State Watch

Manhattan office space for rent reaches highest level since 2003: report

The amount of Manhattan office space available for rent has reached its highest level since 2003.

As of November, only 790,000 square feet was leased in Manhattan, an 80 percent decrease from this time last year, reports Bloomberg. This enormous increase in available space has caused the average asking price for rents to drop more than 3 percent, leaving at them at the lowest they've been since June 2018.

In October it was reported that the median rent for Manhattan had dipped below $3,000 for the first time in almost a decade. The data came from a report made by New York City real estate firm StreetEasy.

The same report found that Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens had all experienced year-over-year rent declines for the first time since 2010.

"Landlords across the city, but particularly in Manhattan, have to be willing to face some really hard hits if they want to fill their units," said Nancy Wu, an economist for StreetEasy. "They're being forced to cut the location premium out of their asking price in order to compete with larger and more affordable apartments in the outer boroughs."

This is just the latest in news that will likely negatively affect New York property owners; earlier in November, New York City hotels paid more than $500 million to their employees displaced by COVID-19. The payout came after an arbitration ruling and is expected to be the largest hotel union payout in the U.S.

According to New York hotel owners, about 25,000, or 20 percent of those in the city, may never reopen after the pandemic is over.

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