Press Releases

Yearly Leasing Total of 29.5 Million SF Exceeds Historical Average of 27.4 Million SF

January 22, 2020

New York City – Rebounding after a cool third quarter, the Manhattan office market closed 2019 with 8.3 million square feet in fourth quarter leasing, bringing the yearly total to 29.5 million square feet. While the yearly leasing total is down 15% compared to 2018, it is higher than the historical average of 27.4 million square feet. The findings were released in a quarterly research report on the Manhattan commercial real estate market from Transwestern Commercial Services.

“Coming off the record-setting year in 2018, it was uncertain how Manhattan leasing activity would fare in 2019,” said Ryan McKinney, Senior Vice President at Transwestern. “And while each quarter had some ups and downs, the yearly total put the market right in line with historical averages, even a bit higher. If lease renewals are included, the total would have surpassed last year. As for whether the market can maintain this activity, we don’t see the trend ending soon, given the market fundamentals and the increasingly diverse mix of industries represented among the occupiers.”

Additional highlights from the report include:

  • Downtown recorded 1.9 million square feet in fourth quarter leasing activity, bringing the yearly total to more than 8 million square feet, its highest yearly total in 20 years.
  • 22 new leases were signed exceeding 50,000 square feet, including nine topping 100,000 square feet.
  • The TAMI (technology, advertising, media and information) sector accounted for almost half of all leasing activity in the quarter, with six leases exceeding 100,000 square feet, and 35% of activity for the year.
  • Manhattan average asking rents hit a record high of $88.11 per square foot. This is up 1% over last quarter and up 8% year over year. Additionally, fourth quarter was the third consecutive quarter over the $80 mark.
  • The market saw record high rents in Midtown ($88.12 per square foot) and Midtown South ($84.11 per square foot).

Download the fourth quarter 2019 Manhattan office report at:


Transwestern Commercial Services (TCS) is a privately held real estate firm of collaborative entrepreneurs who deliver a higher level of personalized service and innovative client solutions. Applying a consultative approach to Agency Leasing, Asset Services, Occupier Solutions, Capital Markets and Research, our fully integrated global organization adds value for investors, owners and occupiers of all commercial property types. We leverage market insight and operational expertise from across the Transwestern enterprise, which includes firms specializing in development and real estate investment management. TCS has 34 U.S. offices and assists clients from more than 200 offices in 37 countries through strategic alliances with France-based BNP Paribas Real Estate and Canada-based Devencore. Experience Extraordinary at and @Transwestern.

Media Contact:

Dan Foley