market research

June 2010

June 2010 New York Commercial Real Estate Market Report

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I just returned from the International Council of Shopping Centers Convention in Las Vegas. The big surprise is how dramatically improved the attitude is compared to a year ago when all was lost. Attendance was up over previous years. People were looking to buy distressed debt, only to find out it is still not readily available.

A Panel discussion on banking said many more community banks will fail as their Texas Ratio ( Non-performing assets + 90 day delinquent debt divided by their capital) is great than one, and a major money center bank Texas Ratio is 50%. Bankers are now back making conservative loans on existing properties and funding is still limited for new construction. With all this said, retailers are now more optimistic and are back expanding, as prices and concessions are the best they have been in years as there have been significant employment gains from the depths of the depression.

New York Market Overview

  • Total Manhattan Class A Office vacancies increased from 8.8 % vacant to 9.1 % vacant
  • Total New York City Office vacancy increased from 7.9 % vacant to 8.1 % vacant
Average asking rents in Manhattan fell in April even as the vacancy rate declined on the heels of high leasing activity. The average asking rent in Manhattan fell by 40 cents per foot in April to $54.98 per square foot, even as the vacancy rate fell by .1 point to 11.5 percent. Leasing volume was high in the past two months. Activity in the months of March and April has been the highest since June and July of 2007.

The overall office leasing market remained flat in Manhattan last month with Class A properties showing the most improvement and Class B properties continuing to lag. Asking rents in Class A properties rose in six of eight submarkets in Midtown and Downtown while Class B rates dropped in five of those eight areas. The uptick in asking rents in select submarkets is a sign of market stabilization, but not of a sustained period of rent increases.

With rents beginning to stabilize on Madison Avenue, the 30-plus vacancies on the corridor between 57th and 72nd streets are beginning to fill up with what, at the height of the market, would have been an unlikely array of tenants. Once a corridor for only affordable to luxury jewelers and watchmakers, the city's prime shopping strip has begun to attract a more varied set of apparel and accessories retailers at $800 to $900 per foot.
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