Orange County Office Market Report
Early-Year Uptick in High-Paying Job Creation and Leasing Activity Brighten Office Outlook
Catalysts for improvement emerge. After a year of extended office closures and remote work that triggered a sharp rise in vacancy, Orange County has recorded several advancements in early 2021 that if sustained would aid long-term fundamentals. During the first quarter, the metro added 9,400 professional and business services positions. While some of these jobs may initially be accomplished at home, many of these employees will transition to in-office work or a hybrid schedule following widespread vaccination and the complete reopening of California’s economy in June. These factors and continued payroll expansions would require companies to maintain their real estate footprints or occupy additional space. This trend may already be underway as firms plan their returns. Initial data shows leasing activity up by more than 10 percent in the first quarter when compared with the prior three-month period, marked by a rise in 10,000-square-foot-plus commitments.