Big businesses lead demand for office space in first quarter

Colliers International releases Q1 2016 Office Demand Index

Demand for office space across major Australian markets is on the rise in 2016, according to new data from Colliers International.

According to Colliers International’s latest Office Demand Index, a total of 507,799sqm of demand was recorded in Q1 2016 – a 33% increase from Q4 2015.

Large businesses looking for more than 3,000sqm of office space accounted for over 50% of the total area enquired for in Q1 2016, while representing just 9% of the total number of enquiries, by volume. Small businesses looking for 1,000sqm or less accounted for almost 80% of the total number of enquiries recorded in the first quarter this year.

“We have found that compared to this time last year, on average, businesses are enquiring for more space,” Simon Hunt, Colliers International Managing Director of Office Leasing, said. “On a national level, the average area enquired for as of Q1 2015 was about 888sqm. In Q1 2016, it has increased to 1,050sqm."

Notable increases were recorded in Brisbane, where average size required increased to 1,287sqm in Q1 2016, up from 774sqm in Q1 2015, and Canberra, which recorded a significant jump in average size enquired for from 1,167sqm in Q1 2015 to 1,942sqm this quarter.

There was also an increased in average size requirement in the Sydney CBD, from under 1,000sqm in Q1 2015 to over 1,600sqm in Q1 2016. Locations that saw a small drop in average size included Sydney Metro and Melbourne CBD.

“This quarter, we have seen the greatest number of large businesses enquire for office space in almost 10 years, which has contributed to the increase in the average area currently in demand,” Mr Hunt said.

“This trend is also flowing through to transactions. In the first quarter of 2016, we have seen an increase of more than 15,000sqm (22%) in the amount of office space leased.

“Larger businesses are doing the deals at the moment and this is showing up in both transactional and demand data. In the coming months, we expect smaller businesses will also increase their activity."

Simon Crouch, Colliers International Head of Tenant Advisory, said in Sydney, much of this smaller demand had been created by the compulsory acquisition of buildings associated with the Sydney Metro project.

“Since February 2016 we have been appointed by 10 businesses averaging 300sqm  in size who require expert advice to help them through the relocation process, Mr Crouch said.

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