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Study predicts buoyant Canberra commercial property market in 2017

The commercial property market in Canberra could be set for a strong year in 2017, if the predictions of several industry commentators prove accurate. 

Andrew Balzanelli, managing director of JLL ACT, told Domain that he expects current levels of demand for office space to be sustained in the 12 months ahead. 

He explained that the fundamentals of the market have remained positive and total vacancy numbers in the city have steadily fallen to stand at 13 per cent. This is the third lowest for all of the nation's central business district (CBD) markets as of the third quarter of 2016. 

"Prime-grade vacancy was the second tightest of all the CBD markets at eight per cent. We expect these conditions to set the course for a buoyant and active 2017."

In terms of new building, construction activity could be minimal, with Knight Frank senior director Nicola Cooper noting that any new supply is substantially pre-committed. 

Some 30,707 sq m of property is penciled in to be added to the market over the next 18 months - and this largely stems from the completion of the Tuggeranong Office Park. 

"There are a large number of projects in the pipeline but these will not be delivered before 2019," Ms Cooper remarked. 

These two trends could be complemented by some upward pressure on rent prices, according to Tim Mutton, director of Colliers International. 

This could be partly driven by the fact that vacancies have tightened in high-demand buildings thanks to positive net absorption of A-grade stock. 

"It is only a matter of time until we see rents begin to rise," Mr Mutton commented, predicting that this trend will develop in 2017. 

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