Orange County Multifamily Report – April 2023

After prolonged outsize growth, moderation is the word of the day.

Orange County rent evolution, click to enlarge

Orange County rent evolution, click to enlarge

Despite some dampening, Orange County fundamentals remained healthy at the start of 2023. Rents contracted 0.4 percent on a trailing three-month basis through February to $2,687, lagging the U.S. figure, which was down 10 basis points to $1,702. The occupancy rate in stabilized properties dropped 100 basis points in the 12 months ending in January, but at 96.7 percent, the metro remained one of the tightest major rental markets in the country. Interestingly, the drop in occupancy was steeper in workforce communities.

Orange County sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge

Orange County sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge

The unemployment rate in Orange County dropped to 2.5 percent in December, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, leading the state (4.1 percent) and the U.S. (3.5 percent), while trailing San Francisco and San Jose. Although unemployment surpassed pre-pandemic values, not all jobs lost due to the pandemic were recovered. The job market expanded by 4.4 percent, or 70,300 positions, in 2022, outperforming the 3.7 percent U.S. rate. Financial activities, government and other services lost 5,300 jobs combined. Leisure and hospitality led gains, adding 22,400 positions. The sector is poised for more growth, including a planned $4 billion sports and entertainment district.

Orange County. Photo by MattGush/iStockphoto.com

Orange County. Photo by MattGush/iStockphoto.com

No sales or deliveries were confirmed in the metro this year as of February, reflecting the impact of macroeconomic challenges, including high inflation and rising interest rates. Still, 8,754 units were under construction, and 2022’s multifamily sales totaled nearly $1.7 billion.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.

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