Ottawa office vacancy rate inches up to 11.4%

Office

As suburban Ottawa office rents slowly climb, an increasing number of tenants are considering downtown buildings – particularly those in proximity to the under-construction light-rail line, one of the city’s major brokerage firms says.

Colliers International said this week that the citywide office vacancy rate in the fourth quarter stood at 11.4 per cent, up marginally from 11.2 per cent the previous quarter.

The real estate services firm says that behind those numbers are several emerging trends. Landlords in southeast Ottawa are offering more aggressive deals to prospective tenants due to the general lack of planned light-rail access in that area of the city.

In Kanata, meanwhile, rates are forecast to increase as the vacancy rate – which fell a full percentage point in the fourth quarter to 12.9 per cent – declines.

More generally, Colliers says shorter lease terms of three and seven years, rather than the standard five- and 10-year terms, are becoming more common, particularly among startups.