One of North America's biggest commercial real estate brokerages predicts that the recent trend toward decreased demand for office space in Canada is likely the new normal, reports The Globe and Mail.

In a new release, CBRE Ltd. indicates that more office space was vacated than leased during the first quarter of 2014, totalling 1.5 million square feet. This marks the fifth consecutive quarter that the demand for space in existing buildings has been sluggish.

“The trends are now well established, and it appears that the rebound in economic growth and leasing activity that followed the recession were outliers,” Ross Moore, director of research at CBRE said in an interview. “The current pace is likely much closer to the new norm.”

Presently, the national office vacancy rate is above 10 per cent for the first time since the second quarter of 2010. This is the highest level it has been at since the third quarter of 2005.

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