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Market Report

Orange County Retail Market Report

2024 Investment Forecast

California’s Tightest Retail Vacancy Calls
Investor Attention to Orange County

Rapid apartment development helps recover retail net absorption. Orange County hosts the delivery of just 80,000 square feet of retail space this year, the smallest slate for any major market. Limited new supply will enable vacancy to tick down to 4.5 percent, as rapid construction in the multifamily sector helps revive retailer demand for space. A six-year high apartment completion total set for 2024 is creating new opportunities for retailers to capitalize on the metro’s densification. Areas surrounding John Wayne Airport have the strongest potential in this regard. North and South Irvine, in particular, each featured multifamily pipelines exceeding 10 percent of their local inventories at the start of 2024. Elsewhere, Laguna Hills-Aliso Viejo is already seeing a rush in demand from retailers, with Savers, Tesla and Bowlero topping a growing list of tenants moving into the area this year. The demolition and redevelopment of the Laguna Hills Mall, which developers eventually plan to convert to apartments, offices and hotel rooms , should help bring in additional economic activity and retailer interest. 

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