Office occupancy rates call for CBD recovery

The Property Council of Australia’s office occupancy September survey has shown the influence of continued lockdowns on the Sydney CBD as the city prepares to open their doors next week.

NSW Property Council Executive Director Luke Achterstraat said the time for CBD reactivation and recovery was now.

“The lockdowns are fortunately coming to an end and we look forward to healing the wounds from more than 100 days of lockdown”, Mr Achterstraat said.

“We have to get our recovery right. Our monthly survey of office building owners and managers finds occupancy level of Sydney’s CBD remains at only 4 percent of pre-COVID levels.

“Relaunching our CBDs requires a concentrated effort from all levels of government working together with business owners and employers to ensure we bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.”

Mr Achterstraat said the recovery would take time, with the occupancy rates following the 2020 lockdown creeping to peak 68 percent of pre-pandemic levels in May 2021.

“We understand the renewal won’t happen overnight, with our results displaying that 80 percent of our survey responders predicting they will see material increase in occupancy levels in three months or longer,” he said.

“Between now and Christmas, our collective role is to show leadership in the return to office and build confidence in the return to CBD, through investment initiatives such as the Cahill Expressway highline activity, and the State Government $50m investment in Friday CBD dining vouchers.

“Through knowing that restrictions are on their way out, we can expect a sharp rise in office occupancy levels and overall CBD market confidence.”

Media contact: Aidan Green | M 0491 030 028 | E [email protected]