The Property Council will have a better idea of whether changes happening in the Sydney CBD property market were cyclical or structural when it measures vacancy rates for commercial property in July. This year it is also measuring occupancy data.
“Then, we’ll be able to get a really good sense of whether this is like every other economic downturn, when the space businesses need shrinks before normalising as the economy picks up,” Fitzgerald said.
A City of Sydney spokesperson said the economy was recovering from Covid-19 lockdowns, with an office occupancy rate of 59 per cent in April, up from 50 per cent in March.
“Given central Sydney’s harbourside geography, transport connections and attractive public spaces, sites where businesses can grow remain in demand,” they said.
“Planning controls don’t prevent the conversion of older and poorly-designed office buildings to residential dwellings in Sydney’s city centre, and some conversions or replacements will continue.
“However, converting swathes of office spaces into residential dwellings is a short-sighted response to the shock of the impact of Covid-19 and one that closes out opportunities for economic growth.
“We need to think strategically for the long-term.
“Businesses will always need workspaces for collaboration and instant communication.
“We need to position Sydney as a genuine alternative to other business centres.
“International companies will look favourably on our city as a safe and stable base.
“As the economy expands and business activities increase following the pandemic, the demand for office spaces will pick up.”