Fourth quarter won’t deliver, execs say

Manhattan office leasing experts say volume of deals will fall far short of expectations
By Adam Pincus | November 03, 2011 10:27AM

From the November issue: The Manhattan office leasing market began the year on a tear, leading executives as recently as four months ago to predict that volume could top 30 million square feet in relocation and expansion deals. Now, however, professionals — who have seen demand wane in the second half of the year — expect activity will fall far short of that.

Indeed, the fourth quarter — often a bright seasonal spot as firms try to wrap up leases before the end of the year — won’t deliver, sources say.

Leasing for 2011 is expected to reach only 25 million or 26 million square feet, barely ahead of last year’s 24 million square feet, figures from commercial firm CBRE show. The last three months of the year are not expected to help.

“We are anticipating it being a slightly softer quarter than we have seen in the last three or four quarters,” Matthew Van Buren, president of CBRE’s Tri-State region, said last month at a media briefing. [more]