Regional Summaries

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Orange County

The Orange County apartment market vacancy is exceedingly low—not only because of low recent development activity, but also because of a lingering long-term affordability crisis in the county’s housing market. The fourth quarter 2015 vacancy rate, up 40 basis points year-over-year, was only 3.0%. At $1,753 and $1,722 per month, very high by national norms, fourth quarter average asking and effective rents were up 4.1% and 4.3% for the period. Increases for the final quarter alone were 1.1% for both rates.
Vacancy in Orange County’s 102.4-million-square-foot warehouse/distribution market is low and declining, and rent growth is positive but modest. At just 8.3%, fourth quarter 2015 vacancy in this sector, up 20 basis points for the period, was down fully 100 for the year. Reis put average fourth quarter asking and effective lease rates for warehouse/distribution space at $6.42 psf and $6.01 psf, up 0.5% and 0.3% for the period and up 1.3% each for the year. With its substantial high-tech industry base, the county has accumulated a large inventory of Flex/R&D space, last counted by Reis at 59.8 million square feet. With minimal vacancy, this market is even tighter than the warehouse/distribution sector. Fourth quarter vacancy in the county Flex/R&D sector was just 5.0%, unchanged from a quarter earlier and down 40 basis points for the year. At $10.55 psf and $9.82 psf, fourth quarter mean asking and effective averages for Flex/R&D space were up 0.5% and 0.4% for the period and were up 1.7% and 1.8% for the year.
The Orange County general purpose, multi-tenant office market vacancy rate ended 2015 at 16.5%, a decline of 10 basis points since the third quarter and a loss of 30 for the year. At $30.54 psf and $22.98 psf, average asking and effective rates for the fourth quarter of 2015 represented gains of fully 5.5% and 5.6% for the year, and the highest single-year growth rates reported by Reis for this market since 2007 and 2006, respectively. Gains for the latest quarter alone were 1.6% for both rates.
The Orange County community-neighborhood shopping center market vacancy rate for the fourth quarter of 2015, at 5.0%, was unchanged since the first quarter and was down 30 basis points for the year. At $32.37 psf and $28.50 psf, respective fourth quarter average asking and effective rates were up 1.9% and 2.1% for the year. Gains for the latest quarter alone were 0.4% asking and 0.5% effective.

Source: Data provided by Reis, inc.

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