Manhattan office leasing weakens

Nearly all aspects of office leasing in Manhattan continued to head in a negative direction in February, according to data released this week by real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis.

Leasing activity, vacancy rate and average asking rent all pointed to a weaker market last month. One bright spot was in absorption, the measure of the change in the amount of space occupied in the market, which improved in February, the report said.

For all of the Manhattan, leasing activity fell to 910,000 square feet, from 920,000 square feet the month before, the CBRE report said.

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The vacancy rate rose .4 points last month to 8.3 percent, and the average asking rent fell by $4.55 to $59.10 per foot in February, the report said.

Although still in negative territory, last month 700,000 square feet was returned to the market, an improvement over January, when 4.19 million square feet — comprised of large blocks of space — was returned. TRD