A new report on Calgary's office vacancy rate has more bad news for the industry, but there are signs of optimism this year.

International real estate firm CBRE released its final quarterly report for 2021 on Wednesday and says the newest figures show a continuation of a downward trend for Calgary's downtown core.

"Calgary's downtown office market marked a seventh consecutive quarter of negative fundamentals, hitting a new watermark high of 33.2 per cent vacancy," the firm said a release.

It is the highest vacancy rate the city has ever seen, CBRE said, as well as the highest currently in the country.

Calgary isn't the only Canadian market in difficulty right now because of vacancy rates either.

"Downtown cores have faced greater challenges and half of Canadian markets now report vacancy above 20 per cent," the CBRE wrote.

Downtown office vacancies in Calgary jumps to more

However, a large property in downtown Calgary – the vacant Paramount Building – was converted, which resulted in a large amount of space removed from inventory.

In the meantime, Calgary's industrial market is witnessing lows that haven't been seen since 2014, the CBRE said.

"Given the demand for large format space in Alberta and Calgary's position as a western distribution hub, availability and rental rates are forecasted to test the market in early 2022 as demand outpaces supply," the release said.


New businesses are also setting up in Calgary in 2022, using some existing office spaces and bringing hundreds of jobs to the city.

Neo Financial announced it is expanding into 113,000 square feet of space across the Edison office tower and an empty retail floor at the Hudson's Bay building that has been converted for its use.

The company, which offers online banking services along with rewards through an app, will be able to accommodate 800 positions at the new office, with space for up to 2,000.