It seems the San Fernando Valley and the Conejo Valley real estate markets were operating in different universes in the first quarter. While the San Fernando Valley office market softened as West Valley landlords tried to stem departures, vacancy rates in the greater Conejo Valley dropped four tenths of a point to 19.6 percent, according to data from Colliers International. And brokers say they expect the trend to continue. “On the bigger blocks of land, things are really starting to move,” said Lee Black, executive managing director at the Los Angeles office of Cassidy Turley Inc. of St. Louis. Helping it all along were landlords willing to cut deals. Average lease rates decreased two cents during the quarter, to $2.10 per square foot, lower than any submarket in the San Fernando or Santa Clarita valleys. In one of the highest profile deals of the quarter, American Homes 4 Rent Inc., one of the largest owner-operators of single-family home rentals, signed a five-year agreement to relocate its headquarters from Malibu to a 43,000-square-foot space in Agoura Hills by June 1. But really what was driving things along was substantial activity with medical-related properties, highlighted by the $6.4 million sale of the Agoura Hills Medical Center, a 47,000 square-foot medical office building at 29501 Canwood St., to Chino Hills Oil Inc. of Calabasas. Nationwide Medical Inc., an Agoura Hills company that serves patients dealing with sleep apnea, leased an additional 18,000 square-feet of space, almost doubling the amount of space it occupies at 29901 Agoura Road. And though it doesn’t impact the office market directly, the quarter’s largest health care property sale in both Los Angeles and Ventura counties took place in Agoura Hills. San Jose real estate investment firm DiNapoli Capital Partners purchased the 137,000 square-foot Agoura Hills Senior Retreat, an assisted living center at 5217 Chesebro Road for $33 million. The Conejo Valley’s 7.76 million-square-foot industrial market – dominated by flex space that has at least 30 percent office – also showed improvement. The vacancy rate fell eight tenths of a point to 3.5 percent as 58,600 square feet was absorbed. That drove asking rates up 2 cents, to 76 cents per square foot. Among the biggest industrial deals of the quarter, Soccer Performance Training Center LLC signed a five-year lease to open a 19,000-square-foot indoor soccer training facility at 31293 Via Colinas in Westlake Village. Elsewhere in the county, the Simi Valley and Moorpark industrial markets saw vacancies rise three tenths of a point to 9.9 percent as the market gave back 36,200 square feet, according Colliers. Meanwhile, the asking rents remained flat at 51 cents a square foot. “Of the sub-regions of the Los Angeles North market, Simi is one of the softest,” said Nigel Stout, executive vice-president at brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle who specializes in industrial space. “Flex space has been the hardest hit.” Stout said Conejo and Santa Clarita have fared better as the commercial real estate market has recovered due to superior freeway access, while the Simi Valley and Moorpark markets are more isolated. The rise in vacancies in the first quarter comes from several smaller buildings being returned to the market, according to Patrick DuRoss, associate vice president at the Encino office of Colliers. He said the trend has been that mid-size companies are downsizing to smaller facilities. “There’s been no major exodus of a particular company,” he said. – Elliot Golan Main Events DiNapoli Capital Partners purchased the 137,000 square-foot Agoura Hills Senior Retreat from Bednar Building Corp. of Agoura Hills. The property at 5217 Chesebro Road in Agoura Hills was sold for almost $33 million. It has since been renamed MeadowBrook of Agoura Hills Senior Living. American Homes 4 Rent Inc. leased a 43,000 square-foot space in a more than 115,000 square-foot building at 30601 Agoura Road. The company is scheduled to move its headquarters from Malibu on June 1. The lease is five years and financial terms were not disclosed. A 40,000 square-foot industrial building in Camarillo sold to Towanda Trust for $3.5 million. The property, at 1040 Avenida Acaso, is partially leased to AAMP of America, which makes audio amplification equipment. No additional information on the buyer was disclosed. Chino Hills Oil Inc. of Calabasas purchased Agoura Hills Medical Center at 29501 Canwood St. in Agoura Hills. The 47,000 square-foot property was sold by Montecito Bank & Trust for $6.4 million. Soccer Performance Training Center LLC has leased a 19,000 square-foot industrial facility at 31293 Via Colinas in Westlake Village. The five-year lease has a base monthly rent of $12,730. The facility will be for private instruction, small groups and teams. Nationwide Medical Inc. leased an additional 18,000 square-feet at 29901 Agoura Road in Agoura Hills, almost doubling its size. The sleep apnea-treatment company signed a long-term lease of more than 10 years. Financial terms were not disclosed.