Sydney CBD office rentals remain at record highs: HTW Commercial

Sydney CBD office rentals remain at record highs: HTW Commercial
Sydney CBD office rentals remain at record highs: HTW Commercial

With Sydney CBD office vacancy tightening to 4.1% as of January, CBD office rentals have continued to drastically increase over the past two years and remain at record highs, according to the latest Commercial Property Market Report from Herron Todd White.

The property valuation firm found, owner-occupiers remained the dominant market participants when it comes to strata office stock, as they attempt to reduce their occupancy costs and invest in what is anticipated to remain a strong market into the foreseeable future.

The combination of owner-occupiers looking to secure office assets combined with the lack of available stock on the market has seen capital values for B and C grade strata office stock continue to increase, with building records continuing to be commonplace.

HTW analysts noted Noonan Property’s April 2019 sale of the 95 square metre Suite 202 at 234 George Street for $1.585 million (reflecting $16,684 per square metre of lettable area) to an owner-occupier who had apparently missed out on a number of other suites in previous weeks highlights the strength of the market force of owner-occupiers."

"Prior to this sale, the last suite to sell in this building and a superior overall asset was the 110 square metre Suite 802, which sold in March 2018 for $1.66 million, reflecting $15,091 per square metre."

"We anticipate owneroccupiers will remain the driving force of values for strata stock throughout the CBD for the foreseeable future, with rents anticipated to remain strong and supply remaining at a minimum in the short term," they said.

With completion of the Wynyard upgrade and Light Rail project along George Street progressing, construction noise beginning to reduce and hoardings starting to be removed, the future of Wynyard and George Street is beginning to take shape.

They consider the face lift to both Wynyard and the overall streetscape of George Street (along with the obvious transformation in accessibility through the CBD) will only further increase the appeal of offices in these precincts.

The southern precinct of the CBD is also anticipated to benefit from increased accessibility following the opening of the Light Rail, seeing the precinct become fully integrated into the prime CBD areas. With vacancy at 6.9% as at January 2019 (source: Property Council Australia) and rents significantly lower than those of the city core, the southern precinct shows the most potential for growth over the short term.

The valuers noted, "outside of the CBD, Parramatta remains the best performing secondary CBD in the country, with vacancy at 3% as at January 2019 (source: Property Council Australia), primarily driven by low supply additions and the draw of more affordable rentals than the CBD."

"While 148,000 square metres is currently under construction across four sites and is all due to come online over the next two years, pre-commitment for this space is at 90%, so vacancy is unlikely to soften significantly."

"The opening of the Metro North West Line on 26 May provides a significant increase in accessibility to the secondary office precincts of Norwest and Macquarie Park, as well as an additional line of access to Chatswood, increasing the overall appeal of these secondary precincts."

"Across Sydney, we are seeing strength in the commercial office market that is encouraging given the softening of the residential market. The strength of the market has been primarily driven by limited stock and infrastructure improvements and is anticipated to remain strong for the time being," they concluded.

Sydney Cbd Office Market

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