The Queensland Property Council recently released data showing that office occupancy in the Brisbane CBD slumped from 63% in November last year to 13% in January. The organisation has only been recording this information since 2020, so it’s difficult to know whether this is the lowest occupancy rate over a much longer time period, but this is pretty likely.
The January data, which was collected from Property Council members who own or manage CBD office buildings and covered the period 24-31 January, show that – relative to most other state capitals in Australia – Brisbane is doing fractionally better, however it is still a big drop over a 2 month period – 79%.
“Office managers have reported staggeringly low occupancy levels throughout the beginning of 2022 following two years of already subdued activity.” said Queensland Property Council Executive Director, Jen Williams. “While the rest of the State and the economy is booming our city centres have unfortunately continued to suffer from low levels of foot traffic due to difficult but necessary social distancing restrictions. Now with case numbers beginning to flatten out it is time for people to return to the office and maybe catch up on all the things that they haven’t been able to enjoy over the last two months such as seeing colleagues for a coffee, going shopping, or meeting friends after work for a drink and meal.”
The Property Council is also encouraging local and state government to come to the party…
“The Property Council is seeking the support of both local and state government to launch an array of CBD activation initiatives in a similar mould to our Fridays in the City campaign which delivered a 12.5 per cent increase in foot traffic on Queen Street Mall last year.” said Ms Williams.
With a relaxation of many of the COVID restrictions due on 4th March, lets hope that this encourages CBD-based workers to come back into the city.