South Carolina’s commercial real estate market is expected to have another successful year of growth in 2019, according to the Post and Courier. Major metro areas in the state are seeing low vacancy rates, driven primarily by an influx of new residents and investors.
British Airways also brought its first non-stop flights to the state.
The Upstate and Charleston are seeing significant population growth. The industrial market is hot, and the apartment market remains strong.
In Charleston, vacancy rates are at 3.42% for retail, 8.2% for office and 8.5% for industrial. In Columbia, vacancies are at 5.23% for retail, 10.78% for office and 8.23% for industrial. In Greenville-Spartanburg, vacancy rates were at 4.78% for retail, 9.87% for office and 5.31% for industrial.
The capital city of Columbia is holding strong due to the government and the University of South Carolina.
Wealthier retirees are flocking to Myrtle Beach, which boasts 65 miles of coastline. Most are moving to the northern and southern ends of the Grand Strand. Residents looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Charlotte are heading to Rock Hill. Charlotte is also home to Honeywell’s new corporate headquarters.
While the commercial market is still thriving, activity has slowed a bit due to rising interest rates. Construction pipelines are slowing slightly, and buyers are being more selective. Higher labor and material costs have made some projects unfeasible at the moment.
But experts say there is an upside to rising interest rates: it will cool the soaring prices of commercial real estate.
The office, industrial and retail market sectors in the Lowcountry, Midlands and Upstate are sitting below 10%, which indicates that the markets are healthy.
In the suburbs of Columbia, new supermarkets are opening, including Lowes Foods, Publix, Aldi and Lidl.
In the Upstate, BMW’s auto manufacturing plant and other industrial sites are fueling growth in the commercial and residential markets. That growth is having a ripple effect, with growth seen in Spartanburg and nearby counties.
The retail market in Charleston, which has seen top job growth, remains strong. Rental rates on the top end are softening, but new retail space is being added to the growing suburbs.
More office space is developed in Charleston’s WestEdge and Mount Pleasant’s Ferry Wharf. Mount Pleasant is also adding six new shopping malls, which are slated to open next year.
Many idle big-box retail stores in the state are being repurposed for manufacturing use, particularly cold storage sites.