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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-South Orange County’s industrial market has seen positive net absorption for the first time in more than a year, according to recently released research on the region.

The report, published by Lee & Associates, records a positive net absorption of 238,689 sf of industrial space for the second quarter of 2002. The South Orange County region, which dropped to 927,335 sf of negative absorption by the end of December 2001, is experiencing positive net absorption for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2000.

This return to positive absorption can be largely attributed to the decrease in new construction that has occurred in the region, Ted Rommel, senior vice president with Lee & Associates–Irvine Inc., tells GlobeSt.com. He expects the trend to remain constant, since South Orange County’s employment level continues to rise as new construction activity slows.

Despite a return to positive net absorption, the region’s industrial availability rate has yet to decrease, having risen slightly from 13.17% at the end of March to 13.19% by the end of June. “We’re basically flattening out,” says Rommel, who adds that there may be a slight decrease in vacancy in the short-term.

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