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NEW YORK CITY-According to a preliminary data analysis of leasing activity and asking rents in Midtown, Midtown South and Downtown, the Manhattan commercial market continued to experience high pricing and low availability rates in September. According to the analysis, provided by CB Richard Ellis, Manhattan’s overall availability rate remained steady at 7.7% in September. This was a 0.9-point decline from September 2006′s availability rate of 8.6%.

Pricing remained high in Manhattan, falling a slight $0.03 to $64.36 per sf in September. However, this represented a significant $14.33-per-sf rise from September 2006, underscoring the limited supply of high-quality office space and the lack of major new constructions projects over the past decade.

In Midtown, the availability rate was 7.1% in September–unchanged from the prior month. Midtown South’s availability rate rose 0.1 point to 8.3% while Downtown’s availability declined to 8.7%, a 0.1-point drop from August. Midtown South experienced the most significant increase in average asking rent in September, rising $1.12 to $48.54 per sf. Pricing in Midtown rose $0.61 to $81.95 per sf, while Downtown fell $0.39 to $45.98 per sf.

Overall leasing in Manhattan totaled 1.1 million sf in September, bringing year-to-date activity to 17 million sf. Midtown led the market with 720,000 sf of leasing while Midtown South totaled 220,000 sf of activity. Downtown recorded 180,000 sf of leasing.

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