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Brisbane office occupancy bounces back

By Staff Reporter
09 June 2022 | 1 minute read
Brisbane

Despite struggling against several market-dampening factors, Brisbane has recorded one of the largest jumps in office occupancy in the country, according to the Property Council of Australia.

In its latest office occupancy report, which tracked data for May 2022, the body revealed that Brisbane’s level of occupied offices rose from 50 per cent of pre-COVID levels in April up to 64 per cent of pre-COVID levels in May. This is the second-highest level of any capital city in Australia behind Adelaide’s strong showing, where occupancy reached 71 per cent of its normal rate.

This is also one of the largest monthly jumps in occupancy the council has seen since it began recording office activity nearly two years ago, according to the organisation’s Queensland executive director Jen Williams.

She noted that the figures bode well for future performance, given that the city was still facing headwinds in leasing office space.

“Obviously, there is still plenty of work to be done, however, given that COVID is still a factor and we are currently undergoing a flu season which is much worse than usual, I am confident that these numbers will continue to trend upwards in the coming months,” she said.

Ms Williams noted that the trend in Brisbane tracks with what is being seen more broadly across the country: premium office space is king.

“The Property Council’s Office Market Report data continues to show strong demand, especially for premium grade office stock,” she said.

“This highlights that big organisations clearly believe in the future of the office as a space to collaborate and engage creatively with co-workers”.

Cities such as Melbourne have similarly reported a high level of competition in the upper echelon of the office market. 

With staffers’ expectations having shifted following the remote-work revolution that COVID ushered in, businesses committed to cultivating an active office life are increasingly realising they need state-of-the-art facilities to attract top talent.

Another behavioural shift among workers, at least in Brisbane, is a high level of central business district workers using public transit for their daily or periodic visits to the office, according to the Property Council.

With office workers returning, they emphasised the need for the city’s transit capabilities to keep up with demand.

“Moving forward, the Property Council will continue to work with the Queensland government on additional initiatives around public transport, which if implemented will hopefully see activity levels in Brisbane’s city centre continue on their positive trajectory,” Ms Williams said.

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