Ample servings of Champagne coupled with a coastal poolside ambiance served as a fitting backdrop to a favorable economic forecast report during an April 4 Nexton luncheon attended by several local realtors at a sun-splashed Midtown Club in Summerville.
Following a brief synopsis of Nexton’s recent sales and continued growth as a “third job center” in the Charleston market, the mixed-use development’s marketing coordinator Alicia Smith introduced South Carolina Ports Authority Business Development Manager Marion Bull to the podium, as he delved into his group’s efforts of recruiting business activity to the Lowcountry.
The guest speaker sang the praises of Nexton — which is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary as a destination venue in the Summerville community — for its role in providing housing for incoming employees of national and global firms seeking to establish a presence in the Charleston region.
Moving forward, Bull anticipates Nexton continuing to offer corporations an attractive option for its staffers as a source of housing, employment and an ever-expanding array of amenities with new industry emerging in the Jedburg area of Summerville, as well as Ridgeville in the very near future.
“When they want to live somewhere with, you know, a high quality of life that’s affordable, this is a place where business leaders can feel comfortable locating their businesses here,” began the Mount Pleasant resident.
“South Carolina has done a fantastic job as a state, [and] not just as a port, in recruiting business. [We had] $10 billion in investment last year. I think the largest previous year was $3 billion or so. It’s a huge number for our economic development in the state of South Carolina and some of it has happened right here.”
Bull detailed that South Carolina Ports drives about $63 billion in economic impact statewide, with about $8 billion of it emanating from the Lowcountry. In fact, about 30,000 jobs are either directly or indirectly linked to port activity in the immediate surrounding zone — a number that he anticipates will “dramatically” increase due to investments by Volvo, Walmart, Mercedes-Benz and the like.
Luncheon attendees were also treated to a breakdown of expectations for the real estate market in 2023 by President of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors (CTAR) Katesha Breland.
The Charleston-born real estate broker noted the Charleston region’s remarkable 25 percent population growth over the past decade, along with a 17 percent spurt of newcomers in Summerville over that same 10-year stretch.
“We see changes in our local culture, our restaurant scene, our retail opportunities, and of course, we feel it in our traffic as well,” she stated.
“The local economy is booming. The Nexton development offers something that Summerville residents hadn’t seen before, an intentionally-developed masterplan community that gives residents the ease and opportunity to live, work and play right in their backyards ... that’s just what Nexton does. They haven’t built a neighborhood, they’ve built a community. While local media doesn’t always like to focus on the positives of our real estate market, there’s plenty of good news I can share with you,” added Breland without referencing any specific news media outlet.
On that note, the CTAR leader communicated that closed property sales were down in 2022 by 18 percent, but compared to 2019, that total was actually up six percent.
Breland further spoke of a healthy, sustainable pace of growth, as the overall median sales price increased 14 percent, single-family home prices surged 12 percent and townhouse/condos similarly saw a 22 percent uptick.
Summerville and Moncks Corner, in particular, were two of the top areas in terms of home sales in 2022.
“We expect sales will remain at the pace we’re seeing now, which is a good, healthy pace. Prices will also increase likely at a slower pace than we’ve been seeing. But that’s good news for buyers who are challenged by the affordability of our region.”
Breland concluded her address by lauding Nexton for its development of a wide range of home options (single-family, townhouses, rentals, etc.) and a variety of price points for prospective residents.