Real Estate

Manhattan office leasing in August hit highest level since COVID

Within the weeks earlier than the Labor Day weekend, COVID testing websites within the coronary heart of Midtown’s nice company corridors — Sixth, Park and Third avenues — had scarcely any guests. So few individuals confirmed as much as be examined that among the little tents have been deserted even by the nose-swabbers.

It wasn’t as a result of extra individuals now take a look at at residence. Traces have been lengthy only a few months in the past. The reason being that, for all however essentially the most COVID-crazed New Yorkers, the pandemic is over. Transmission has declined for months. Hospitalizations are near-nonexistent for all however the unvaccinated aged.

That is auspicious for Manhattan’s workplace market. It doesn’t imply an prompt return to the good “previous days.”  However for all of the dire forecasts about the influence of work-from-home and company downsizing, the very fact is that no one actually may know what the long run held till individuals lastly felt protected once more.

CBRE reported on Friday that Manhattan leasing (new and renewal) in August reached the very best degree since December 2019. The overall 2.93 million sq. toes of leases was 42% forward of the five-year month-to-month common for the month.

“The robust month highlighted the continued enchancment of 2022 over 2021,” with year-to-date leasing of 16.6 million sq. toes up 71% over the identical interval of 2021, stated CBRE’s Paul Myers. Availability dipped barely as effectively.

The cheery information adopted a dismal report only one month in the past from the technology-platform VTS Workplace Demand Index. It discovered that demand for New York Metropolis workplace house fell 16% in July in contrast with June ranges, and that demand was a mere 57% of its pre-pandemic tempo.

Did the image actually change that a lot from July to August?

Nicely, kind of: two massive leases totaling 630,000 sq. toes have been signed in August for KPMG (transferring to Two Manhattan West in 2025) and regulation agency Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which goes to Three World Commerce Middle. However whereas Freshfields is rising by 70,000 sq. toes, KPMG is downsizing by 350,000 sq. toes.

Even in regular instances, month-to-month fluctuations may be complicated or deceptive. The numbers-crunching was even much less useful in the course of the unsure pandemic years. It is going to probably be extra illuminating by Labor Day of 2023. The brand new CBRE numbers bode effectively.

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