New York Office Availability Jumps to Record High

There’s more Manhattan office space available than at any time in the last 20 years as businesses go under and rethink their space needs during and after the pandemic.

According to property-services firm Savills, the office vacancy rate shot up from 11.1% in 2019 to 15.1% at the end of 2020, the highest rate since at least 1999. The vacancy equates to 68.4 million square feet that are sitting empty.

Businesses aren’t signing many new leases during the pandemic, with fourth-quarter leasing down 64% from the previous year.  Instead, tenants are extending current leases and signing short-term deals as they take a wait-and-see attitude about what will happen when the medical emergency is over.

Asking rents for high-quality space fell 8.6%.

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