Archive for South Carolina News
Big companies like BMW, Boeing, Continental, and Michelin have invested more than $7 billion in new projects in South Carolina over the last two years, creating about 21,000 jobs since January 2010. This represents a greater than 10 percent employment gain — one of the best in the country.
Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $5 billion in capital investment and more than 8,000 jobs to the automotive sector. New announcements include Kiswire’s $15 million expansion in Newberry County, which will meet the higher demand for steel cord. Tire maker Michelin North America, which is the largest manufacturing employer in South Carolina and operates 18 production facilities in the state, announced it would expand its existing rubber production operations in Anderson County. The $200 million project is expected to generate 100 new jobs and be operational in 2014. In the last 21 months, the company has committed to invest a total of $1.15 billion and create at least 870 total new jobs in South Carolina.
In January 2013 South Carolina was recognized by IBM-Plant Location International (IBM-PLI) as the top state for jobs linked to foreign investment. South Carolina placed first above Texas and North Carolina, which were ranked second and third, respectively, in the 2012 report.
“Hundreds of foreign firms employ tens of thousands of residents throughout our state, creating wealth and helping make the communities they’re in sustainable,” says Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “The IBM-PLI report’s ranking is another confirmation that people are taking notice of the economic development successes we’ve had here in the Palmetto State.”
Export opportunities suddenly and unexpectedly opened for Columbia, South Carolina-based Bridge to Life, distributor of its own line of preservation solutions for organ transplants, when a competitor had to recall its similar solutions.
“The market opened and we were one of the companies that tried to fill that gap,” says Aaron Gilchrist, global director of sales at Bridge to Life. “We went from being a predominantly domestic company with some international sales to going global nearly overnight. We had to move quickly but we continue to fair well due to a great deal of hard work and a lot of help, too.”
That included help from the U.S. and South Carolina Departments of Commerce in a number of ways, including obtaining international marketing assistance, receiving recommendations for translating labels, packaging and documents into local languages, and even “introducing us to individuals with the know-how of navigating the regulatory landscape in several countries in Europe and beyond.”
The SC Forestry Commission and Forest2Market, Inc., a private firm that provides an internet based timber price reporting service, have teamed up to give South Carolina landowners access to quarterly price reports for major classes of forest products.
The South Carolina Timber Reports can be accessed below.
Commercial buildings that are standing empty can be a financial drain on municipalities and their residents. These properties may still be in useful condition when they are abandoned, but they may no longer be suitable for the purpose for which they were built.
The costs to municipalities to deal with these abandoned structures often include additional police and fire services due to safety and crime concerns, reduced property values, decreased financial activity in the area surrounding the building and lost economic development opportunities.
One solution to these abandoned structures is creating incentives for private investors to purchase and rehabilitate the building into a new use. Representative James E. Smith of Columbia introduced the South Carolina Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act, H3093, to accomplish this goal. Senator Creighton Coleman of Winnsboro introduced a companion bill, S234, in the Senate.
A bill of interest to the real estate community was introduced last week.
S. 375: This bill, sponsored by Senators Hutto, Larry Martin, and Johnson would enact the “Dilapidated Buildings Act” to provide that a municipality may bring a cause of action against the owner of a property not in substantial compliance with certain municipal ordinances. The bill has been introduced in previous sessions and received hearings in House and Senate subcommittees. Last session, interested parties were asked to meet and resolve any differences they may have with the bill.
The bill was introduced on 2/12//13 and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Pope Scholarship is designed for students whose studies are directed towards the mortgage banking or mortgage-financing field (i.e., real estate, banking and economics). Applicants must apply and state why they are seeking the scholarship and what mortgage banking goals have been set.
Applicants must currently be a rising junior in a 4 year accredited college or university in either North Carolina or South Carolina.
Applicants must reside in either North Carolina or South Carolina. They may attend a school not necessarily in the same state as they reside, so long as it is a North Carolina or South Carolina college or university.
The need for the scholarship will not be the basis for the decision of the committee. A grade point average of 3.0 has been established, but the committee considers grades only a part of the total review of each applicant.
Applications must be in the hands of the committee by April 15, 2013. The scholarship will be in the amount of $1,500 per year and will be for two years.
Call Rhonda Marcum at (704) 557-0204 or email email@example.com with questions. Be sure to tell Rhonda that you read about it on SC Real Estate News.
Probably the most frustrating bill that comes each year is the property tax bill. Based on our experience, many hotel owners are being overcharged by 15% or more on their property taxes. There are lots of reasons why hotels are overvalued, but it is mainly the result of improper appraisal techniques by the assessor’s office. If you are a hotel owner and feel that the assessed value of your property is high, contact me, and my firm will review your assessment to see if a reduction is likely. Property tax reductions for hotels are direct to your bottom line, meaning a higher net income, resulting in a higher property value!
Michael Dodds, MAI, CCIM
Through October, South Carolina’s unemployment rate fell 3.4 percentage points from its all-time high of 12% during the last two months of 2009. Since then, the state began a slow recovery. By October 2012, in just under three years time, another 75,000 workers in the state had found employment. Manufacturing jobs, which steadily declined through the 2000s, have also slowly recovered in the state in recent years. Mass layoffs, defined by the BLS as occurring when at least 50 new unemployment insurance claims are filed against an employer in a five-week period, declined from a high of 493 in 2009 to 225 in 2011. In the first 10 months of 2012 there were just 147 such events.
