Midtown office rents plummet as vacancies skyrocket, report shows

Just one month after declines in rents in Midtown seemed to be leveling off, the average asking rents in October fell sharply as vacancies rose by their largest amount in nearly a year, a new report by commercial services firm CB Richard Ellis shows.

The average asking rent in Midtown fell by 99 cents per square foot in October to $56.89 per square foot, while the vacancy rate rose by .7 points to 10.3 percent, the CBRE report, covering October, shows (see the full report below).

In September, brokers were buoyed by statistics that showed the average asking rent in Midtown declined by just 6 cents per square foot, to $57.88 per foot. But that price support did not continue last month.

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The price decline in Midtown was the largest since August when it fell $1.46 per square foot, the figures show.

The increase in vacancy is the largest since December 2008, when the rate rose 1 point to 7.6 percent from 6.6 percent a month earlier, CBRE data shows.

The weakness was not as pronounced in Manhattan overall. The average asking rent fell by 88 cents per square foot from September to October, and the vacancy rate rose by .5 points to 9.8 percent. TRD
November 2009 Snapshot

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