The Wide Angle View


As stated in its press release, the Real Estate Board of New York will honor the “industry’s top leaders, trailblazers and power brokers” at this week’s 118th annual banquet. Operating in what is arguably the most significant real estate market in the United States, if not the world, it is no small feat to be honored or just be a member. Coming early in the New Year as this soiree does, I thought it a perfect time to compare our market (at least regarding office space) to other major markets around the country.

A quick missive on our calculations: Manhattan is considered quite different than pretty much any of the other 51 markets NGKF tracks, except possibly San Francisco, due to the tight geographic boundaries. Some markets quoted simply cover greater physical territory. Additionally, the statistics below are based on vacancy, not availability, which does differ from our local report. Now on with the show!

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  • Manhattan is, by far, the largest single office market in the country, with 446.5-million square feet of inventory; Washington, D.C., is next on the list at 363.7-million square feet followed by Chicago at 248.6-million square feet .
  • Deliveries in 2013 hit 5.0-million square feet for Manhattan, our most in a single year since 1989, and topping all other U.S. markets. Hot on our heels was Houston at 4.6-million square feet , followed by Washington, D.C., at 4.3-million square feet .
  • There is currently 8.6-million square feet under construction in Manhattan, topping every other market in the country. Coming up fast, though, is Houston, with 7.2-million square feet thanks to its booming energy sector. Another Texas market, Dallas, is next on the list at 4.6-million square feet.
  • Total vacancy (not availability) for Manhattan stands at 8.9 percent, placing it as the second-tightest market at year-end 2013. Salt Lake City took the No. 1 spot at 8.3 percent. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Las Vegas closed with the highest vacancy rate at 24.5 percent, followed by Detroit at 24.1 percent.
  • Year-to-date net absorption (on vacancy) was 2.5-million square feet for Manhattan. Closing with stronger figures were Houston and Dallas (both at almost 3.6-million square feet ) as well as Silicon Valley/South Bay at 3.0-million square feet .
  • Average asking rent is certainly one area where Manhattan jumps well ahead of the pack. At the end of the year, the overall figure closed at $55.47 per square foot. San Francisco commands the second highest average rent at $42.97 per square foot. Oklahoma City and Cincinnati were the least expensive markets, at $14.53 and $15.18 a foot, respectively.

So there you have it – a very brief rundown on how Manhattan compares to other markets across the country. Particularly given the size and scope of our market, all the members of REBNY deserve congratulations for a job well done over the past year.