Price-sensitive tenants sticking to suburbs: Colliers

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Ottawa’s suburbs were “abuzz” with office leasing activity in the second quarter, in contrast with a slowing downtown market, according to local brokerage firm Colliers International.

The citywide vacancy rate inched up 10 basis points to 8.7 per cent. Vacancy rates increased across all asset classes in the downtown core, pushing the overall vacancy rate up 40 basis points to 7.3 per cent. This, Colliers says, is putting pressure on landlords to “aggressively” compete for tenants, especially as Morguard markets the remaining space inside its office building under construction at 150 Elgin St.

One change affecting the downtown market is Deloitte’s scheduled relocation from the seventh and eighth floor to the top two storeys of 100 Queen St. in the World Exchange Plaza.

Meanwhile, the suburban vacancy rate decreased 10 basis points to 9.7 per cent.

“The activity in the suburbs suggests that businesses are looking for deals, space that meets their requirements and safely fits within their budget,” Colliers said in its quarterly market report.

One of the largest suburban deals of the quarter was Halogen Software moving into 27,000 square feet of space at 40 Hines Rd.

Looking ahead, Colliers said it believes vacancy rates to decrease in the suburbs and climb in the downtown core “until rates become more hospitable to small and medium(-sized) private enterprises.”