Start Spreading the News: Big Apple Rents Up, Availability Down

Even the famously resilient Manhattan real estate market has taken a beating during the recession, but the bruises are healing and things are starting to look up. That’s according to FirstService Williams, which is becoming the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut hub of Colliers International.

April 5, 2010
By Allison Landa, News Editor

Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons user wwarby

Even the famously resilient Manhattan office market has taken a beating during the recession, but the bruises are healing and things are starting to look up. That’s according to FirstService Williams, which is becoming the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut hub of Colliers International.

The firm found that asking rents in the Midtown North submarket rose to $59.91 per square foot by the end of this year’s first quarter, up from $59.31 at the end of fourth quarter 2009. Additionally, asking rents in the Midtown South submarket were up to $39.99 from $39.73. Downtown was the only submarket that saw asking rents drop, falling to $37.21 from $38.60 a quarter earlier.

Overall leasing for first quarter 2010 was also up to 3.8 million square feet from 3.4 million square feet a year ago. Overall availability in Manhattan was down to 13.6 percent by the end of first quarter 2010 as opposed to 13.8 percent at the end of fourth quarter 2009.

There was also good news in the sublease market, which showed a decrease of 2.6 percent over the last quarter in terms of available sublease space. The firm found that both Midtown North and Midtown South are tightening, with respective availability declines of 9.3 percent and 16.8 percent.

“Even with moderate economic growth, space availabilities will become tighter in 2011 and 2012,” FirstService chairman Robert Freedman said when announcing the news.

FirstService also found that the sales market has seen an increase in offerings from sellers not in distressed situations, and that Class B properties in Midtown North and Midtown South traded at significantly higher prices than those in Downtown.

FirstService has nearly 300 employees in Manhattan, Westchester, New Jersey and Connecticut. It is currently in the process of joining Colliers International.