The Orange County real estate market is an unusual conundrum. Certain parts of the market are in serious financial trouble, and have been since the economic downturn. However, other portions of the Orange County real estate market have been continuing to flourish and grow regardless of the state of the national economy. The Los Angeles Times reported on July 19, 2009 that “Commercial brokers are swimming in empty space. In a distressed market, the stakes are higher and deals are more elusive.” The articles continues to say that “Nearly 16% of office space in Los Angeles County is sitting vacant as tenants close up shop or move out of expensive properties. Nearly a third of the space around up-market Playa Vista sits empty; office buildings in the Inland Empire and parts of Orange County are completely vacant.”
On the other hand, the Orange County Business Journal reported on July 6, 2009 that “The West County industrial market continues to chug along and hold on to the momentum of previous quarters, despite the general market slowdown. With the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles receiving about 40% of the nation's shipped goods, trade, and warehousing continues to be strong in this market.” This continued strength is most likely explained by the continued necessity of shipping regardless of the prevalent economic status of the country. Items such as food and clothing have to be shipped across the ocean between America's trading partners and ourselves, as well as vice versa.
Foreclosures have been steadily dropping as a share of the market, which is a positive indicator for the overall status of Orange County real estate. According to an article in the Orange County Register, “DataQuick reports that Orange County foreclosures made up just 29% of all home resales in June, the lowest percentage in more than a year, as banks fall behind in bringing delinquent loans to foreclosure and demand rises for discounted foreclosures.” In another positive sign for Orange County real estate, “Southern California home prices may have finally hit bottom, with median values rising last month for the first significant increase in two years”, as reported by the Los Angeles Times on July 16, 2009.