Despite COVID, Manhattan's Office Market Enjoys an Uptick in October

Despite COVID, Manhattan's Office Market Enjoys an Uptick in October

Commercial News » New York City Edition | By Michael Gerrity | December 1, 2021 8:05 AM ET

Commercial property consultant CBRE is reporting this week that Manhattan ranked third among the 12 largest cities in the country for office market recovery in October 2021, with multiple measures of demand for space showing improvement. Displaying clear positive momentum, Manhattan's high ranking reflects an increased volume of and leasing activity and companies actively searching for new space.

To gauge the pace of recovery, CBRE's monthly report tracks the three leading indicators of office market activity: tenants-in-the-market (TIM), which quantifies the amount of office space that companies are actively seeking; leasing activity in the form of finalized lease agreements; and the availability of sublease space.

"There was a notable uptick in firms seeking office space in Manhattan during October, showing the market is gradually coming back to life," said Nicole LaRusso, CBRE Senior Director of Research & Analysis. "The volume of tenants in the market is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels and portends increased leasing activity in the future."

For each index, a reading of 100 equates to the pre-pandemic levels of 2018 and 2019.

Manhattan's Tenants-in-the-Market (TIM) Index was 98 in October, a nine-point gain month-over-month and 12 points above the U.S. average of 86.

Manhattan's Leasing Activity Index registered 91 points, the fifth-highest ranking among the 12 markets in the study. This was a modest decline of 4 points following three consecutive months of substantial improvement.

Providing another signal that recovery is underway, Manhattan's Sublease Availability Index fell once again, to 189. This was one point lower than the September figure. While the available space was 89% above its pre-pandemic level, October marks the fifth consecutive month of reduced sublease availability. The improvement was the result of increased absorption and withdrawals of space from the market.

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