With Super Bowl 50 approaching this weekend, it is time for the third annual Manhattan Stat Bowl. For those dedicated readers, Class B space defeated Class A space in back-to-back years, which clearly makes Class A the underdog in the 2016 edition. Will last year’s increase in leasing activity for the financial services sector be enough for Class A to score an upset? Or will Class B easily dispose of its competition for the third year in a row? Let’s compare 2015 statistics to see which class will come out on top.
At the start of the Stat Bowl, a comparison of direct asking rent increases will determine the scoring. Manhattan Class A space increased 6.4 percent to $79.14 per square foot in 2015, while Class B space jumped 11.8 percent to $62.19 per square foot. Class B ends the first quarter with a solid lead, 11.8 to 6.4 percent.
The second quarter will be based on leasing activity as a percentage of the total market size. Manhattan Class A leased 7.2 percent of its inventory in 2015, while Class B leased 6.8 percent. At halftime, Class B still leads Class A 18.6 to 13.6.
Third-quarter scoring will be based on overall absorption as a percentage of the total market size. Manhattan Class A space absorbed 1.4 percent of its inventory, compared to only 0.5 percent of Class B’s. With Class A gaining on Class B in the last two quarters, Class A has narrowed the score to 19.1 to 15 headed into the final quarter.
With this year’s Stat Bowl too close to call, let’s turn to the decline in the available supply to decide the game. Manhattan Class A space dropped in 2015 by 13.2 percent, while Class B space only declined 1.2 percent. This helped . Unfortunately for the underdog Denver Broncos, I do not think they will be as lucky against the Carolina Panthers.
Richard Persichetti is vice president of research and marketing at Cushman & Wakefield.