Orange County's industrial market is seeing a pandemic-fueled surge. A third quarter report from JLL found that industrial leasing activity in Orange County has hit levels not seen since 2014. During the quarter, there were 57 total totaling more than 2 million square feet. That is a 15% increase over the third quarter average for the past five years.

"During the second quarter, occupies and investors of industrial real estate were very reluctant in executing long forward commitments as there was a lot of unknowns as the pandemic unfolded," Byron Foss, EVP at JLL, tells GlobeSt.com. "In the third quarter, as the market and economy shifted, pent up demand positively impacted activity in the market.  We saw companies move forward with their real estate decisions that supported their growth and business plans to support the new economy."

The increase in demand and leasing activity, however, wasn't enough to push absorption. Net absorption in the quarter was down more than 283,000 square feet. Foss attributes this to market demand shifting to larger property types, leaving a lag in leasing for smaller boxes. "We continue to see demand in industrial space for those assets greater than 75,000 square feet," he says. "On the flip side, leasing and sale activity of smaller properties under 50,000 square feet as been adversely effected as a result of the pandemic."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.