750,000, "which is a price not all that common in the rest of Gloucester County," she says.

The least expensive houses are ones that need work, she says.

"There is a two-bedroom house on the market listed at $120,000," she says - "perfect for someone who is not afraid of buying a fixer-upper."

Town By Town: South Harrison By the Numbers

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Population: 3,226 (2014)

Median household income: $116,722 (2014)

Area: 15.1 square miles

Settlements in the last three months: 5

Homes for sale: 31

Average days on market: 150

Median sale price: $332,000

Housing units: 1,056 with little new construction; multiple-acre lots and horse farms.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Realtor.com; Patricia Settar, BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

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