Class A, Class B vacancy rates hit 6.5 per cent downtown: market survey

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Downtown Ottawa’s Class A and Class B office buildings continue to see their vacancy rates rise, according to the Newmark Knight Frank Devencore Real Estate Market Survey released Thursday.

The report says the vacancy rate for those buildings has topped 6.5 per cent in the last six months, but there has been increased tenant activity recently as some landlords have begun marketing their properties more aggressively.

The real estate advisory firm’s study points to federal government downsizing as one of the reasons for the increase, as well as new developments adding 900,000 square feet to the existing inventory. It also says “minimal private sector growth” is a contributing factor.

A renewed sense of optimism in the high-tech sector is pushing occupancy levels up in Kanata, the study found. West-end Class A and Class B vacancy rates were between 10 per cent and 11 per cent in 2014 but climbed as high as 11.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2015. By the end of the quarter though, the Class A vacancy rate had fallen to 9.1 per cent.

The survey found Class A and Class B vacancy rates rising across the country, attributing that mostly to new developments adding to existing inventory.