perth cbd buildings
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  • Canberra was the only city to see a large occupancy decline
  • Most cities saw strong occupancy increases
  • Peak day occupancy rates were as high as 80% in some cities

More workers are back in the office, according to the latest Property Council of Australia’s latest Office Occupancy Survey.

As health worries subside (from 30% in July 2021 to 4% in September 2022), most markets have seen a continued lift in office occupancies. Aside from Canberra’s shift from 64% to 54% occupancy and minor downward movement in Sydney’s CBD from 53% down to 52%, CBDs across Australia saw increased numbers of workers in offices.

Office Occupancy Rates

Market Melbourne CBD Canberra Sydney CBD Brisbane CBD Perth CBD Adelaide CBD
August 2022 39% 64% 53% 57% 69% 71%
September 2022 41% 54% 52% 70% 76% 78%

Source: Property Council of Australia’s Office Occupancy Survey.

Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said it was pleasing to see occupancy rates rise significantly in a number of cities.

“We expected to see office occupancy lift after the winter Omicron wave subsided and that’s what we have witnessed in most capital cities around Australia,” said Mr Morrison.

“It’s especially encouraging to see office occupancy jump significantly in several major CBDs, but the results are a lot lower in Melbourne and Sydney which had more lockdown disruption through the pandemic.

“Our survey shows people are returning to their offices strongly on peak days, with peak day occupancy reaching 84 per cent in Perth, 83 per cent in Adelaide, 79 per cent in Brisbane, Sydney at 65 per cent, and 60 per cent in Canberra and Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s peak occupancy day increased by nine per cent from the previous month, which is a positive sign despite the overall occupancy rate remaining subdued.

“With warmer weather now upon us and the Omicron wave subsiding significantly, it bodes well for continued momentum in the months ahead.”

Peak and low day occupancy rates

Market Melbourne CBD Canberra Sydney CBD Brisbane CBD Perth CBD Adelaide CBD
Peak Day 60% 60% 65% 79% 84% 83%
Low Day 25% 36% 31% 55% 68% 61%

Source: Property Council of Australia’s Office Occupancy Survey.

The survey was conducted in the field between 26 and 30 September 2022.

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