Nov. 10, 2011, El Segundo, CA — Southern U.S. states experienced a 6.5 percent increase in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the like period of 2010, according to Environmental Data Resources, Inc., a recognized industry market monitor and information services firm.
Based on Phase I ESAs, the South will likely see higher volumes in real estate transactions in the coming months, according to Joseph P. Derhake, P.E. President of Partner Engineering and Science, Inc., one of the top national environmental and engineering consulting firms.
“Generally, lenders and buyers hire Partner to do a Phase I ESA because there is a serious intent to arrange financing to complete a transaction,” said Derhake. “When we get busier, it means more property transactions are in the pipeline.”
The eight states of the South include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. In all, an industry‐wide 7,378 Phase I ESAs were performed in the third quarter in the South, signaling many active and pending deals.
Southern cities showing robust growth include Austin, Texas, up 52 percent year‐over‐year; San Antonio, Texas, up 38 percent; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: up 27 percent, according to Partner which serves the U.S. Southern states through offices in Houston and Dallas.
For Partner work is up—nationally, the firm enjoyed a 33 percent increase in business in the third quarter, compared to a year earlier. “We are increasing our market share, but we are also riding an improving property market,” said Derhake. “Lenders may have tougher terms, but they are lending.” Interestingly, Partner has seen increased demand from life companies, who are filling some of the void left by lenders.