NEWPORT BEACH, CA—The outlook for hotels in Southern California continues to brighten, Gregg Applefield, director of the debt-and-equity finance group at Newport Beach-based Mission Capital, tells Economic and tourism conditions in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, in particular, have improved, making this a strong market for hotel investment.

Applefield notes a record number of visitors to the L.A. area. “In 2013, the LAX passenger count increased 4.7% over 2012, and overall hotel performance throughout the L.A. area has improved. Transaction volume is up, the gross volume of hotels sold has increased, and investors are willing to move down the risk curve into buying unstabilized hotels and renovating alternative property types. They’re rebranding them and developing new assets, which shows how much general improvement there has been in the market. Buyers are actively interested in investing in hotels in the area.”

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