February 19, 2013
Downtown office rental rates soar by 29 per cent

CALGARY — Calgary’s office market in the central business district recorded one of the highest year-over-year rent increases in the Americas in 2012, according to commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

The Office Space Across the World 2013 report, released Tuesday, said rents in the city rose by 29 per cent — the fifth highest in the Americas.

Overall, North America’s prime rents rose by nine per cent in 2012 but Cushman & Wakefield said this can be attributed to a few standout markets such as San Francisco (19 per cent) and Calgary which saw significant increases on the back of energy and technology sector expansion.

The company said the Canadian economy’s rate of expansion eased after a period of positive growth in the beginning of the year.

“A softening of occupier demand occurred in major cities in 2012, though growth remained expansionary and led to rental to rental rises over the year, with double-digit prime rental growth in Toronto and Calgary,” said the report.

“The continued shortage of high-quality space within the CBD (central business district) showed no sign of abating, putting upward pressure on prime rents in Calgary, which increased by almost 30 per cent. Calgary’s office market is driven by the oil and gas sectors, and with the potential for weaker oil prices in 2013, occupier demand could falter.”

Vancouver had the highest rent in the country at $35.84 per square foot per year in U.S. dollars followed by Calgary at $35.13.

The most expensive market in the world was London’s West End at $262 followed by Hong Kong’s CBD at $184.


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