sydney office
Half of Sydney CBD offices are vacant, according to Property Council Survey. Image – Canva
  • Sydney CBD office building occupancy increased to 48% from 45% - a 3% increase
  • Brisbane and Sydney were the only capital cities to show an increase in the past month
  • Darwin reported an 80% office occupancy rate – second month in a row

The latest office occupancy survey from the Property Council of Australia shows that Sydney’s CBD office occupancy rate saw an increase between February and January from 45% to 48% – a 3% increase. December to January saw the rate unchanged at 45%.

Sydney and Brisbane were the only capitals to record an increase in office occupancy rates, with the others all remaining the same or declining.

The figures are collected from Property Council members who either own or manage CBD office buildings that cover the period of 22 to 28 February 2021.

Darwin comfortably has the crown for the highest occupancy rate at 80% whilst Melbourne has had the roughest ride.

Melbourne had a 13% office occupancy rate in December 2020 – less than a third of the next lowest, Sydney at 45%. This more than doubled to 31% in January before declining to 24% in February. Office occupancy restrictions were to be relaxed to 50% by the Victorian Government but due to the Holiday Inn cluster this was reversed; the lockdown likely influenced this significant drop.

“New South Wales saw slow but steady growth in the past month, building on the confidence in the state government and the lack of community transmitted COVID cases in the state.”

Jane Fitzgerald, NSW Executive Director of Property Council

“The sturdy position of the NSW Premier to keep borders open and only lock down local areas with local outbreaks is laying the path for life in a COVID managed way.

“The most recent results from our survey shows how great the challenge is balancing keeping the community safe, restoring community confidence and keeping the economy open.”

Along with lockdowns in Melbourne and Perth from late January to February, the Property Council also highlighted an increase in worker preferences for greater flexibility such as working from home as factors influencing the recent occupancy figures.

Along with the introduction of the vaccination program, Ms Fitzgerald said the NSW Government’s investments in city vibrancy activities may encourage workers to return to the CBD in a safe and vibrant environment.

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