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Commercial real estate in Manhattan found itself stirred, though not shaken, in the first quarter of 2012. By that, I mean market fundamentals had a dash of bitter(s), but were neither completely bitter, nor sweet.

First let's run through the basic numbers. The overall vacancy rate for this 461-million-square-foot market did ease 30 basis points during the first three months of the year to close at 10.6%. And the overall average asking rent did climb 3.2% over the same period to close at $53.07 per foot. Meanwhile, gross leasing activity wrapped up the quarter at 6.1 million square feet, while net absorption came in on the positive side of the column—albeit at a rather anemic 164,773 square feet. Now let's break down all the ingredients and see how it comes out.

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