Office leasing in Manhattan hit the brakes in the third quarter compared with the prior quarter, but was about equal to the same period one year ago, executives at commercial firm Colliers International said at a third quarter media briefing held this afternoon in Midtown.
Tenants leased 6 million square feet of space in the three months ending this week, which was down about 19 percent from the second quarter, when 7.4 million square feet was leased.
But the third quarter was identical to the third quarter of 2011, when 6 million square feet were leased.
Joseph Harbert, president of the eastern region for Colliers, said companies looking for office space in Midtown had a bit of an edge. Asking rents in Midtown dipped slightly to $67.28 per foot in the third quarter, the first decline since leveling off in early 2010. “I think if you are a tenant, it is a pretty good market to be in,” Harbert said.
He expected leasing for the full year to be about 23 million to 25 million square feet — behind 2011, which saw 27 million square feet of leasing. The average asking rent in Manhattan was $56.14 per square foot in the third quarter, up from the lower point of $47.58 per square foot in the third quarter of 2010.