The Real Deal New York

Manhattan office leasing in Q1 to hit lowest level since 2009

March 23, 2012 02:00PM

In the first quarter of 2012, Manhattan office leasing will likely be the leanest it has been in almost three years, a report from commercial brokerage Studley says, Bloomberg News reported.

Studley projects about 5.7 million square feet of space will be leased in the first three months of the year in the borough, marking the lowest volume of leasing since the second quarter of 2009, when 4.5 million square feet was leased.

“As the saying has gone for many years, as financial services goes, so does New York City,” Mitchell Steir, Studley’s CEO, told Bloomberg.

The main reason for the decline, Bloomberg said, was the financial services industry’s struggles. Since last August, banks and ancillary financial services providers have made increasingly conservative staffing decisions amid uncertainty about the European debt crisis and pending regulatory changes in the U.S. The sector has shed 150,000 jobs since June, according to data complied by Bloomberg. [Bloomberg]