City Sees Stabilized Office Rents
Eliot Brown March 31, 2010, 4:06 p.m.
The city’s Office of Management and Budget included this chart in its monthly report on economic conditions, which suggests office rents are halting their inexorable fall. This is something that would make some sense given that vacancy rates have been consistent for months and employment levels also seem relatively stable.
The report’s authors go on to look into their crystal ball, predicting that eventually leasing will pick up once companies are comfortable enough with the low rates to snap up long-term leases before they rise:
For now the office market appears to have reached bottom. It will likely remain at this nadir until firms are more comfortable with the business environment and become less risk averse. For this to occur, they must see a sustainable recovery with available credit and sound financial markets. Once that occurs, it is likely that first leasing activity will pick up as firms lock in larger spaces at the current lower rents. This should result in a gradual decline in vacancy rates. With plenty of unoccupied space on the market, it will take some time before landlords regain pricing power. It is possible we are seeing the initial signs of this recovery, but it is too early to tell.