Further positive economic signs

Hobart’s CBD office market vacancy rate has decreased from 8.9 per cent to 8.1 per cent, predominantly due to 7,269sqm of withdrawals, according to the Property Council of Australia’s Office Market Report (OMR).

Executive Director TAS Brian Wightman welcomed the decline and noted the significant number of conversions that were occurring in the Hobart area which was considered positive.

“Adaptive re-use of buildings including to commercial and retail space is a strong sign that the Tasmanian economy is improving,” Mr. Wightman said.

The Property Council acknowledged the recent reforms of the state government including the passing of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme through both Houses of Parliament, proposed Building Act Amendments, a focus on red-tape reduction, and the announcement of the Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan.

However, they also encouraged the government to continue to deliver proactive leadership through focussing on facilitating the University of Tasmania’s move from Newnham to the Inveresk Campus in Northern Tasmania, and by finally tackling local government reform head-on.

“With confidence and investment opportunities continuing to improve, now is the time to set Tasmania up for a generation of continuous economic growth.

“Waiting for difficult times to initiate much needed and discussed reforms is not the style of leadership which is required,” Mr Wightman said.

The Property Council also encouraged stakeholders to consider the impact of Parliament Square nearing completion in 2017 and consequently to plan for the future.

“During 2017, 16,275 square metres is due to come on line and that will obviously have a huge impact on office space in Hobart.

“The construction jobs, building activity and investment delivered by the Parliament Square project are incredibly welcome. 

“Nonetheless to complement this development we must begin a conversation about alternatives for vacated space in the CBD,” Mr. Wightman said.

Mr Wightman offered that any incentives both state and local government can provide in the adaptive re-use of older office stock should be encouraged in light of the pending office supply increase to come in the next 12-24 months.

“The state government should consider stamp duty relief for eligible projects where commercial buildings are purchased for adaptive re-use. 

“Land tax relief could also be utilised to encourage change of use, while the local government sector should consider such initiatives as waiving the requirement for onsite car parking, and agreement made to offset with access to a dedicated parking space in a public car park,” he concluded.

 

Media contact:  Brian Wightman  |M  0429 073 773  |E  bwightman@propertycouncil.com.au

 

Key market indicators, Hobart CBD (aggregate)