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ANAHEIM, CA-Orange County’s office market absorbed more than 830,000 sf of space in the second quarter, double the first-quarter absorption, according to a new report from Voit Commercial Brokerage, and average asking rates ticked up for the second consecutive quarter.Jerry Holdner, Voit VP of research and author of the report, tells GlobeSt.com that the county’s office market of nearly 97.3 million sf could be headed for one of its best performances in the pastsix years, a total of about 2.4 million sf of space absorbed, if absorption continues at this rate for the rest of the year. The year 2000 marked the peak of the past six years, with absorption of 3.6 million sf. The office market then lapsed to 775,000 sf of absorption in 2001 and 1.5 million sf in 2002 before rebounding last year with 3 million sf of absorption. Although 1999′s total was thelowest in the last six years, 100,000 sf, Holdner tells GlobeSt.com that the 1999 figure is misleading because little or no space was available in 1999 even though demand was strong. The slight uptick in average asking lease rates to $2.01 from last quarter’s $2 is also an indicator of a strengthening market, Holdner says, noting that although the increase in the second quarter was only about a penny, it followed a one-cent increase in the first quarter that marked the first quarterly rise in asking rates in two years.Holdner notes that much of the action in the office market is in the airport area submarket, which has accounted for nearly 1 million sf of the 1.2 million of net absorption in the county for the firsttwo quarters. The strong absorption has pushed the availability rate down to just under 12.9%, including both direct and sublease space, compared with an availability rate of more than 15.6% in the second quarer of last year.

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