Brisbane's Commercial Office Sector’s Challenging Outlook in 2024


The commercial office sector in Brisbane is navigating a period of uncertainty as 2024 unfolds, with the primary concern shifting towards decreasing sales volumes. This decline appears to be driven by macroeconomic factors, especially vendor and purchaser price expectations. Brisbane's CBD is also witnessing decreased vacancy rates due to increasing occupancy.

In the wake of shifting dynamics post-pandemic, Brisbane is adapting to the evolving workplace environments. However, the uncertainty surrounding the broader economic climate has led to a slight dampening of investor enthusiasm. This could push investment yields upwards until a clearer view of rental yields and rent stabilisation emerges.

The market sent mixed signals in the recent past. Following the Covid lockdowns, there was an initial increase in activity as workers gradually returned to the office. Data from 2023 indicated a resurgence in the office sector, leading to a decline in transaction volumes by year-end.

Commercial property transactions across Brisbane reflected this trend, with a noticeable decrease in total sales value compared to previous years. Despite this downturn, some segments, like industrial properties, continue to attract investor interest due to limited construction activity and favourable supply-demand dynamics.

Retail investment within the city remains resilient, with significant transactions occurring in larger centres. However, the smaller market sectors, including strip malls and stand-alone retail outlets, are experiencing slower movement, partly attributed to the current interest rate environment.

Investors looking towards Brisbane's office market are cautious but remain observant for potential rebounds. With the industrial sector maintaining its appeal and the retail space holding steady amid rate-driven hesitations, Brisbane's overall commercial landscape presents challenges and opportunities as the year progresses. The focus for many will be on strategic investments that can weather the changing economic climate and capitalise on any market corrections.