Pacific Regional Forecast

Alaska • California • Hawaii • Oregon • Washington

The economic clouds have moved in over the West Coast, and the largest metropolitan areas in this region are suffering to different degrees from the U.S. recession. Oregon and Washington never quite hit the stratospheric highs of California’s housing and commercial construction markets, and aren’t expected to suffer as much from the bottom of this cycle, either. Seattle (9.4%) and Portland, Ore. (7.6%) have some of the nation’s lowest downtown office vacancy rates, but they are both suffering from 40 percent declines in building permits through August. Down the coast, Southern California is the poster child for all that went wrong with the housing market. Aside from the horrific housing market, some interesting projects are underway. Stanford is building a 200,000-square-foot lab for stem cell research; utilities are working overtime on alternative energy projects; and a group of universities plans to build a $1 billion 3-million-square-foot research facility at NASA Research Park at Moffett Field in Silicon Valley.

Back to the 2009 Market Planning Guide