Charleston’s construction flourishes

Key Takeaways

  • Overall, Charleston office vacancy was lower this quarter, despite 199,832 square feet of office space being delivered to the suburban submarkets. 
  • During the third quarter of 2018, overall market absorption was 216,393 square feet and the overall average market rental rate was 4.87% higher than one year ago.
  • Charleston’s growth rate is ranked ninth of 54 mid-sized U.S. economies.

Charleston’s growth is positive for investment and expansion

Charleston has a positive business climate ripe for continued economic expansion, as evidenced by Blackbaud opening the first phase of their 172,000-square-foot world headquarters location on Daniel Island during the third quarter of 2018. In addition, Carnes Crossroads opened a Class A 27,832-square-foot office building, and the Charleston market still absorbed 216,393 square feet of office space. The high office market demand will draw more investors, employers and residents. 
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Charleston’s growth was ranked ninth on a list of 54 mid-sized economies. Mid-sized economies have a population between 500,000 and 1 million. This high ranking is due to Charleston’s rapid growth rate of 2.3%, which tops the overall U.S. economy growth rate of 1.4%. Also, Charleston’s unemployment rate has dropped to 3% - the lowest it has been in 10 years. 

In addition to a strong economy and positive employment growth, the inland and coastal ports continue to set records for cargo handling. As of July 2018, the South Carolina Port Authority (SCPA) reported an astounding container volume record of 2.2 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) handled during the 2018 fiscal year, which runs from July through June, a 3% increase over the record set in 2017. In addition, March, May and June of 2018 have been the three highest volume months in the history of the SCPA. In June 2018, the SCPA handled 201,163 TEUs, a 10% increase over June 2017 and historically the highest monthly volume ever recorded in Charleston. Due to the prime business climate, positive workforce and investments, Charleston is set for continued office growth and new employer relocations to the region. 



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