NEW YORK CITY—Newmark Grubb Knight Frankreports that Manhattan's office availability rate fell to 11.3% atthe end of the first quarter, the lowest rate since the fourthquarter of 2008 when the rate stood at 11.2%.

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The Manhattan office availability rate was 12.2% at the end ofthe fourth quarter of 2013. Direct availability, which had stayedat around 44 million square feet for four years, fell by 2.7million square feet in the first quarter.

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The brokerage firm in its First Quarter Manhattan Office Marketreport states that the average asking rent in Manhattan was flat ascompared to three months ago, standing at $62.46 per-square-foot. Ayear ago, the average asking rent in Manhattan was $59.55per-square-foot.

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Overall, increases in asking rents in Midtown ($73.26per-square-foot) and Downtown ($50.55 per-square-foot) were offsetby lower rents in Midtown South that declined to $56.31per-square-foot.

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Newmark Grubb Knight Frank states that it expects similarfundamentals in the second quarter, although the inclusion of 1World Trade Center could skew availability.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.