Manhattan Office Supply Hits Another Record Even as NYC Opens Up

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Manhattan’s supply of office space has reached a fresh record even as leasing picks up.

The availability rate rose for a 12th consecutive month in May to 17%, according to a report Tuesday from Colliers. Since the pandemic started last March, the amount of space up for grabs jumped 70% to a total of 92 million square feet (8.5 million square meters).

There are signs that demand is turning a corner. Leasing climbed 8% from last May, while average asking rents ticked up 0.4% to $73.26 a square foot.

After more than a year of empty skyscrapers, Manhattan’s office market is slowly coming back to life as social-distancing restrictions ease. Roughly 18% of office workers in the New York metro area were back at their desks as of May 26, according to data from Kastle Systems. Companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Facebook Inc. are preparing for a broader return this summer.

Offices listed for subleasing represented 23% of total availability, the lowest share since July, according to Colliers. Even so, the amount of sublease space is 75% more than in March 2020.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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