Office vacancies higher

The national office vacancy rate has returned to double digits at a time when investment sentiment is divided, with Sydney positive and Melbourne falling back.

The national office vacancy rate has returned to double digits at a time when investment sentiment is divided, with Sydney positive and Melbourne falling back.

The Property Council of Australia-ANZ Property Industry Confidence Survey for the year to June 30 shows the NSW confidence index at 130. Looking out to the September quarter, it is at 131.

But Victorian sentiment went from 117 for the June quarter to 114 for the September quarter.

The total index score for Australia was 117 for the June quarter. A score of 100 is considered neutral.

The survey polled more than 2700 professionals from the property and construction sector in all states and territories, including 792 from NSW and 672 from Victoria.

The NSW executive director of the Property Council, Glenn Byres said the property industry had showed a dramatic shift in sentiment over the past 12 months and was maintaining its faith about the prospects ahead. "The index has jumped 24 points in the past 12 months - the biggest lift across any jurisdiction."

The Victorian executive director of the Property Council, Jennifer Cunich, said while overall industry sentiment had remained positive, "capital value expectations have shifted decidedly negative".

"Twenty-eight and 20 per cent of respondents expect capital values for shopping centres and commercial offices to decrease over the next 12 months respectively," she said.

The mixed outlooks are set against the latest office market report from Jones Lang LaSalle that showed a rise in the national CBD office market vacancy rate to 10.9 per cent.

The report says vacancy was now at its highest since June 1999 when it hit 11.1 per cent. That was based on a net absorption [net leasing] rate of a negative 191,900 square metres for the year to June 30. That means there was less demand than supply.

During the global financial crisis in 2008-09, net absorption was a negative 117,800 sq m.

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