Property owners have until January 15th to submit a signed Letter of Objection to the County Assessor’s Office stating why you believe the assessed value is incorrect. Note that electronic submissions of appeals and/or applications are not allowed, nor are faxed submittals acceptable. All the applications require an original signature. Therefore the original must be sent in or delivered.
The Assessor will review your letter and take one of the following actions:
1. If your letter contains enough information regarding your appeal, such as owner’s opinion of value and evidence to support that value, the Assessor’s Office will review the appraisal of your property in light of the information provided in the letter. After the review is complete, the Assessor will notify you of the results via a reassessment notice.
2. If your letter does not contain information sufficient to conduct an appraisal review, the Assessor’s Office will, within 30 days (or as soon as practical), schedule a meeting with you to discuss your concerns. The appraiser will review your property record with you and give you information about the appraisal on your property.
If your concerns cannot be resolved by the Assessor’s Office, you may appeal to the County Board of Assessment Appeals. If you disagree with the Board’s decision, you can further appeal to the S.C. Administrative Law Judge Division.
If you need assistance with appealing commercial property values in South Carolina, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Integra Realty Resources – South Carolina has an extensive database of comparable sales and income/expense information. This information is crucial in successfully appealing your tax value.
Michael Dodds, MAI, CCIM
If you are going to the CCIM social event this week in Greenville, SC be sure to participate in the BMW Performance Driving School program on Thursday – you will not be disappointed. The price is very reasonable. I did the one-day program four or five years ago and had a great time. Call Jordan Mancini if you haven’t already signed up – (803) 772-5206. Tell her you saw it on SCREnews.
Michael Dodds, MAI, CCIM
I would like to congratulate the 6 South Carolina real estate professionals who recently earned the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation from the CCIM Institute.
The CCIM designation is awarded upon successful completion of an intensive analytical curriculum and presentation of a portfolio of qualifying experience demonstrating concept mastery through real-world success. CCIMs are recognized experts in commercial real estate brokerage, leasing, asset management, valuation, and investment analysis.
Michael Dodds, MAI, CCIM
Senior housing developers might find a new construction sweet spot in the Carolinas in 2013, if favorable demographics, lower barriers to entry, and growing consumer preference are any indication.
The Carolinas are two states with fairly healthy economic conditions and good demand, according to Charles Bissell, MAI, of Integra Realty Resources’ Seniors Housing & Health Care Specialty Practice. “We’re hearing a lot of developers talking about projects in the Winston-Salem, Raleigh-Durham, and Charlotte metro areas,” he says.
Neither North nor South Carolina are covered by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry’s market area profiles (NIC MAP) for construction versus inventory data, which ranks at 1.99% for MAP31 (the top 31 market area profiles) as of the third quarter of 2012.
Citing a strong business and labor climate, editors of a national site consultant magazine ranked South Carolina second overall as a place to do business. Area Development magazine noted reports of $3.4 billion worth of investments in new and expanding businesses announced in 2011 among reasons for awarding South Carolina the runner-up slot behind top-ranked Texas.
Manufacturing is also on the upswing in South Carolina as total exports grew 21% during the year, the editors said.
South Carolina moved up from its fourth place ranking in 2011.
“I could say South Carolina’s value is our business-friendly environment or our full service approach to companies big or small, new or existing. And this would be true,” S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in commenting on the Area Development article.
The real estate market is making a comeback from the depths of the Great Recession, with many indicators moving in a positive direction, but don’t expect housing to resume its role as the engine pulling the train in the short term, South Carolina Realtors said in its monthly home sales report.
Data for July suggests a quickening trend toward rising prices, more homes sold and a shorter time on the market. The number of homes sold statewide rose 13.4% last month, boosting the year-to-date increase to 8.6%. The median price in July was $156,000, up 4% from July 2011. And days on the market shrank 7.5% to an average 130 days.
South Carolina REALTORS® (SCR) today released its June Statewide Market Reports. Beyond home prices, key metrics to watch include Days on Market, Percent of List Price Received and Months Supply of Inventory. Locally, several indicators showed improvement.
Comparing the numbers to June 2011, New Listings in South Carolina decreased 8.3 percent to 8,279, while Pending Sales were up 7.3 percent to 4,820. Inventory levels shrank 15.7 percent to 49,496 units. Prices moved higher, the Median Sales Price increased 1.9 percent to $158,000 and Days on Market was down 4.8 percent to 134 days. The supply-demand balance stabilized as Months Supply of Inventory was down 23.7 percent to 11.4 percent.
We seem to be at a critical inflection point in our attempts to spur more hiring. Job growth provides the dual benefit of stimulating new household growth as well as relieving distressed homeowners. There’s also the positive feedback loop of housing creating jobs and jobs creating housing. Keeping the affordability picture afloat, the Fed has vowed to keep interest rates around 4.0 percent through mid-2013.