Leasing activity skyrockets in second quarter
July 2, 2012
By: Theresa Agovino

Office leasing activity ballooned a healthy 60% to 9.4 million square feet in the second quarter from the lackluster first quarter, according to a new report by commercial brokerage firm Studley. The impressive performance was the highest quarterly total since the April to June period in 2010 and was up 3% from the corresponding three months of 2011.

The jump in activity helped push overall rents higher. Overall asking rents rose 7% to $53.78 a square foot, surpassing the $53 mark for the first time in 12 months. ...

... But for all the good news, there are signs that the problems in Europe and perhaps the uncertainty over the presidential election are causing tenants to move cautiously. Brokers have complained of very slow activity in the last few weeks—even more lethargic than the traditional summer slump. ...

... "The market is spotty," said Greg Taubin, an executive managing director at Studley, which represents only tenants. "There is still a lot of hesitation out there."

Manhattan's overall availability rate—representing space that will be ready for tenants within 12 months—rose for the second time in the last three quarters. It increased 3 percentage points to 11.1%. The rate is higher than that downtown as space is being vacated at the World Financial Center and new space at the World Trade Center is coming online. Downtown's Class A space availability spiked by 2 percentage points to 12%.

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