That's because the second quarter of 2011 featured the highest ever absorption rate for office space in the city's downtown, according to Colliers International.
That revelation, contained in the company's latest downtown Calgary market report, is a positive economic indicator in a place where the commercial and residential real estate market has been steady at best and, for the most part, unremarkable.
According to Colliers, the vacancy rate for downtown office space fell from 10.92 per cent for the end of March to 7.79 per cent at the end of June.
Nearly 1.2 million square feet of space was absorbed in the second quarter downtown, bringing year-to-date absorption to 1.5 million square feet.
Oilpatch clients were the big buyers of space, as one might expect.
Rental rates are heading up and some landlords are holding off on renewals in the suddenly tighter market, Colliers says. Even completion of the city's biggest office tower for two oilpatch giants isn't expected to produce a glut of space next year - something that was forecast as late as two years ago.
Noted Colliers: "A common question from tenants looking for space is 'won't there be a lot of office space in the market when Encana and Cenovus relocate to the Bow?' … The answer is, 'No.' More than 60 per cent of their 'backfill' space has already been leased and much of the remaining vacancy is dispersed through B- and C-class sectors. Assuming projected rates of absorption, the vacancy rate is not expected to be any higher than it is now once the Bow is completed in 2012."
The class-A vacancy rate in Calgary is now 5.9 per cent, according to Avison Young, which is predicting higher lease rates for top space in 2012.
from Western Investor September 2011