CBD vacancies up

PERTH’S CBD office market is experiencing its highest vacancy rate since the late 1990s.

The Property Council of Australia’s Office Market Report, released this week, found that vacancies have risen by more than 1.1 per cent in the past six months, from 11.1 per cent to 12.2 per cent.

The vacancy figures are taken from January 1 this year and reveal that demand for office space fell by 17,585 square metres over the past six months, marking a continued softening in demand by the financial, information technology and government sectors.”

Property Council executive director Joe Lenzo said Perth CBD had demonstrated low levels of activity in the past six months and had been experiencing a “deck reshuffling syndrome” for some time.

“Companies located in the CBD often choose to re-locate within the CBD, creating a stagnant market,” he said.

“This market has been adversely affected by such trends as corporate downsizing, companies shutting shop, and other, usually smaller companies, relocating to non-CBD locations.”

Mr Lenzo said the new Woodside building at 240 St Georges Terrace had not been completed on January 1 2004 and was not included in the report.

“Had this building met the criteria for inclusion in the report as at January1 2004, the Perth CBD vacancy rate would have been closer to 14 per cent, ” he told WA Business News.

The West Perth office market recorded a small fall in vacancy rates, decreasing from 8.9 per cent to 8.1 per cent.

“West Perth has benefited from the continuing trend of tenants moving from the CBD into West Perth,” Mr Lenzo said.

-       Tracey Cook

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