Office Vertical Vacancy Review Q3 2023

There remains a largely positive sentiment in the CBD office markets across Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

September 20, 2023
  • Gavin Read
  • Hina Imran

Positive sentiment remains in the office markets across Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. We explore the trends among occupiers and forecasts in rental growth and sustainability requirements in our latest edition of the Vertical Vacancy Review for Q3 in 2023.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), particularly the social aspect, are factors gathering momentum in conversations for employees, occupiers, and owners. JLL’s Office Sentiment Survey 2023 revealed that employees and occupiers were aligned on the two most important aspects of a workplace: location for ease of travel, and quality of space, including its fitout and ambience. For owners, making their buildings more resilient against weather events and natural disasters such as earthquakes was the preferred choice over making sustainability improvements – a result of the impacts on buildings from recent severe weather across New Zealand.

Moving into 2024, we forecast rental growth will continue for well-located, quality properties that are aligned with occupier and employee requirements. Being close to transport options and other amenities are desirable traits for office buildings in our CBDs. Occupancy in these types of prime properties is expected to remain strong, continuing the divergence between prime and secondary offices.

"Following the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s decision in August to hold the Official Cash Rate at 5.50%, there is a differing of opinion on what the next move will be: a hike or a cut."

Our cities at a glance

  • Auckland – Nine out of 26 buildings in Auckland’s Core CBD sector have 0% vacancy, and a further five buildings are 5% vacant or less.

  • Wellington – Prime vacancy in the capital decreased by 197bps to sit at just 5.3%, with 16 out of 26 buildings at 0% vacancy.

  • Christchurch - The Garden City has very little available office space with just 1.3% vacancy in the CBD, as Deloitte House and Buddle Findlay buildings (previously 5% and 10% vacant respectively) are now fully leased.

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