Brea, CA Economic Overview
Brea is a diverse residential and business community located in Orange County, just 33 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The City, translated as “oil" or “tar" from Spanish, began as a center of crude oil production, later propelled by citrus production, but has recently evolved into an important retail center. Brea is also known for its extensive public art program which began in 1975 and continues today with over 140 artworks in the collection placed throughout the City. Brea is home to over 40,000 residents and hosts a working population of more than 100,000. Brea is ideally located at the juncture of three counties with access to major airports, popular regional attractions, beaches, deserts, and mountains. Brea commercial real estate is supported by a “full-service city," providing a full range of top graded municipal services, including recreational and cultural services. Brea has a tradition of entrepreneurial ventures, providing services to numerous other public agencies such as information technology and printing services.
The long-term economic conditions and outlook for Brea and Orange County are trending upwards, as the city continues to expand its vast retail hub. Brea is a thriving center for big businesses such as Albertsons Distribution Warehouse, Bank of America, Bachman-Coulter, Bristol Industries, Kirkhill-TA Company, Evangelical Christian Credit Union, and Nestle Waters North America. Several companies’ corporate headquarters are located within Brea, including Beckman-Coulter, Suzuki Motor of America and Mercury Insurance. While Brea is a major retail and business hub, it maintains a strategic balance with nature, preserving its hillside and canyon areas and is home to one of the nation’s largest outdoor sculpture collections. Brea is complimented with a stable economic base, well-educated labor force, and a high median household income of over $83,000, above the Orange County average of $76,000.
Brea, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
Brea is a major retail center, featuring the county’s fourth-largest shopping center, Brea Mall, the Brea Union Plaza, Brea’s Downtown, and a host of other retail and service businesses. The newest addition to Brea’s retail hub includes “The Village at La Floresta" which is home to a local Whole Foods Market. Geographic and socio-economic conditions in Orange County and the City of Brea have started to increase property values, in the allocated 5% of its land use to commercial and office development. Those interested in development in the area will want to act fast, as Brea still has lower rental rates compared to the rest of the Metropolitan Los Angeles market.
Downtown Brea is a mixed-use development, known as the center of fun in northern Orange County, as a unique dining, entertainment and shopping district. It is home to a vibrant mix of trendy restaurants and outdoor cafes, a variety of shops and boutiques, eclectic buildings and sunny public plazas, all located in a friendly neighborhood environment.
Brea, CA Office Rental Rates ($/SF/year)
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF.
Brea, CA Office Sales
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Brea, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 3,634,821 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 1,006,465 SF / 27.69% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 1,990,853 SF / 54.77% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 637,503 SF / 17.54% of total office
- Class A: 2,077,147 SF / 57.15% of total office
- Class B: 1,557,674 SF / 42.85% of total office
Total: 6,207,138 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 292,547 SF / 4.71% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 4,214,591 SF / 67.9% of total industrial
- 500k to 1M SF: 500,000 SF / 8.06% of total industrial
- > 1M SF: 1,200,000 SF / 19.33% of total industrial
- Class A: 4,579,190 SF / 73.77% of total industrial
- Class B: 1,627,948 SF / 26.23% of total industrial
Employment in Brea, CA
Orange County boasts a labor force of over 1.5 million, with the majority employed in services. Occupations in the area with the fastest job growth include those employed in agriculture such as soil and plant scientists, as well as those employed in professional science careers, such as web developers and nuclear technicians.
According to the BLS, the industries in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA area with the highest employment numbers include:
- Trade, Transportation, and Utilities—currently employs 1,079 thousand, growing at 0.3%;
- Education and health services—currently employs 985,000, growing at 2.2%;
- Professional and business services–currently employs 916,800, growing at 3.0%.
Education in Brea, CA
Brea also supports the outstanding Brea Olinda Unified School District, including campuses recognized as California Distinguished Schools and a National Blue Ribbon high school. The Brea Olinda Unified School District operates six elementary schools, one junior high school, one high school, and one alternative high school. Also in the city are several pre-schools, two Christian schools, and a Catholic school with classes for children from K-8.
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary has a campus located at 251 South Randolph Street in Brea. Nearby is California State University at Fullerton as well as Fullerton Community College. The University of California at Irvine, Chapman College, and Cal Poly Pomona are all within easy freeway access.
Commuting Time in Brea, CA
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) operates a comprehensive system, with several key routes intersecting at the Brea Mall. There are also two express routes, which make stops there in utilizing the 57 Freeway to connect Inland Empire riders all the way to either Santa Ana or the Irvine Spectrum.
Employees in Brea have a longer average commute time of 28.4 minutes, compared to the national average of 24.8 minutes. The largest share of workers in Brea drive alone to work, followed by those who carpool and work at home.
- Total Population41,921
- Male Population(48.7 %) 20,421
- Female Population(51.3 %) 21,500
- Median Age37.90
- Average Household Income$110,178
- Median Household Income$90,214
- Median Income Under 25$63,583
- Median Income 25-44$101,152
- Median Income 45-64$98,942
- Median Income Over 65$60,175
Residential Rents in Brea, CA
The average rent for an apartment in Brea is $1,710/month, a 7% increase compared to the previous year, when the average rent was $1,600. The most affordable markets in the region are Garden Grove, where the average rent goes for $1,509/month, North Tustin, where renters pay $1,587/month on average, and Westminster, where the average rent goes for $1,595/month. The most expensive markets in the Brea region are San Clemente ($2,027), Irvine ($2,265) and Newport Beach ($2,277).
Brea, CA Average Rental Price, September 2019
- $ 1,760/mo
- Studio: $ 1,523
- 1 Bedroom: $ 1,597
- 2 Bedrooms: $ 1,990
Brea, CA Rent Trends
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