Melbourne CBD office leasing up 128 percent in 12 months, helped by government renting: Savills

Melbourne CBD office leasing up 128 percent in 12 months, helped by government renting: Savills
Melbourne CBD office leasing up 128 percent in 12 months, helped by government renting: Savills

Office leasing figures for Melbourne’s CBD jumped nearly 128 percent over the 12 months to March with the lion’s share bagged by government, according to preliminary data from Savills research.

The government and community sector drove the leasing surge, taking 38 percent of the space. 

Population growth and infrastructure projects have also been important market drivers. Savills associate director of Research, Monica Mondkar, said 569,810 square metre of leasing activity was recorded in the Central Melbourne office market in the last 12 months. 

“This is up 128 percent on the 250,000 square metres leased in the 12 months prior, and also up on the five-year average of 269,943 square metres, so these are quite remarkable figures in anybody’s language,’’ Mondkar said.

The Government & Community sector was the dominant sector leasing 224,906 square metres, 83 per cent of which was Prime Grade. Direct leases totalled 77,868 square metres, while 81,000 square metres was pre-committed. Public administration was the largest sub-sector accounting for 65 per cent of the space taken-up under the Government & Community sector, followed by Education at 23 percent.

Property and Business services was the next largest leasing sector at 28 percent followed by IT and Communication at 15 per cent and Finance and Insurance at 13 percent.

A number of factors contributed to the massive rise in leasing such as renewal of government leases, consolidation of government departments, population growth, government infrastructure projects, staff retention and recruitment requirements, and efficiency gains, added Phil Cullity, director, Office Leasing. 

“Last year, net absorption was 117,000 square metres which smashed the 10-year, 86,000 square metre average and all indications are that we are in for another 12 months like that,” he said.

Developers are pushing ahead with new buildings especially with economic rents being achieved, he added.

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Melbourne CBD office leasing up 128 percent in 12 months, helped by government renting: Savills

“Overall governments – state and federal – have underpinned the massive take up with population growth also an important part of the equation,” he said.

Government departments had not upgraded during the GFC years of 2008/2009/2010 because of fewer options to go to, and a lot of government leases recently came up for renewal at the same time.

“The state government, in particular, has been proactive in taking advantage of market conditions, locking in rents and incentives, before rents begin to rise,” he said.

“Governments now realise that, as they are in competition with the private sector for the best young talent, they must offer a similar level of accommodation and that includes the latest building services including end of trip facilities, meeting facilities, amenities and access to transport, cafes.’’

Government tenants were also increasingly mindful of the need for more efficient buildings in reducing costs. 

The Victorian government’s current infrastructure programme including level crossing removals, the Metro Tunnel and the Western Distributor, was also driving the overall leasing market as companies associated with these projects were also taking leases in their vicinity, Cullity said.

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Melbourne CBD office leasing up 128 percent in 12 months, helped by government renting: Savills

Source: Savills Research # Renewals

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Commercial Market Office Lease

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