Wednesday, October 08, 2008



It’s a national phenomenon, but the numbers are especially striking in Manhattan. In the epicenter of the financial meltdown, vacancy rates have spiked to two-year highs.

Those rates are now 43 percent higher than a year ago, according to new figures from the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Their survey found 18.4 million square feet of empty class-A office space in Manhattan in the third quarter of the year, compared with just under 14 million vacant square feet in the third quarter of 2007. Real-estate brokers have said that those numbers could edge up even further as the demise of Lehman Brothers and the acquisition of Merrill Lynch shake out.


A nationwide survey by Reis, a real estate data service, found that about 13.6 percent of all office space was vacant in the third quarter, the most since 2006. An analysis of the numbers by Sam Chandan, Reis’s chief economist, declared that “the upward trend in the national vacancy rate will continue.”