Orange County Office Market Report
Office Sector Trails Neighboring Metros,
Yet Lower Rents and Central Location Attract Tenants
Regionally discounted asking rates offer potential upside. Orange County has the lowest unemployment rate among Southern California markets; nevertheless, its office sector continues to struggle. While all neighboring markets recorded positive absorption in the second quarter of 2021, Orange County did not. Instead, the metro registered its sixth consecutive quarter of negative absorption. During this stretch, the local vacant stock expanded by 6.4 million square feet, with availability in the metro’s largest submarket, Airport Area, nearing 20 percent. Assistance could emerge in the form of companies seeking regionally lower cost office space. Entering the second half, the metro’s average asking rent was 25 percent below Los Angeles County’s mean and 10 percent under that of San Diego.