Banks quietly downsize, spelling trouble for commercial real estate industry

February 06, 2012 02:00PM

The financial services industry, the motor behind much of New York City’s economy, has been quietly exiting space, which bodes extremely poorly for the city’s real estate market, the Wall Street Journal said.

The city could lose approximately 10,000 securities jobs by the end of the year, according to statistics from the New York state comptroller cited by the Journal. One in eight jobs in the city relies on securities firms, the comptroller’s data indicate.

In addition to the nearly 2 million square feet firms like Bank of America and UBS have already announced that they are getting rid of, there is another 600,000 square feet of office space in the works, the Journal said.

And the impact of a contraction in the financial services industry can have a ripple effect for real estate as it impacts so many businesses in New York City, and in turn, the amount of space they need.

Manhattan’s 10 largest investment banks lease or own just under 32 million square feet, 6 million less than in 2008, the Journal said. [WSJ]