New Solutions for WA’s Commercial Property Challenges

The current global economic and political landscape has created uncertainty for commercial businesses in WA and new solutions are needed according to Economist Nicki Hutley.

Nicki, Urbis Director and Chief Economist, spoke to the Property Council ahead of the Commercial Property Conference (26th October) regarding the trends and challenges the industry can expect to face in the coming years.

“Although Australia continues to post solid gains in economic growth, these figures mask significant shifts and challenges across industries and regions,” she said.

“We are seeing a number of different trends appear in the market – some of which need to be considered by commercial property owners, while others are simply ‘white noise’. By understanding these trends, businesses will be better placed to understand where risks are concentrated.”

Perth’s CBD office market vacancy rate currently sits at its highest level in 20 years (21.8%) and this is impacting businesses, such as retail and food and beverage, that rely on city workers. Higher vacancies mean property owners and business operators need new strategies to attract tenants and visitors to the city.

“There is a real urgency in the commercial property sector and the broader business community to find solutions to the high office vacancies in Perth and to be protected from risks associated with new trends,” Property Council WA Executive director Lino Iacomella said.

“The key to futureproofing the market lies in the diversification of the tenant pool in the CBD, attracting new industries such as education, medical technology and tourism, and introducing initiatives liking building upgrade agreements to support owners and tenants that want to modernize older buildings,”

“The alternative is the emergence of dark zones in the city comprising older buildings with longer term high vacancies. Ultimately high vacancies lead to less foot traffic, less dollars being spent and in drastic scenarios, businesses being forced to shut up shop.”

Nicki heads up the list of key players in the commercial property space who will be unpacking the key current and future trends, and their implications at this year’s Commercial Property Conference.

Other speakers include Natalie Slessor, Head of Workplace Stategy & Performance, Lendlease, Professor Trevor Davison, Associate Vice Chancellor: Western Australia, CQUniversity and Carlos Flores, National Program Manager, National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).

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 Media contact:  Lino Iacomella  |  M  0417 501 974   |   E  [email protected]