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Vacant space up

THE Perth CBD office vacancy rate rose to 1.3 per cent, to 16,567 square metres, in January, while demand for office space has dropped for the first time since July 2004. According to the Property Council of Australia’s latest office market report, the Perth CBD and West Perth office markets remain the tightest in Australia, despite a weakening in demand. Both markets recorded negative net absorption, of 8,351 square metres for the Perth CBD and 3,012sqm in West Perth, for the six months to January 2009. This is a major turnaround from the situation almost six months ago, when Perth CBD vacancy rate reached an all-time record low of 0.3 per cent. Property Council of Australia executive director Joe Lenzo said there had been softening in demand by the mining and government sectors during the past six months, which had underpinned the market’s growth over the past five years. West Perth’s vacancy rate increased from 0 per cent in July 2008 to 1.9 per cent in January 2009.

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