There has been growing demand for Wollongong office space over the past 12 months, according to the Property Council of Australia’s latest Office Market Report.
The vacancy rate in Wollongong’s office space decreased from 11.2 per cent to 10.6 per cent, which the Property Council says indicates a healthy economy and good prospects for local jobs.
“This is positive news for Wollongong with solid results across almost all grades of office space; a strong indicator of the growing economic might of the Illawarra,” Property Council Illawarra regional director Kim Rawson said.
“Wollongong is performing strongly on the national stage with a market in the top 15 in Australia and ahead of the Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin CBDs in terms of vacancy rate.
“There was net absorption of 3608sqm (during the past 12 months), which means businesses are taking up space in Wollongong’s CBD and creating local jobs.”
According to the report, the total vacancy decrease in the Wollongong market over the year to January 2018 was due to the positive demand and withdrawals.
A total of 3417sqm of space was added over this time period.
Other findings were that A-Grade office space is the only segment with single digit vacancy, and “there is no space due to enter the market over the short to medium term”.
Ms Rawson said the strongest demand was recorded for A-Grade office space, resulting in a sharp vacancy drop of more than two percentage points to 3.4 per cent.
“This overall increase in demand indicates a positive trend observed in recent years, and is testament to the success of public and private sector investment in rejuvenating the Wollongong city centre,” she said.
“With the new Western Sydney Airport and stronger connections to south-west Sydney, the Illawarra is building momentum towards a strong future.
“We need to build on this growth and drive infrastructure and policy changes to continue this momentum and unlock the region’s potential.
“Issues of improved transport infrastructure, housing affordability and creating local job opportunities are central to this.”
Meanwhile, the property industry now employs more people than any other sector, according to new analysis by AEC Group released this week.
Creating more than 1.4 million jobs, the analysis says property has overtaken health care and social assistance as the biggest direct contributor to employment in Australia by industry.
Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison said the new research shows how vital the industry is to creating jobs and communities.