Demand for office spec suites is on the rise in Brisbane largely due to increased fitout costs and delays in delivery, with tenants increasingly wanting to avoid having to fit out their leased space themselves. 

While demand has been consistently strong for spec suites, there has been a noticeable rise in demand for fitted stock over the past year, according to Knight Frank. 

Over the first half of 2022, 90% of tenant briefs had a preference for fitted stock, compared to 80% in the second half of 2021.  

In July, 100% of tenant briefs released had a preference for fitted stock, while for Q2 the figure was 94%.  

Knight Frank Partner and Head of Office Leasing Mark McCann said occupiers were increasingly looking to lease spec suites or modified existing fitted stock to combat rising build costs and delays in construction.  

“The current risk for tenants designing and delivering their own fitout is the uncertainty around the rising build costs and the potential delays to deliver a fitout within their required timeline,” McCann said.  

“It is more economic for tenants to secure leases on existing fitted stock and it also de-risks any timing issues to occupy the tenancy.  

“The current strong demand for ‘fitted options’ by tenants is causing landlords to accelerate delivery, where possible, of new spec suites or upgrade or refurnish older existing fitted tenancies to cater for the increased in demand.  

“Modifying existing fitouts is not only more economic, but recycling existing fitouts also ticks some boxes from a sustainability perspective.”  

Knight Frank Office Leasing Analyst Tessa Blaby, who compiled the data, said there was currently circa 40,700 sqm of spec suites available throughout the Brisbane CBD, with 59% of spec suites situated in B-grade assets and 29% in A-grade assets.  

The largest bracket of suites available are between 101 sqm to 200 sqm (39%), while 29% is sized between 201 sqm and 300 sqm,” Blaby said.  

“Activity in Brisbane’s CBD office leasing market is heating up, with tenant briefs on the rise,” she said.  

“Briefs sized between 551 sqm and 1000 sqm are still currently the most active. 

“Our data shows tenant briefs of 1,000 sqm and under totalled 1,130 sqm in Q1, rising to 5,000 sqm in Q2 and 8,380 sqm in Q3.  

“In Q4 there are 5,600 sqm in tenant requirements so far in this size range.”