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Regional Summaries

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Orange County

Apartment
The Orange County apartment market vacancy rate closed the first quarter of 2017 at 3.2%, same as a quarter earlier, same as year-end 2015 as well. At $1,806 and $1,767 per month, asking and effective averages for the first quarter represented respective growth rates of just positive 0.4% and negative 0.1%. Last year’s gains of 2.5%, moreover, were down from the increases of 4.3% and 4.4% calculated for 2015.
Industrial
With demand for warehouse/distribution space exceeding supply most of the time since 2011 (2014 was the exception), the vacancy rate in the Orange County warehouse/distribution space market has been on an overall downward track since 2010, when it peaked at 11.9%. By the first quarter of 2017, it had descended to 7.4%, a decline by 30 basis points for the period after 2016’s 70-basis-points drop. Reis reports first quarter average asking and effective lease rates for warehouse/distribution space at $6.63 psf and $6.22 psf, up 0.8% each for the period following increases of 2.5% and 2.7% all told last year. First quarter 2017 vacancy in the Orange County Flex/R&D sector, also very low by national norms, was just 4.8%, unchanged for the period after a decline by 20 points through 2016. At $10.85 psf and $10.13 psf, also high by national norms, first quarter average asking and effective rates for local Flex/R&D product were up 0.7% and 0.8% for the period after increases of 2.1% and 2.3% through 2016.
Office
By the end of the third quarter of 2016, the Orange County general purpose, multi-tenant office vacancy rate had declined to 16.0%. It closed both 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 at the same rate following last year’s overall 50-basis-points loss. At $31.85 psf and $23.98 psf, asking and effective averages for the first quarter of 2017 were up 0.5% each for the period following increases of 3.8% and 3.9% through 2016.
Retail
Vacancy in the Orange County community-neighborhood shopping center market rose no higher than the 7.0% rate reported for the first quarter of 2010. While 2016’s 217,000 square feet of new supply, most delivered in a year since 2009, managed to essentially halt the downward movement in vacancy, the rate closed the year at 5.2%. The first quarter of 2017, meanwhile, subtracted 10 additional points to close at 5.1%. At $33.04 psf and $29.16 psf, first quarter 2017 average asking and effective rates were up one cent (a gain of less than 0.1%) and two cents (a 0.1% increase) for the period after increases of 2.0% and 2.2% all told last year, the highest growth rates since 2013.

Source: Data provided by Reis, inc.

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