Population and employment growth to boost Gold Coast office market: Knight Frank

Population and employment growth to boost Gold Coast office market: Knight Frank
Population and employment growth to boost Gold Coast office market: Knight Frank

Sustained population and employment growth on the Gold Coast will underpin the city’s continued maturation as a service centre and business hub, which will in turn strengthen its office market, according to recent research from Knight Frank.

Tania Moore, Knight Frank Partner and Joint Head of Gold Coast, said tenant demand in the region’s office market was steadily improving following the first half of 2018 where business was interrupted by the Commonwealth Games.

“The second half of 2018 and into 2019 has seen stronger levels of tenant enquiry, and we forecast this will only get stronger as the city’s population continues to grow, along with employment growth, which is underscoring office demand,” she said.

The report found, the number of workers on the Gold Coast grew by 24% in the five years to November 2018, with the two fastest growing white collar sectors being Finance & Insurance (up 58%) and Education & Training (up 45%).

Moore said tenant demand in the Gold Coast’s office market had remained dominated by local businesses, but there was a growing core of larger corporates with branch or head offices located in the region, including National Disability Insurance Agency, Mantra Group (Accor) and Wyndham Vacation Resorts and Asia Pacific, creating competition between the two tenant groups for limited stock.

“With only 37,500 square metres of supply added to the Gold Coast market over the past 10 years, equating to a 9% growth in the stock base, there is a relatively small pool of modern assets which can handle the higher employee densities required for major corporate branch offices, processing centres and call centres,” Moore said. 

“This concentrates demand into these relatively few assets and can require tenants to compromise on location or efficiency.

“This disconnect between the wish lists of tenants and the available stock on the ground is likely to only widen in the coming years with limited supply anticipated.”

The Knight Frank research found supply in the Gold Coast office market remained low but pre-committed new construction was beginning to flow through with Acuity Business Park to start construction in Robina.

“The supply of new office space across the core Gold Coast precincts remained stalled during 2018 with only 2,744 square metres of refurbished space returning to the market,” said Jennelle Wilson, Knight Frank Partner, Research and Consulting.

“Supply is expected to remain small, sporadic and pre-commitment driven in the medium term.”

The Knight Frank report commented that total vacancy in the Gold Coast office market was 11.6% after hitting 12% in mid 2018, and up from the 10-year lows of 10.6% in January 2018, according to Property Council of Australia figures.

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