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Downtown Vancouver office vacancy breaks 10% for first time since 2004: Avison Young

A man is silhouetted while walking up steps as sunlight reflects off a metallic wall outside an office tower in downtown Vancouver, on Thurs. March 30, 2023. Avison Young says Vancouver's downtown office vacancy rate hit 10 per cent for the first time in almost 20 years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Avison Young says Vancouver’s downtown office vacancy rate has hit 10 per cent for the first time in almost 20 years.

The real estate firm says the first quarter of this year brought Vancouver’s downtown office vacancy rate to 10.8 per cent, up from 9.6 per cent at the end of 2022.

The last time that vacancy rate broke the 10 per cent threshold was in the last quarter of 2004.

Avison Young attributed the increase to more subleased properties being available as companies re-evaluate their office space requirements.

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The firm says the greatest pressure to sublease space was on technology firms, which are increasingly keen to cut expenses and have more ability to allow staff to work remotely.

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It adds that 59 per cent of Metro Vancouver’s sublease space in the first quarter of 2023 was found downtown, which saw a 34 per cent increase in sublease vacancies since the end of December 2022.

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