Vacancy rates rise in Ottawa office market

Monday, July 20, 2015

Vacancy rates among Class A and B office buildings in Ottawa have continued to increase over the past six months to almost 6.5 per cent, according to Newmark Knight Devencore’s recent Real Estate Market Study.

Factors associated with this climb are new downtown developments, which are driving tenants to relocate to lower cost spaces, while the federal government–the single largest tenant in the nation’s capital—has reduced its occupancy needs.

Meanwhile, more tenant activity is causing landlords to develop more active marketing approaches and offer more incentives in Class A buildings.

In the Kanata market, Shopify’s $100-million initial public offering (IPO) has ignited the technology sector, with the possibility of more IPO’s on the way. In the 2015 Q1, rates reached 11.6 per cent, up from the 10 to 11 per cent range in 2014.

Such increases are occurring in other cities like Calgary where, amidst a flourishing energy sector, office vacancy rates spiked from 4.4 to 6.2 per cent in the last six months of 2014.

And Montreal is seeing rising vacancy as new developments pop up there. In fact, more than four million square feet of office space was added to the Canadian market inventory in 2014, which points to a development surge as the main culprit behind rising rates.

Vancouver remains unchanged, while Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax and Winnipeg are experiencing moderate changes.

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