Office vacancy rates in Canberra tighten as two more properties sell

The strength of the market at the high end will be tested at the end of next week, with the first round of offers for the Geoscience Australia building, which is expected to bring in up to $380 million, easily surpassing the previous record of 335 million dollars for 50 Marcus Clarke Street.

On the lettings front, a new report from trade agency JLL has revealed that the Canberra office market recorded a fourth consecutive quarter of positive net uptake in the three months to March 31, with virtually all space of superior quality.

Canberra’s overall vacancy rate for the office sector fell to 5.5%, compared to a national average of 13.5%. The core vacancy rate in Canberra contracted 0.8 percentage points to 2.8%, the lowest in Australia.

Main net effective rents increased by 0.6%, while secondary net effective rents increased by 1.2%.

Andrew Balzanelli, head of ACT office leasing at JLL, said the number of tenant submissions in the first quarter was up from the same period last year and demand from the public sector, particularly government ACT, was the main driver.

However, activity in the under 150 square meter category had “diminished”, suggesting that many companies were still piloting work-from-home models and seeking opportunities in coworking environments, said Troy McGuinness, associate director of office rental at JLL.

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