Availability of Manhattan Office Space Continues to Set Records

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The amount of available office space to rent around Manhattan keeps setting record highs as the market continues to feel the toll of the coronavirus pandemic, a report from Colliers International found.

Manhattan’s availability rate climbed to 15.5 percent in February, an increase from 14.9 percent in January and 9.9 percent in February 2020.

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February marks the ninth month in a row that the availability rate increased in the borough, and it continues to move past the 12.9 percent it hit in October, which was then the highest since 2004, according to Colliers.

Of the three submarkets tracked — Midtown, Midtown South and Downtown — Midtown had the highest availability rate at 16.2 percent. Midtown South had the lowest with 14.6 percent.

While Manhattan saw its highest level of leasing activity in January since last summer, it decreased by 50.8 percent in February, to nearly 900,000 square feet leased, according to the report. That was also 42.8 percent lower than the average 2020 monthly volume of 1.58 million square feet.

The biggest lease last month was Seyfarth Shaw’s 132,094-square-foot renewal at 620 Eighth Avenue, followed by Jennison Associates’ new 120,809-square-foot lease at 55 East 52nd Street, according to Colliers.

Average asking rents stood at $73.12 per square foot in February, a drop from $73.65 in January and $79.25 during the same time last year.