Calgary's Downtown Office Space Vacancy Rates Remain High Calgary's downtown office space shows that the vacancy remained relatively steady over the course of 2017.
Although Calgary's office market started and ended the year with a vacancy rate of around 26%, it means that almost 12 million square feet of office space remains vacant.
On average, one employee takes up approximately 350 square feet of space. To return to a balanced real estate market, which is approximately10% vacancy, downtown Calgary would need to absorb almost 8 million square feet of office space or more than 22,000 new jobs.
The recent announcement of Cenovus cutting 15% of their workforce, or up to 700 employees, indicates that "big oil" budget cutting isn't over. The first few weeks in January saw almost 300,000 sq ft of negative absorption.*
Although Calgary is seeing more diversification, the oil industry is still driving the downtown office market.
*net absorption is the amount of space leased within a market or sub-market over a period of time. It represents the demand for office space. As demand for office space goes up - vacancy decreases and absorption is positive. As corporations downsize and previously occupied space comes to market - vacancy increased and absorption is negative.
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