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ANAHEIM, CA-The Orange County industrial market showed signs of stabilizing in the third quarter, with rents and vacancies reversing their slides despite overall negative absorption for the quarter.

A new report by Voit Commercial Brokerage says average rents for the county’s 280 million sf of industrial space has settled at 58 cents per sf per month, triple net, after sliding from 62 cents down to 56 cents. Vacancy in the county has stabilized at under 10%, and lease rates have remained flat for the past year, according to Jerry Holdner, a Voit vice president and author of the research report.

“The market seems to be flattening out,” Holdner tells GlobeSt.com. He says that despite negative net absorption of nearly 820,000 sf during the quarter, he expects the absorption figures to improve in coming months. Holdner cited a recent deal, a 661,000-sf lease signed by ServiceCraft Logistics in Buena Park (reported by GlobeSt.com on Oct. 16), that will fill a big part of the available space in the market. Holdner says other users of industrial space that have signed leases or bought buildings should be moving in during the fourth quarter, further improving overall statistics in the industrial category.

Orange County’s 280 million sf of industrial space includes 205 million of manufacturing and distribution buildings, 60 million sf of R&D space and 14 million sf of flex space, according to the Voit report.

Space under construction during the third quarter totaled slightly more than 1.1 million sf, 75% less than the amount that was under construction a year ago. The industrial availability rate of 9.83% represented an increase of 12.73% when compared to the third quarter of 2001, which Holdner attributed primarily to the slower economy coupled with an increase of new sublease space hitting the market.

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