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IRVINE, CA-It’s no secret that office recovery in Orange County has been slow, albeit steady, but without the overbuilding that occurred in 2007 and 2008, where would the market be today? Jones Lang LaSalle reports that vacancy in the class-A Orange County market is at 16.1%, but predicts that it would be as low as 9.8% today without the inventory that came online during those years—not much higher than the 8.3% vacancy the sector saw at the market’s peak in 2006.

Despite recording substantial positive absorption since 2010, recovery is still sluggish, and JLL maintains that the biggest hindrance to approaching single-digit vacancy rates is the overbuilding that occurred during those years, bringing more than 3 million square feet of new product to the market at the same time many companies were shedding employees and space. If that boom of product had never taken place and the market underwent a more natural recovery, the market could potentially be carrying a vacancy rate in the single digits right now, the firm reports.

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