Southern California’s industrial real estate market is hot, hot, hot!

Southern California has long been a popular site for big-name manufacturers and retailers. So popular, in fact, that Los Angeles and Orange counties have some of the highest priced industrial property and the two tightest real estate markets in the country.

The Inland Empire - a metropolitan area east of Los Angeles that includes Ontario, Riverside and San Bernardino - is fast becoming the hottest industrial market in the country and commercial real estate tenants and purchasers are grabbing what they can, as near as they can to LA. The area, once known for its prime agricultural land, is now sprouting monstrous warehouses where consumer goods are processed, stored and distributed around the world.

Foreign investors on the scene

The high prices are not scaring off foreign investors either. According to International Business Times and various investments groups, the Chinese are some of the largest real estate investors in the U.S. Due to political unrest and skyrocketing prices in China, Chinese buyers are purchasing billions of dollars worth of commercial real estate, much of it in California.

Between luxury condominium and mixed-use developments, there is an expectation that the state will see record numbers of Chinese real estate transactions this year. IBT reports that Chinese buyers also spent $9 billion buying residential properties in the U.S. in a one-year period, boosting the real estate markets in San Francisco as well as Los Angeles.

Senior living communities

Another emerging market in the state is multi-million dollar retirement communities. The Wall Street Journal recently profiled a residential housing development - currently under construction in Newport Beach - that caters to retirees. The facility will have an elaborate spa, private theater, full-size gyms, wines from Napa Valley and chefs from some of the nation's top cooking schools. Units will be professionally decorated and a plethora of activities will be available for residents.

Developments like these are becoming more and more popular across the country and many wish to stay in Southern California, close to the hustle and bustle of their favorite cities. The National Association of Home Builders expects rentals and sales to rise by nearly 25 percent in communities that cater to people age 55 and older. Developers are rushing to meet the demand as baby boomers hit retirement age.

Obtain legal assistance

As with any business transaction, there may be bumps along the way before a deal is finalized. Whether you are drafting a commercial lease, development agreement or real estate purchase contract, seek the counsel of an experienced real estate lawyer. An attorney knowledgeable about zoning, planning, litigation and land use in California can help.