CBRE Group Inc. says the national office vacancy rate in Canada hit 15.7 per cent in the third quarter for the first time since 1994 as people continue to work from home because of Covid-19.
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 per cent in the last quarter.
Two years ago, before the pandemic, the national office vacancy rate was 11 per cent.
While the rate is higher, CBRE does say that leasing activity is picking up, driven overwhelmingly by demand from the tech sector, and that four of 10 major Canadian markets saw increased occupancy.
Vancouver’s vacancy rate remains the lowest at 7.4 per cent, while Toronto stands at 13.7 per cent and Calgary at 30.1 per cent.