Prime office space in Canberra tight

23 April 2016

As published in The Canberra Times  on 23 April 2016
Author: Sonja Koremans

Canberra’s prime grade office vacancy rate of 7.4 per cent is the lowest since 2008. Only the Sydney CBD has a lower rate. Prime office space in Canberra tight

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“Leasing inquiry from the private sector is also strong.” Andrew Balzanelli, JLL.

The vacancy rate for Canberra’s prime office space is at a record low, according to one of Australia’s largest commercial property groups. The momentum in the city’s office leasing market last year continued into the 2016 first quarter with Canberra recording one of tightest vacancy rates across Australia, JLL figures reveal. JLL managing director ACT Andrew Balzanelli says Canberra’s prime vacancy rate of 7.4 per cent during the quarter was the lowest it has been since 2008. “The key driver of the decline in prime vacancy has been government departments consolidating from multiple locations into prime space,” Balzanelli says.

“It is the second-tightest prime grade vacancy across monitored CBD office markets, second only to the Sydney CBD.” Total vacancy in Canberra’s office market fell 0.7 percentage points over the first quarter, the JLL figures show. “Leasing inquiry from the private sector is also strong. We have had inquiry from a broad range of industry sectors including professional services and technology,” Balzanelli says. JLL statistics for the first quarter show the national CBD office market vacancy rate fell slightly, from 12.6 per cent at the end of 2015 to 12.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2016.

The divergence between CBD office markets widened, with the lowest vacancy in Sydney at 6.8 per cent and the highest in Perth at 24.5 per cent. The Sydney CBD vacancy rate is below 7 per cent for the first time since mid-2008, the JLL research shows. In Melbourne, the vacancy rate fell from 10 per cent at the end of 2015 to 9.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2016. Locally, CBRE ACT office services.

manager Patrick Sammon says Marcus Clarke Street in the CBD is emerging as a prime leasing hub. The property group brokered a five-year lease on level 5 of 60 Marcus Clarke Street this month on behalf of Centuria Property Funds. Employee assistance and health provider Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, which is part of Cover- More Group, leased the corporate space. “Davidson Trahaire Corpsych’s commitment to one of Canberra’s prime corporate buildings demonstrates the growing trend of businesses looking to upgrade their commercial premises,” Sammon says. Davidson Trahaire Corpsych’s move from Deakin to Marcus Clarke Street is part of a broader.

relocation of businesses wanting to lease in the inner city, Sammon says. Rentals in the precinct range from $400 to $420 per square metre.