Press Releases

Average Asking Rents Rise for Second Consecutive Quarter

October 17, 2023

NEW YORK CITY – The Manhattan office market posted 5 million square feet in leasing activity in the third quarter, down from the last period, though availability rates backed off last quarter’s record highs and asking rates edged up, according to research from Transwestern Real Estate Services (TRS).

While leasing totals were mild, there were 15 leases exceeding 50,000 square feet signed during the quarter, many for terms longer than 10 years. The leases contributed to 1.9 million square feet of positive absorption for the quarter, the highest level since 2018 and one of the highest in the past decade. The quarter’s largest lease was a 708,000-square-foot deal signed by law firm DavisPolk in the Midtown submarket.

“Sublease supply, which has been an indicator of uncertainty, was down across Manhattan, particularly in Midtown, which saw a sharp decrease,” said Chase Gordon, Senior Vice President, Transwestern. “We are seeing signs of stability re-enter the office market, particularly as tenants firm up their back-to-office plans, and we expect that to continue as we close out 2023.”

Additional notable results from the report include:

  • Overall availability halted a three-quarter skid of increases, including last quarter’s peak of 19%, with a decrease to 18.7%.
  • Sublet availability continued its decline, dropping to 4.4% market-wide, as more than 2 million square feet of sublease space was removed from the available inventory.
  • Three New York City agencies leased 183,000 square feet, and Tower Research Capital signed for 120,000 square feet, all in the Downtown submarket.
  • Average asking rents increased for the second straight quarter, up 1% over last quarter to $74.54 per square foot, the highest figure since late 2020.
  • The market has had six straight quarters of year-over-year rent growth. 
  • Office construction remains near its lowest point in more than a decade, while the market notched only $347.8 million in office sales during the quarter. 

“We saw an increase in office usage during the quarter as many large employers rolled out in-person attendance policies, though we’ll need a larger and more sustained increase in demand to offset availability, which remains very high,” said Corrie Slewett, Transwestern Research Manager. “Development remains sidelined, given the uncertainty in the overall economy, with building owners focusing more on reconstruction and renovations, particularly in Class B buildings that need to close the gap with Class A inventory.”

Download the Q3 2023 Manhattan office report here.  

About Transwestern Real Estate Services
Part of the Transwestern companies, Transwestern Real Estate Services (TRS) strives to add value for investors, owners and occupiers across all commercial property types. Fueled by a holistic perspective of the real estate life cycle, agility and creativity are hallmarks of our approach, while vast national resources and sound market intelligence underpin customized recommendations and property solutions.

Five dynamic, integrated companies make up the Transwestern enterprise, giving us the perspective to think broadly, deeply and creatively about commercial real estate. Clients and investors rely on us for expertise that spans institutional and opportunistic investment, development, hospitality, and brokerage and asset services. Our award-winning, collaborative culture empowers team members with resources and independence to work across boundaries in pursuit of innovative solutions, reinforcing a reputation for service excellence that translates to measurable results. Through offices nationwide and alliance partners around the globe, we positively impact the built environment and our communities while fostering a work climate that champions career vitality for all. Learn more at and @Transwestern.

Media Contact:
Dan Foley

Chase Gordon

Senior Vice President

New York, New York

(212) 537-0353

Corrie Slewett

Research Manager - New York | National Tenant Advisory Research Leader

New York, New York

(212) 537-7690