Irvine, CA Economic Overview
Nestled in a broad flat valley flanked by hills, ridges, plateaus and canyons, the City of Irvine is the nerve center of Orange County and the 28th-largest city in the state of California. Its location 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean, 45 miles south of Los Angeles, and 90 miles north of San Diego makes it the perfect getaway to the finest attraction sites of Southern California, such as Disneyland Park (which is just 23 miles away).
It is a perfectly planned city, endowed with natural beauty, temperate climate and diverse cultures. It is home to world-class education institutions, innovation, and business and is the safest big city since 2005, according to the FBI. Just recently, it was ranked by Niche as the 10th best city to live in America.
Irvine is a dynamic city with a robust economic ecosystem. Over a third of Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the city and about half of publicly traded companies native to Orange County are based in the metropolis. The fact that the population of Irvine more than doubles during the day goes to show the key role it plays as the region’s job engine. Economic hubs within the city are the Irvine Business Complex (IBC) and the Irvine Spectrum, which account for more than 150,000 jobs. Industries central to its economy are advanced manufacturing, information and technology, life science and aerospace.
In 2015, it was ranked as the 3rd small American city of the future by the Financial Times of London, for its vast economic potential. It hosts many startups and increasingly more global companies expanding to America are finding a home in Irvine. Tourism is also big business here – in 2014, visitors contributed over half a billion dollars to the local economy.
Irvine, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
A thriving local economy has made the Irvine commercial real estate market one of the tightest in America.
The industrial space market is experiencing record occupancy levels that are pushing the asking rents up. There is high demand for aerospace, high-tech, manufacturing and logistics industrial space throughout Orange County. In the first quarter of 2017, the industrial space vacancy rate had fallen to 2.0% from the 2.2% same time the previous year. The net absorption for the previous 12 months ending in the first quarter was 1.2 million square foot of office space. The Irvine office market had a solid start in 2017, with reduced vacancy levels and increased rental rates. A booming business environment has translated into high demand for office space, as companies expand. The office space vacancy rate has been on a steady decline over the last seven years, from a high of 20.0% to 12.2% in the first quarter of 2017.
Irvine, CA Office Rental Rates ($/SF/year)
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF.
Irvine, CA Office Sales
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Irvine, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 41,517,703 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 12,612,341 SF / 30.38% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 25,354,057 SF / 61.07% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 2,251,305 SF / 5.42% of total office
- > 1M SF: 1,300,000 SF / 3.13% of total office
- Class A+: 1,379,237 SF / 3.32% of total office
- Class A: 19,995,143 SF / 48.16% of total office
- Class B: 18,274,323 SF / 44.02% of total office
- Class C: 98,925 SF / 0.24% of total office
Total: 15,451,470 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 641,587 SF / 4.15% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 13,721,883 SF / 88.81% of total industrial
- 500k to 1M SF: 1,088,000 SF / 7.04% of total industrial
- Class A: 11,196,802 SF / 72.46% of total industrial
- Class B: 4,254,668 SF / 27.54% of total industrial
Employment in Irvine, CA
Irvine has a booming labor market. Its current unemployment rate of 3.7% is one of the lowest in the state of California, where the average unemployment rate stands at 5.0%. There were about 200,000 jobs in Irvine in 2016. Against a local population of 250,000, its job-to-population ratio of 94.8% was the highest out of all cities the size of Irvine or larger. Median household income in Irvine is arguably the highest in California. In 2015, it stood at $93,718.
Irvine’s biggest employers, as of November 2016 stats, include:
- The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) has continued to hold its position as the biggest employer for a long time, with 20,386 employees;
- Edwards Lifesciences, which makes specialized medical devices, at 2,987 workers;
- The Unified Irvine School District (IUSD), with 2,749 employees;
- Video game developer Blizzard Entertainment was a close fourth, with 2,622 workers;
- Broadcom Corporation (now Broadcom Limited) was the fifth-largest employer, with 1,900 workers.
Other major employers were Parker Hannifin (aircraft), Nationstar Mortgage (mortgage), Gladwell Laboratories (dental devices), 24 Hour Fitness (health and fitness) and Thales Avionics all with a combined workforce of 7,644.
Education in Irvine, CA
From elementary schools to the college and university level, Irvine has a world-class education system. The IUSD is one of the finest public school systems in the nation and its students have consistently outperformed other student in the Orange County in SAT test scores. Over 90% of college graduates go to college.
UC Irvine is the biggest university in Irvine. Other institutions of higher learning in Irvine are California Southern University, Paramount California University, Concordia University, Irvine Valley College, Westcliff University, Fuller Theological Seminary, Stanbridge College, Orange County Campus and several others.
Commuting Time in Irvine, CA
Traffic is increasingly becoming heavy in Irvine, due to its ballooning population, and the high number of people who commute to Irvine for work. In general, the commute time in Irvine is wide. The percentage of commuters who take less than 5 minutes to work is virtually the same with the percentage of those who take 90+ minutes. The average commute time is 25.29 minutes. About 82% of the population uses their own car to work, 10% carpool with friends and colleagues, and 1% uses the public transportation system.
- Total Population256,877
- Male Population(48.5 %) 124,653
- Female Population(51.5 %) 132,224
- Median Age34.40
- Average Household Income$125,316
- Median Household Income$95,573
- Median Income Under 25$11,107
- Median Income 25-44$100,911
- Median Income 45-64$116,610
- Median Income Over 65$67,749
Residential Rents in Irvine, CA
Rental rates in Irvine are high due to a strong local economy. As of January 2017, the average apartment rent was $2,265/month, a 6% rise from the previous year. A studio apartment was going for $1,722/month and a three-bedroom apartment was going for $2,896/month. In terms of neighborhoods, the difference of the averages was $570. The most expensive neighborhoods to live in Irvine are UC Irvine, East Industrial Complex and Oak Creek. The least expensive are North Park, Orchard Hills and Northwood.
Irvine, CA Average Rental Price, September 2019
- $ 2,394/mo
- Studio: $ 1,814
- 1 Bedroom: $ 2,071
- 2 Bedrooms: $ 2,621
Irvine, CA Rent Trends
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