4Q’S WEATHER: FALLING VACANCIES
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|Watch out, Al Roker—Cushman & Wakefield NY metro region COO Joe Harbert is vying for your spot. But instead of falling snow, he talked falling vacancies—December was the second consecutive month of office space declines, dropping to 11.1%, he reported at his firm’s quarterly media breakfast yesterday. Thank a surge of 4Q leasing activity, where there were 10 leases greater than 100k SF signed, compared to five in ’08. Overall, ’09 saw 16.3M SF in activity—a decline of 15% year-over-year, but the second half of ’09 totaled 9.9M SF, a 56% jump in transactions from the first half.|
|C&W’s Dale Schlather and Don DiRenzo act as photo op stand-ins for quarterly review regular Ken McCarthy, who was moderating a REBNY panel. Also declining is the pace of job deterioration, Joe says; NYC lost 147k positions in 4Q, and overall jobs losses are in the 400ks, versus the ’09 peak of 600k. He adds that NYC is actually leading out of the recession thanks to TARP and money going to the public sector; NY has fared better than the US in office job losses. Forecast: vacancies may go up again, but don’t expect them to travel north of 12.5%, he says.|