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Vacancy Down in Columbia’s Office & Industrial Real Estate Markets

Columbia, S.C.  – Newmark Grubb Wilson Kibler, a leading real estate services firm, has released its market reports for first-quarter 2017.  Columbia’s industrial and office real estate markets showed lower vacancy rates over the previous quarter, reflecting a healthy market overall.

The Columbia office market vacancy fell six percentage points from the previous quarter to 6.5%- the lowest rate the market has seen in a decade.

Rental rates remained steady during the first quarter, with a mere 0.1% increase from $15.79/SF from $15.78/SF at the end of the fourth-quarter 2016.  The Class A sector boasted rates of $20.78/SF, while Class B rates held strong at $14.96/SF and Class C at $13.27/SF.  North Columbia led across classes with the highest rental rates in the market, averaging $23.13/SF.

One building was delivered during first-quarter 2017, totaling 2,500 square feet.  This compares to one building totaling 4,300 square feet completed in fourth-quarter 2016.  74,460 square feet of office space remained under construction in the Columbia market by the end of the quarter.

The largest lease signings occurring in 2017 included:

  • The 5,306-square-foot lease signed by Midlands Montessori School, LLC at Gibson Commons in the Lexington market
  • The 4,000-square-foot deal signed by The Body Shop at 1720 Dutch Fork Road in the Dutch Fork/Irmo market
  • The 3,000-square-foot lease signed by Five Eleven, Inc. at 1 Windsor Cove in the Northeast Columbia market

The Columbia industrial market vacancy also fell this quarter, from 8.0% in fourth-quarter 2016 to 7.2% first-quarter 2017.  Absorption for the overall Columbia industrial market, including flex and warehouse space, was positive 519,065 square feet.  This reflects a tightening industrial market nationwide, as retailers and logistics companies are moving to occupy warehouses across the country to ensure online orders reach customers as quickly as possible.  

Combined flex and warehouse rates in the Columbia market declined slightly in first-quarter 2017 to $3.90/SF, down from $3.93/SF in the previous quarter.  In fact, rates are currently at a two-year low after reaching a high of $4.35/SF in first-quarter 2015.  Flex space rental rates dropped to $6.48/SF this quarter from $8.08/SF in fourth-quarter 2016.  Warehouse rates fell slightly to $3.65/SF from $3.69/SF during the same time period.

The largest lease signings occurring thus far in 2017 included:

  • The 32,000-square-foot lease signed by Bridgestone at 1080 Shop Road in the Southeast Columbia market
  • The 12,500-square-foot deal signed by American Foam Products at 1000 Fontaine Road in the Northeast Columbia market
  • The 7,239-square-foot lease signed by Metro Treatment of South Carolina at 560 Chris drive in the Cayce West Columbia market       

To view full reports for Charleston, Greenville and Columbia please visit www.wilsonkibler.com/research.

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