Market Overview

The year 2005 was tragic in terms of national disasters and loss of human life with the tsunami in Thailand, earthquake in Pakistan and Hurricane Katrina on the gulf coast. The long-term economic effects of these disasters is unknown, but 2005 was a banner year for the real estate market in the Greater Charleston area, with record sales prices and lease rates being achieved for all sectors, including land, industrial, retail and office. In all areas of this market, we saw continued growth and significant change. Recent announcements in the local Charleston newspapers cited the Charleston Region as having in excess of 113,000 new rooftops approved or proposed for the Greater Charleston area. This amount of potential growth in the population will fuel future growth for the real estate market, both residential and commercial.

Downtown Charleston

Another consistent quarter for the downtown market caused positive absorption and a slight increase in rental rates. Opportunity for new development in an otherwise tight sub-market is being created with the completion of the New Cooper River Bridge and the demolition of the older structures. The resulting open space will provide for new residential and mixed use developments. The redevelopment of the “neck” area of Downtown Charleston, with notable projects such as the Magnolia master planned development and The Ginn Company’s new residential developments, will all be on the horizon for 2006. The scope and magnitude of these projects will continue development for years to come.

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