As a child, I remember using this time of year as an excuse to light firecrackers. The result was always a toss-up, as some would surprise me and make a loud boom, but others would be duds and fizzle out. With America’s birthday this weekend, it’s time to celebrate the booms and duds of the Manhattan real estate market for this year. So, sit back this Fourth of July with your favorite summertime beverage and barbecued food and enjoy these fireworks of statistics.
First, let’s get the duds out of the way so we can light up the sky with some big booms.
New Leasing Activity: Compared with one year ago, Manhattan new leasing activity is down 13.5 percent, based on a decline in Midtown demand and an increase in renewals, up 28.4 percent this year. A dip in new leasing activity for financial services firms to start the year contributed to this as well, as this sector accounts for only 20.7 percent of the activity this year, compared with 28.9 percent during the same time last year.
Madison/Fifth Vacancy: Since the start of 2016, Madison/Fifth had the largest increase in vacancy of the 19 submarkets (not including those with new construction or redeveloped properties added to its inventory), rising 220 basis points to 13.9 percent.
Midtown South Class B Vacancy: This is the only building class group out of the three major markets that had a decrease in the vacant supply this year, a 50-basis-point drop to 5.9 percent. The biggest vacancy rate decline came from the Soho Class B submarket.
Financial East Signs Most Big New Leases: This submarket started the year off with the biggest boom, as three new leases greater than 75,000 square feet were completed, led by the Droga5 expansion of 112,504 square feet at 120 Wall Street. Financial East edged out five other submarkets that had two new leases signed greater than 75,000 square feet each.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July—and let me know if you need any firecrackers.