Office Activity: CBD vs Suburban

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Commercial Buildings
In several recent articles, we discussed the growing health of the CBD Office markets around Australia.

Melbourne still leads the other capital cities with a CBD vacancy rate of 6.2% at the end of March.

And according to Savills’ latest Office Spotlight, the number of whole floors within the city of Melbourne has fallen by some 35% — from 60 to 39 available floors, as at January 2011.

It seems that CBD tenants are scrambling to lock in larger areas, to allow for growth and avoid the expected huge rent increases over the next 5 to 7 years.

Office VacanciesAs a result, many mid-sized tenants are being pushed out into suburban locations. In turn, this is causing these vacancies to fall and rentals to rise.

As such, Melbourne’s suburban vacancy rate (at 5.8%) is now below that for the CBD.

And Colliers Research believes this could fall below 4% over the next 12 months — through a shortage of new space coming onto the market.

Likewise, Sydney and Brisbane have seen their suburban vacancy rates also decline. And net prime face rents in North Sydney are now up over $600 per sqm.

It would appear only Adelaide’s suburban Office leasing market has remained soft — despite several major sales putting some downward pressure on yields.

Bottom Line: Fundamentally, all the signs are there for continued growth in Commercial rentals and capital values over the next 5 to 7 years — despite the global backdrop creating hesitation for some investors, who are not part of the “Inner Circle”!


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