Office leasing slowed in the third quarter, but asking rents continued rising in Manhattan, Cushman & Wakefield figures showed. Total leasing volume was 21.9 million square feet through September, 10 percent lower than 2014’s first nine months. Manhattan’s average asking rent rose 6.6 percent to $71.02 per square foot last quarter, from $66.62 a year ago.
“The market had 24 months of phenomenal activity,” said Joseph Genovesi, executive managing director at Savills Studley. “I don’t know if it will soften, [but] it is leveling off.” Office leasing in Downtown Brooklyn also slowed, partly due to tight supply.
Developers plan several million square feet of office projects, but they’re years away. “When people say there is more space on the market, the first question to ask is: ‘When?’” said Richard Warshauer, senior managing director at Colliers International. The total amount of Brooklyn space leased through September, just over 460,000 square feet, was less than half the 1 million square feet in all of 2012.
Asking rents were $43.79 per square foot last quarter, up from $41.59 in the second quarter, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank reported. Some firms are landing big deals. Kushner Companies and RFR Realty leased more than 120,000 square feet so far this year in two Dumbo buildings, nabbing tenants like co- working company WeWork and design firm Frog.