Vacancy Rate Not So Shabby in 3Q12


Given all the trauma going on globally, nationally and even locally, the third-quarter New York City metro-wide vacancy rate ended up not so bad.

The total figure (for all classes) closed September at 12.2 percent, down 20 basis points. That figure is based on a whopping 733.1 million square feet of inventory (with just over 89.3 million square feet of availability) across the Cassidy Turley local tracking area.

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metrowidevacancy Vacancy Rate Not So Shabby in 3Q12Now 63 percent of that inventory is smack-dab on Manhattan Island, and certainly the improvement in vacancy there (particularly in Midtown South) drove the market during the last three months. But other areas pulled their weight too—Fairfield County showed some spark, while Long Island (Nassau/Suffolk) and even the outer boroughs were improved.

Two areas did struggle, though—Westchester County (no real surprise here) closed with a slightly elevated vacancy rate, up 30 basis points to 19.3 percent (it has remained north of 15.0 percent since mid-2007), and, in a bit of a recent anomaly, the Hudson Waterfront saw its figure jump 80 basis points to 10.4 percent (one large block of space—209,000 square feet at 5901 West Side Avenue in North Bergen—was responsible for the bump). With no major improvement to the economy expected in the near term (and indeed a possibility of some cliff jumping), the metro NYC vacancy rate is likely to stagnate or even climb as several large blocks enter availability, particularly in Downtown Manhattan.

Robert Sammons, Cassidy Turley