Third Quarter Brings Increased Lease & Sales Activity
Industrial activity continues to rise in Columbia, SC with a fifth consecutive quarter of positive absorption and decreased vacancy rate. The market absorbed over 52,000 square feet of space and ended the third quarter of 2013 with a vacancy rate of 6.78%, 14 basis points lower than the previous quarter. Large contiguous blocks of available industrial space are more limited in the market and only found in the Northeast, Cayce/West Columbia and Southeast submarkets which have the highest vacancy rates in the overall market, 15.22%, 6.76% and 8.91%, respectively. The Cayce/West Columbia submarket showed the greatest improvements dropping 131 basis points to 6.76% during the quarter.
In recent months, industrial experts have warned that the industrial market in Columbia, and throughout South Carolina, is in short supply of existing “big box” properties. If the market continues to perform at its current pace, a shortage of quality industrial space in the Midlands could be apparent within a year. South Carolina attracts manufacturers to the state through its skilled labor force and efficient logistics supported by the Port of Charleston and the new Inland Port in Greer. Columbia’s central location to the Upstate and Lowcountry markets make it an ideal location for manufacturing and distribution facilities. While new business is welcomed and important for economic growth, Columbia will soon lack the inventory needed to support demand created by new manufacturers looking to open shop in the market.
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