Despite an unexpected package unwrapped this week down the street from Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree—a 1.2M lease renewal by Fox Corp. and its News Corp. spin-off of their HQ at 1211 Sixth Avenue, the largest NYC office lease in three years—net absorption turned negative in Manhattan in Q4 as leasing activity plunged by nearly 43%.

Manhattan's fourth quarter net absorption total of negative 346K SF left the largest US office market with an annual net absorption of negative 1.6M SF, according to a Q4 market report from Newmark.

The Q4 absorption total marked an abrupt turnaround from the positive absorption in Manhattan of more than 2.5M SF recorded in Q3. The downturn was most pronounced in Midtown, which recorded negative net absorption of more than 1M SF in Q4.

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