Brisbane Spotlight + What's Affecting The Market

Last updated:
Aug 14, 2023
Commercial Real Estate


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Brisbane is currently a tenant’s market. It has affordable rental rates compared to some of Australia’s other major capital cities, along with high vacancy and attractive incentive levels.


Brisbane's CBD vacancy rates have remained stable quarter-on-quarter. However, overall vacancy has decreased year-on-year.

Premium vacancy tightened from 7.2% to 5.9% off the back of the flight-to-quality trend and major tenant relocations. B-grade vacancy also contracted during this time. It now hovers at 9.5%, fuelled by increased demand for B-grade space from smaller tenants who, before the pandemic, could not afford space in the CBD.

Other driving factors include more supply in the sub-500 sqm market and landlords leveraging spec fit-outs as a point of difference.

A-grade vacancy remains the highest of all grades at 17.9%. This can be attributed to the injection of new stock, the flight-to-quality trend, tenants' downsizing or cost-cutting, and movements from major tenants.

Here are some more trends affecting the market:

  • New supply: Since the completion of 80 Ann Street in 2022, there has been a lack of new construction in the Brisbane market. And over the next three years, less than 100,000 square meters of office space is expected to come online, with 72% already pre-committed. This will put downward pressure on vacancy rates.
  • Right-sizing of workplaces: Brisbane occupancy rates still sit below post-covid levels, which indicates that there may be excess space out there that businesses will eventually shed on expiry.
  • Flight to quality trend: The war on talent and return-to-office are two big-ticket objectives fuelling the flight-to-quality trend. There's an appetite for higher-grade buildings in good locations with efficient floor plates, quality spec fit-outs and premium amenities. This is eroding the demand for lower-grade assets that are poorly located or positioned.
  • Refurbishments and redevelopments: Over the next two years, smaller buildings, such as 41 George Street, 150 Charlotte Street and 140 Elizabeth Street, may be withdrawn for refurbishment or potential redevelopment, putting further pressure on Brisbane's vacancy rate.
  • More activity from larger tenants: Over the past year, tenant demand has diversified, with increased activity from larger tenants who have finally settled on long-term leasing plans.

Image of shops on one of Brisbane's main streets | Brisbane spotlight article

Rents and incentives

Given limited supply and inflationary pressures, Gross Face rents have increased Y-o-Y. Significant movement can be seen in Premium and B-Grade assets, rising to $995 and $670, respectively.

Though incentives remain elevated to entice tenants to relocate, they have remained stable Q-o-Q, now sitting between 39-45%, depending on the grade and location.


Sublease space in Brisbane now represents circa 0.3% of total stock - the lowest in the country. This can be attributed to strong leasing activity and the city's limited exposure to financial and tech companies, which are the nationwide drivers of commercial subleasing.

How we can help  

Tenant CS is a commercial tenant advisory service. We represent tenants across Australia, with a particular focus in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.

Our specialist knowledge of the Australian commercial property market gives our clients the competitive edge when it comes to finding the best space and negotiating the terms and conditions of their lease.

If you need tenant representation services in Brisbane, contact our team today!

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