Manhattan office market sluggish

March 03, 2009 05:08PM

The Manhattan office market overall and most submarkets continued to decline in February, but the pace of decline was slower than in January of this year, according to a February office market report released today by Newmark Knight Frank.

The availability rate in February rose slightly to 12.4 percent from January’s 12 percent in Manhattan. Year-over-year, the availability rate rose a sizable 4 percent from February 2008. The average asking rent dropped 1.5 percent, to $51.27 per square foot last month from $52.08 per square foot in January. Year-over-year in February, the average asking rent dropped 22 percent from the February 2008 peak of $65.75 per square foot, the report says.

In Midtown South, the availability rate of office space rose to 11.4 percent in February, up from 10.9 percent in January and up from 7.7 percent in February 2008. Asking rents dropped 3.6 percent to $39.19 per square foot from $40.63 per square foot in January.

The Midtown submarket also posted declines, but they were less steep. The availability rate rose 0.4 percent, to 13.4 percent in February from 13 percent in January, according to the report. The average asking rent fell to $61.71 per square foot in February, compared to $62.21 per square foot a month earlier.

Downtown has not fared as badly in terms of space availability, which has held steady at 11.7 percent for several months. Asking rents, however, dropped 2.2 percent between January and February, to $41.18 per square foot from $42.13 a foot, and a total of 10.1 percent since their peak in March 2008. TRD

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