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Manhattan Office Supply Hits Record High with Skyscrapers Empty

Office leasing in the borough fell by nearly 47 percent from the same period last year, according to Colliers International.

(Bloomberg)—There’s a record amount of office space available in Manhattan.

With workers stuck at home, the office availability rate rose to 14.9% in January, the highest in data going back to 2000, according to a report by Colliers International.

Leasing fell by nearly 47% from the same period last year. That came even as asking rents dipped for the seventh straight month to $73.65 a square foot on average, the lowest in almost three years.

Manhattan’s office supply has surged since March, when the pandemic emptied out skyscrapers and companies turned to remote working. Efforts to bring employees back to offices have been hampered by rising Covid-19 cases.

While many companies are reassessing their need for office space in a bid to cut costs, there are signs of life in the market. Leasing in Manhattan reached 1.9 million square feet (about 176,500 square meters) in January, the highest level since July, and 20% higher than the 2020 monthly average.

The January numbers were pushed higher by a handful of large leases, including Beam Suntory taking nearly 100,000 square feet at 11 Madison Ave.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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