Construction Noise

Construction crews continue to work on two apartment buildings on Meeting Street near I-26 Monday, October 22, 2018. Brad Nettles/Staff

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Rents are up – but maybe not for long

The Lowcountry looks to stay busy construction-wise in 2019, as new multifamily mid-rises are set to reach the highest point in close to two decades.

The upbeat outlook stems from the third quarter apartment report of Marcus & Millichap, a national commercial investor and information provider.

“Demand outstrips supply additions as construction pipeline thins in some markets,” the company’s report headlined.

The state's three largest metro area’s jobless rates dropped below 3.5 percent in the July through September period. That boosted housing demand, including rentals.

Greater Charleston expects surging rates of apartment completions, while the states' other major metros noticed an easing in them. In Charleston, that will trigger a climb in apartment vacancies over the next 12 months - and more vacancies typically lower rents.

The outcome will be empty units topping 6 percent in 2019 for just the second time in seven years, the researcher said. Currently, Charleston's vacancy rate is 5.6 percent.

Charleston's effective rent is $1,122 a month, up 3.8 percent year-over-year, the report said.

In greater Charleston, builders wrapped up 3,800 apartment homes in the year ending Sept. 30 with close to half in the downtown, Mount Pleasant and islands submarket. Developers count 5,300 units under construction now with 2020 completion dates.

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Home sales bounce back from Hurricane

Residential real estate transactions rose 3 percent in the three-county region in October, bouncing back from September's hurricane-thwarted sales and now 0.5 percent above last year's pace.

By the numbers

500: Amount in dollars of the maximum tax credit for qualifying residential energy improvements.

35,000: Square footage of new IGA supermarket coming to the outskirts of Moncks Corner in Berkeley County.

140,000: Square footage of new Nexton Square shopping center near Summerville with 22 tenants signed and 23 spaces left to lease.

This week in real estate

+10 times as much: The owners of the pre-Civil War building housing Allure Salon at 415 King St. in downtown Charleston sold the 5,686-square-foot structure for $4.92 million recently. They paid $500,000 for it in 1998.

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+Strike a pose: Taking photos of luxury homes in Charleston is a business all its own.

+Thwarting flooding: The Coastal Conservation League wants the city of Charleston to consider buying out a 166-acre housing development planned near Church Creek in West Ashley to protect the land and keep it from exacerbating the area's flooding problems.

Upcoming real estate events

  • Multifamily CEO tips: Patrick Morin, an investment banker and former real estate investment trust vice president, will lead a class for apartment managers and related professionals on the 5 Things the Multifamily CEO Wants You to Know. 9 a.m.-noon, Nov. 28.
  • CAA reverse trade show: A networking opportunity for “associate” (vendor) members and corporate property management leadership, which raises money for the National Apartment Association’s Political Action Committee. 2-5 p.m., Nov. 29.

Charleston-area transactions

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