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Commercial Space

INVENTORY OF OFFICE AND RETAIL SPACE AND VACANCY RATES

 

TOTAL SUPPLY OF COMMERCIAL SPACE
INVENTORY BY REGION (SQ. FT.), HALIFAX
OFFICE_GRAPH1-01   

 
Source: Colliers International (Atlantic) Inc.
 

Halifax’s commercial and office space market had a number of major construction starts in 2012, although the evidence of increased space will likely not show up until 2013-14.

Halifax’s downtown office space declined slightly for the second consecutive year by approximately 10,000 sq. ft. – still more than 190,000 sq. ft. of new construction promises a boost to supply in the near future. 

Office vacancy rates stabilized in the downtown in 2012 at 10.4%. The rest of Halifax peninsula added 200,000 sq. ft. of new supply, pushing vacancy rates from 5.8% to 9.0% in 2012. Meanwhile, throughout Dartmouth/Bedford/Sackville, supply dropped nearly 60,000 sq. ft. and vacancy rates dropped slightly to 12.8%. 

Further, the 190,000 sq. ft. of new construction in the downtown represents over half of the new construction started in 2012. This may be a sign that investors are betting on a resurgence in the downtown for the first time in a generation in the swell of new economic activity. 

In retail space, downtown Halifax saw its biggest boost in space in years with over 40,000 of retail space added in 2012. As such, vacancy rates jumped 2.8% to 12.9% in 2012. Outside of the downtown, new convenience and neighbourhood space dominated much of the added supply while overall vacancy rates dropped 1% to 5.8% in 2012. 

A Halifax Regional Municipality and Strategic Urban Partnership study of businesses and their location drivers showed that decision-making is relatively complex, and those located in different places value different things. From the study, performed by Altus Group, the top five factors for businesses of various types/locations were:

TOP_FACTORSAs such, a move to attract and hold more businesses downtown may involve more residential growth than originally thought. Given the importance of proximity to clients, parking, and commute, location decisions require a collaborative approach to satisfy the demands of businesses. 

Business park sales in HRM increased significantly to 354.2 acres in 2012, generating nearly $22 million in revenue for the municipality. 

HRM_BUSINESSPARK_SALES