Manhattan’s leasing volume jumped by 58.8%, quarter-over-quarter. Meanwhile, availability tightened with positive absorption despite lower pricing.
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic drove New York City’s unemployment rate from 4.2% in March 2020 to a record-high 20.2% two months later.1
Since then, New York City’s unemployment rate has been cut in half, decreasing by 10.4 pp (percentage points) to 9.8% as of August 2021. Additionally, New York City’s 6.2% annual private sector job growth bettered the growth nationally (at 5.2%) and at the state level (at 5.4%).2
Strongest Quarterly Leasing Since 2019
At 7.23 million square feet, leasing volume during Q3 2021 jumped by 58.8%, quarter-over-quarter, and by 50.5%, year-over-year. This was also Manhattan’s strongest quarter of activity since late-2019 and the biggest percentage jump in quarterly leasing since 2013. Despite this, leasing activity during the third quarter was still 12.0% below Manhattan’s five-year rolling average (8.22 million square feet) and 10.3% below the ten-year average (8.06 million square feet).