ANAHEIM, CA-The industrial market in Orange County remains on a steady course, with vacancies and rental rates changing little from quarter to quarter, according to a newly issued report by Voit Commercial Brokerage Co.

The Voit report shows the availability rate for the county’s 281.5-million-sf industrial base stood at 9.28% in the second quarter, nearly identical to the first-quarter rate, while the average asking triple-net lease rent remained at about 52 cents per sf per month. During the second quarter, average asking sales prices also remained flat at just under $82 per sf. Voit tracks 8,006 industrial buildings in the manufacturing, warehouse, R&D and flex categories.

Authored by Voit vice president and research chief Jerry Holdner, the report says rental rates have declined from midyear 2002, dipping nearly 15% in that time. Since first quarter 2001, the rent slipped from an average asking triple-net rate of 61 cents per sf per month.

Holdner tells that the performance of the industrial market overall is positive, especially in light of the flat economy. He also cites statistics from Orange County’s Chapman University showing that the local jobs picture has improved somewhat, with unemployment dipping slightly to 3.6% in the county and forecasts predicting 30,000 new jobs will be formed in Orange County next year.

Another positive sign, Holdner says, is that the amount of new industrial space under construction has dwindled to slightly more than 1.25 million sf, about half of the amount that was under construction a year ago. About 700,000 sf of the current construction is in the North Orange County market, with the remainder split fairly evenly among the West, South and Airport Area submarkets.

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