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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-According to recently released research on California, the Southland’s construction pipeline has remained fairly steady over the past two years, while Northern California has experienced drastic shifts in new construction.

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

According to the PPR research, office construction starts in Northern California reached a high of approximately 4 million sf in January 2001. This peak was followed by a period of steady decline, which reached its lowest point of around 250,000 sf of office construction starts in November 2001. Although new construction has picked up somewhat in Northern California, with approximately 500,000 sf of office construction starts in March 2002, it is still far below what it once was here.

Southern California, on the other hand, experienced a high of only around 2.4 million sf of office construction starts in March 2001. Although new construction has tapered off in Southern California as well, the difference is not nearly as drastic as what has occurred in Northern California. In March 2002, office construction starts in Southern California stood at approximately 1.2 million sf.

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