Midlands’ Tight Industrial Market to Benefit from Manufacturing Growth

Key Takeaways

  • The Midlands industrial market continues to tighten and attract investments from new and existing companies.
  • New construction and renovation of existing properties are on the rise.
  • Sales volume is strong throughout the region.
  • Manufacturing employment headed towards pre-recession levels.

Market Conditions

The Midlands region, comprised of Aiken, Calhoun, Clarendon, Darlington, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, and Sumter counties, is undergoing significant improvements with investments, job creation, and construction activity.  The vacancy rate for the market was 8.9% at the end of the first quarter of 2015.  Overall, large blocks of quality industrial space are in low supply throughout the market and tenants are oftentimes finding themselves competing for space.  While building options are shrinking in the Midlands, there are many good offerings still available in the market.  This should help the Midlands area attract new investment as the Upstate and Low Country struggle with very tight inventories of space.

Manufacturing is improving throughout the Midlands region, adding 4,100 jobs since March 2010 and the momentum is on the upswing.  2,100 manufacturing jobs were added in 2014 alone recording an annual growth rate of 7.3%, the greatest since 2006.   Factors fueling this manufacturing renaissance include increasing wage rates in China and the Pacific Rim, a stronger US economy, growth in domestic consumer spending, recovering European markets, lower energy cost and innovative manufacturing efficiencies. 

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