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Regional Summaries

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Orange County

Apartment
Orange County’s vacancy rate closed the fourth quarter of 2016 at 3.2%, same as both a quarter and year earlier. At $1,799 and $1,768 per month, asking and effective averages in the fourth quarter represented gains of 2.5% each for the year, down from 4.3% and 4.4% in 2015 and the smallest growth rates reported by Reis for this market since 2011 and 2010, respectively. Gains in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone were 0.6% apiece.
Industrial
With just 103.0 million square feet of existing inventory, Orange County’s warehouse/distribution market is very small alongside the neighboring Los Angeles County and Inland Empire markets. Vacancy, meanwhile, is low, and rents, showing substantial recent growth, are high. The warehouse/distribution market vacancy rate by the end of 2016 had fallen to 7.7%, a decline by 10 basis points since the third quarter and a loss of 70 for the year. Fourth quarter 2016 average asking and effective lease rates for warehouse/distribution space were $6.58 psf and $6.17 psf, up 2.5% and 2.7% for the year. Respective increases in the fourth quarter alone were 0.9% and 1.0%. Fourth quarter vacancy in the local Flex/R&D sector, also low by national norms, was just 4.8%, up 10 basis points for the period but down 20 for the year. At $10.77 psf and $10.05 psf, fourth quarter average asking and effective rates for local Flex/R&D product were up 2.1% and 2.3% year-over-year and were up 0.7% each for the quarter alone.
Office
The post-recession combination of restrained development and favorable demand in the Orange County general purpose, multi-tenant office market has gradually forced the vacancy rate downward from the 21.0% peak reached during 2010. By the end of 2016, the rate had slipped to 16.0%, same as a quarter earlier and down 50 basis points for the year. At $31.70 psf and $23.87 psf, respective asking and effective averages for the fourth quarter of 2016 represented gains of 3.8% and 3.9% for the year. Gains for the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, perhaps an effect of the downturn in net absorption, were 0.7% for both rates.
Retail
By the end of 2016, the Orange County community-neighborhood shopping center vacancy rate was running at 5.2%, down 10 basis points from a quarter earlier and up 10 year-over-year. One month into the new year, the vacancy rate has remained at 5.2%. At $33.03 psf and $29.14 psf, respective fourth quarter 2016 average asking and effective rates were up 2.0% and 2.2% for the year. Gains in the fourth quarter alone were 0.2% and 0.3%. Rents remained unchanged in January.

Source: Data provided by Reis, inc.

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