Industrial real estate in South Carolina

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Industrial Real Estate Sales in South Carolina: A 10-Year Retrospective

We recently looked at the biggest industrial projects set to come online in 2019 and came up with a list of 10 promising U.S. industrial markets that are worth betting on. Among those 10 markets was South Carolina, which is expecting more than 7 million square feet of new industrial space to be delivered by the end of the year. That led us to look back at how this market evolved over the past 10 years, and as it turns out, interest in industrial properties in South Carolina has never been higher.

Last year the market peaked in terms of industrial property sales, closing the year with $737 million in sales volume and 32 properties sold at an average price of $66 per square foot. In contrast, 2011 was the market’s weakest year, with just 4 industrial properties changing hands for a mere $95 million in sales volume. Read on to see more findings on sales activity in this up-and-coming industrial market.

South Carolina Industrial Sales Peak in 2018

2018 was the best year of the decade for the South Carolina industrial sales market, according to our analysis. A total of 32 deals closed last year, amounting to $737 million in yearly sales volume–140% higher than the previous year and 502% higher than the sales volume recorded in 2008. More than 11.6 million square feet of industrial space changed owners last year, at a peak price of $66 per square foot, on average.

The second-best year for the South Carolina industrial market was 2016, when 24 properties traded for a total sales volume of $557 million–a 190% bump compared to the previous year. Sales activity cooled down during 2017, when the total dollar volume dropped 45% to $307 million, but bounced back during 2018, reaching an all-time high.

The 10 Largest SC Industrial Sales of the Decade

South Carolina’s largest industrial sale of the past decade closed in April 2017, when Eaton Vance paid $65 million for the Flatwood Industrial Park in Spartanburg, S.C. The 901,350-square-foot Class A property is located on a 97-acre site at 789 Flatwood Industrial Drive and boasts LEED Gold certification from the USGBC. Amenities include 90 parking spaces, sky lights, ESFR fire sprinkler system, HVAC climate control, and easy freeway access. The property is managed by Rite Aid, per Yardi Matrix data.
Below you’ll find the rest of the largest industrial sales of the decade in South Carolina.

The Top Players in the South Carolina Industrial Sales Market

The most active buyer of the 2008-2018 decade in South Carolina was STAG Industrial, which managed to acquire more than 6.2 million square feet of industrial space worth $233 million. The second most active buyer of the decade was CenterPoint Properties, which paid $222 million on 3.7 million square feet of South Carolina industrial space over the span of 10 years. Our list of the 10 most active buyers in this market includes Duke Realty, CIM Group, Eaton Vance and Gramercy Property Trust, which bought 3.1 million square feet of space.
When it comes to selling industrial assets in South Carolina, USAA Real Estate Co. takes the lead, having sold 3.6 million square feet of space worth a total of $217 million over the past decade. USAA managed to close some of the biggest deals of the decade, including the $65 million sale of the Saxe Gotha Industrial Park and the $63 million sale of 402 John Dodd Road in 2012. However, USAA was also active as a buyer of industrial properties, paying $49 million for the RG-MWV Foreign Trade Zone – Building IV in the sixth-biggest deal of the decade.
Check out all the top players on the South Carolina industrial market below:

The Most Active Cities of the Decade in South Carolina

When it comes to sales of industrial properties in South Carolina from 2008 to 2018, a few cities emerge as the most appealing destinations for investment. Summerville, S.C., saw 4.8 million square feet of industrial space changing hands in the last decade, for a total sales volume of $294 million. Spartanburg, S.C., follows close with $248 million in total sales volume, and Savannah, Ga., with $246 million. More than 3.5 million square feet of industrial space traded in North Charleston, S.C., over the past 10 years, for $206 million in sales volume, while in Piedmont, S.C., 1.6 million square feet sold for $197 million.


Data source: Yardi Matrix

We considered transactions of completed industrial properties, recorded until December 31st, 2018. We considered a minimum sale price per transaction of $5 million and a minimum of 90,000 square feet in size.

The sales volume section includes ownership stake, controlling interest and remaining interest deals–whichever is the case. We counted portfolio deals as single transactions and included only properties located within the South Carolina industrial market, as it is defined by Yardi Matrix.

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