24/09/2009 - 00:00

Property rides on gas projects

24/09/2009 - 00:00

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PERTH'S commercial office market and the state's building industry are both looking to big gas developments such as Chevron's Gorgon project to be a key driver of activity.

Property rides on gas projects

PERTH'S commercial office market and the state's building industry are both looking to big gas developments such as Chevron's Gorgon project to be a key driver of activity.

While major resources projects are tipped to lift demand in both sectors, they also heighten the need for careful planning to ensure the state copes with a return of boom conditions.

The latest forecasts for the CBD commercial office market suggest it will be three years before a resources-led recovery starts to affect the vacancy rate.

Colliers International's 'Perth CBD Office - Spring 2009 Market Indicators' suggest the CBD office market vacancy rate was set to peak around 15 per cent by mid-2012, but with the recent Gorgon approval, CBD leasing agents were already experiencing higher rates of enquiry.

The Property Council of Australia's official vacancy rate is currently 8 per cent, but with new office space to come online and backfill space becoming available, the vacancy rate is expected to move into double figures by 2010.

Colliers International research consultancy manager Erwin Edlinger said it was encouraging that Perth's vacancy rate would only peak at 15 per cent because a 10 per cent vacancy rate represented a balanced market.

He said the Gorgon announcement had the Western Australian business community already discussing the next boom.

Master Builders director Michael McLean said the biggest challenges for the state government would be ensuring there was sufficient land, labour and skills available to provide the necessary infrastructure, housing and capital works required.

Mr McLean said it was important to learn from previous boom conditions that the provision of affordable blocks of land, in metropolitan and regional areas, was vital to attract workers from other locations.

"It all starts with land supply as to how our industry will be able to respond to the extraordinary challenges ahead in the resource sector," he said.

"There's huge potential for the transportable homes and flat-pack homes industry to supply, deliver and erect housing in regional locations quickly, but the land has to be made available first."

Mr McLean also suggested the state government provide more institutional training opportunities to try to avoid any sort of skills shortage in the building industry

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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