A Sullivan's Island-based real estate investment group is bullish about commercial real estate on the Charleston peninsula.

CMB Property Co. demonstrated as much by recently acquiring 400 Meeting Street Apartments for $18.4 million. The private student housing development at Meeting and Reid streets opened last year, with 42 student residences and parking on 1.17 acres.

The seller was Greenville-based Collegiate Hall Meeting Street LLC.

Patrick Marr, president of CMB Property Co., said the purchase reflects his firm's strategy to acquire stable properties on the Charleston peninsula.

"We believe long term in the value of the peninsula and where real estate and core assets fit on the peninsula," he said.

The 400 Meeting Street property will remain student housing, he added.

The acquisition comes months after Marr's group paid slightly more than $24 million for 25 Calhoun St., a four-story office building built in 2011 near the S.C. Aquarium.

Marr said the peninsula is attractive to his investors, many of them from overseas. He cited the region's growing population and the constraints of developing commercial real estate on the peninsula.

That has helped Charleston morph into what Marr describes as a "primary market."

"Every lender wants a piece of it," he said. "I believe it will be recognized as a primary market now and over the next 12 to 18 months."

Marr said CMB continues to look for recently built properties to invest in, including more student housing units.

"We are opportunistic buyers," he said. "We are a 'take-out' buyer. We don't develop but come in when it's done and bring in an investment looking for a long-term hold."

Out in front

Economists predicted that Charleston is one of the regions that will lead the state's home sales growth in 2014. So far it's playing out that way, judging by a new market report from Columbia-based South Carolina Realtors.

The Charleston region ranked first in median sales price growth compared to the rest of the state in January. The 15 percent increase, to $211,000, bested a 13.4 percent gain for Spartanburg, where the sales figure climbed to $118,000.

The three-county region was second in home sales volume for January. The top area was the Southern Midlands region, which had 17.6 percent growth compared to the same month in 2013.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550.