The Property Council of Australia’s latest office occupancy survey has revealed a big step up in activity in the CBDs of Sydney and Melbourne, and minute change to occupancy across the other major mainland CBDs.
Sydney’s CBD took a significant jump forward in April, rising to 59% occupancy after recording 50% in March. Melbourne’s CBD increased from 35% to 41% occupancy over April.
All other capitals recorded a relatively consistent number of workers returning to their offices from March to April. Perth CBD’s occupancy was impacted by the recent snap lockdown.
Almost half of survey respondents identified worker preferences for greater flexibility as the main barrier to achieving full occupancy.
Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said that the property industry was taking the initiative to entice workers back to Australia’s commercial centres through a coordinated program of activation and attractions starting in May.
In Melbourne, the Property Council has launched FOMO Fridays in conjunction with the City of Melbourne and the Australian Retailers Association. In Brisbane, the Fridays in the City initiative will bring together reactivation efforts in partnership with Brisbane City Council and other CBD stakeholders. Similar initiatives are in development in other capitals.
“These campaigns are aimed at encouraging city workers to rediscover what’s great about their CBDs with numerous activities, events and freebies on offer. The benefits of bustling CBDs are significant, not just for the small businesses that rely on city foot traffic, but for the broader Australian economy,” Mr Morrison said.