Perth office occupancy on the improve

Perth’s position as a safe and prosperous place to do business post-COVID has been highlighted by new Property Council data showing Perth’s return to the office enjoyed the highest increase across Australia for October.

Data collected from office owners and managers showed that Perth’s office occupancy rate rose to 77% of pre-COVID levels in October, up a nation-high 14% from 63% in September.

While most Australian cities recorded increases with the exception of Melbourne, Perth’s results are the strongest on the Australian mainland and are only second overall to Hobart, sitting on 79%.

Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer said the latest results were an encouraging sign but that there were still levers that could be pulled by government to increase the number of office workers in the Perth CBD.

“A one-size-fits-all national approach to return to work is bad for business. Western Australians want to be in their offices and businesses restricting their return should take into account the health situations in each State,” Ms Brewer said.

“The economic benefits of more workers returning to the CBD are already being felt, but more can be done to maintain the return to office momentum.”

“We can attribute this vibrancy directly to the encouragement of the Premier, who stood up to east coast CEOs and asked them to support their workers coming back to the office. That, along with a renewed sense of optimism due to the Perth City Deal and a new Perth City Council, is driving renewed activity and investment,”

“Transport has been identified as one of the last remaining barriers to more people returning to CBD offices,”

“To capitalise on WA’s strong health and economic position, the State Government should consider reducing or suspending the collection of the Perth Parking Levy. This additional tax on drivers is an unnecessary blockage to returning people to the office and ensuring the vibrancy and success of our CBD.”

The full chartbook, including perceived barriers to office occupancy and when members think they will see substantial improvements in office occupancy, can be viewed here.