The report, published by real estate research firm PPR,illustrates a significant difference between construction trends inSouthern California and Northern California dating back to the year2000. As the research points out, the biggest gap between the tworegions has occurred in the office market. "Last year, starts inNorthern California were down 48% from 2000 levels, while starts inSouthern California decreased by just 1%," the PPR report says."Since peaking in the fourth quarter of 2000, office starts inNorthern California have dropped off sharply, with starts in thefourth quarter of 2001 down 85% from the prior year's peaklevels."

According to the PPR research, office construction starts inNorthern California reached a high of approximately 4 million sf inJanuary 2001. This peak was followed by a period of steady decline,which reached its lowest point of around 250,000 sf of officeconstruction starts in November 2001. Although new construction haspicked up somewhat in Northern California, with approximately500,000 sf of office construction starts in March 2002, it is stillfar below what it once was here.

Southern California, on the other hand, experienced a high ofonly around 2.4 million sf of office construction starts in March2001. Although new construction has tapered off in SouthernCalifornia as well, the difference is not nearly as drastic as whathas occurred in Northern California. In March 2002, officeconstruction starts in Southern California stood at approximately1.2 million sf.

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