There may be a silver lining to Calgary’s increasing commercial property vacancy rate.

The rate has jumped from 4.7 to 13.1 per cent for the third quarter compared with the same time last year, according to a report released yesterday by CB Richard Ellis Limited.

“It’s a challenge for building owners in the downtown and suburban office market, and an opportunity perhaps for those that are considering leasing in the Calgary market,” said Richard Pootmans, a business development manager with Calgary Economic Development.

The high vacancy rate should mean more businesses would be able to access downtown office space for a better price, he said.

“The good news is if you’re a company that’s looking to move, there’s lots of great sub-lease deals available,” said Greg Kwong, regional managing director for CB Richard Ellis in Calgary.

A large part of the vacancy increase in the city involves companies sub-leasing their own office space to offset costs, said Kwong.

He added the vacancy rate is expected to climb because of a growing supply and remain in the mid-teens for the next 12 months.