Canadian Office Vacancies At Highest Level Since 1994

CBRE Group says the national office vacancy rate across Canada reached 15.7% in the third quarter, its highest level since 1994, as the work from home trend continues.

The commercial real estate firm says that a fourth wave of the pandemic has slowed an expected return to work, helping push up the vacancy rate from 15.3% in this year’s second quarter.

Two years ago, before the pandemic, the national office vacancy rate in Canada was 11%.

While the vacancy rate is higher, CBRE said that leasing activity is starting to pick up, driven by demand from the technology sector, and that four of 10 major Canadian markets saw increased occupancy rates in Q3.

Vancouver's vacancy rate remains the lowest at 7.4%, while Toronto stands at 13.7% and Calgary is at 30.1%.

It’s a different story on the industrial front where vacancies are low as demand for distribution and logistics space remains at an all-time high.

CBRE says the national vacancy rate for industrial space was at just 2% in the third quarter, while several markets including Vancouver, London, Ontario and Toronto have availability rates of less than 1%.