Midtown among the most-improved office markets nationwide: Cushman

July 08, 2010 05:45PM

Midtown Manhattan office vacancies declined to 11.5 percent during the second quarter, from 12.6 percent in the first quarter, making it one of the most-improved central business districts in the country, according to data released today by Cushman & Wakefield. In the Midtown South and Downtown Manhattan business districts, meanwhile, office vacancies declined by just 0.6 percent and 0.01 percent, respectively, quarter-over-quarter.

Rents fell quarter-over-quarter in all three Manhattan office markets: by $0.27 in Midtown to $61.66; by $2.61 in Midtown South to $43.71; and by $1.14 Downtown to $37.81.

But overall, the U.S. office market is showing signs of improvement.

The second quarter saw the first average U.S. vacancy rate drop since 2007, Cushman’s report says. At mid-year 2010, the vacancy rate for the 31 business districts tracked by the firm stood at 14.8 percent, down 0.2 percent from the end of the first quarter. That figure had been increasing steadily since the fourth quarter of 2007, when it hit bottom at 9.7 percent.

Maria Sicola, executive managing director at Cushman, said that it is becoming “strongly apparent that the national vacancy rate for [central business districts] has peaked” because of a significant uptick in leasing activity, which has risen by 51.6 percent year-over-year nationwide and by 96 percent in Midtown Manhattan. TRD