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Manhattan Office Market Report 4Q 2020

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Manhattan’s leasing volume decreased since the previous quarter.  Meanwhile, the asking rent average dropped with more supply and negative absorption.

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic drove New York City’s unemployment rate from 4.0% in March 2020 to a record-high 20.4% three months later.  Since June, the unemployment rate tightened for five consecutive months, decreasing by 8.6 pp (percentage points) to 11.8% in November.  However, the November 2020 unemployment rate was still more than triple the rate one year ago (3.4%).

Lowest Yearly Leasing Volume So Far This Century

Manhattan leasing volume decreased by 13.4%, quarter-over-quarter.  At 4.16 million square feet, 4Q 2020 leasing volume was two-thirds lower than the volume recorded in 4Q 2019 (13.17 million square feet).3  Furthermore, leasing activity during the fourth quarter was 52.2% below the five-year rolling average (8.71 million square feet) and 49.3% below the ten-year average (8.20 million square feet).  Additionally, full-year leasing volume (18.97 million square feet) decreased by 55.9% since 2019.  Manhattan’s 2020 leasing volume was the lowest post-2000 activity on record.


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Manhattan Office Market Report 4Q 2020

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Related Experts

Franklin Wallach

Executive Managing Director

New York

Franklin Wallach is an Executive Managing Director, Research & Business Development at Colliers.  Franklin's role includes a focus on quarterly and monthly trends within the Manhattan and Brooklyn office markets while using multiple databases and maintaining contacts within the industry in order to provide in-depth market analysis to brokers and clients.

Franklin reports on the office market on a monthly and quarterly basis through analytical reports as well as presentations to tenants, landlords and the press. Data analyzed by Franklin includes: average asking rents, availability rates, concessions, absorption, tenants in the market, leasing activity, construction and future tenant demand. Franklin has been quoted by numerous periodicals including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Franklin’s expertise in synthesizing data into important, poignant and understandable observations has led him to be a key ingredient on a number of wins over the years. He has also parlayed this skill into offering strategic advisory on existing assignments as well as creative planning for business development pursuits and opportunities. Franklin's business development role enables him to formally assist the Colliers' brokerage practice in the pursuit, development and execution of new business.
 

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Chemerie Cheng

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With more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate research and  analyses, Ms. Cheng’s expertise includes complex database management, corporate real estate and advisory consulting.

Ongoing projects include: currently managing the Americas property portfolio for European based company; and conducting  regular demographic and employee commutation analyses for Client data firms.

She was the Manager of Real Estate Analytics of Studley, Inc. While at Studley, she headed the analyses and production of the regular quarterly reports and in-depth studies of the effective rental rents for prime Class A office properties. Ms. Cheng coordinated with the local offices to develop and maintain property research databases for 15 cities, and established two new market reports as part of the company expansion.

Prior to Jones Lang LaSalle, Ms. Cheng was a Research Analyst with LaSalle Investment Management in New York City, focusing on the multifamily markets and the Northern New Jersey Industrial market.

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Brennan Yerman

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