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High office rental rates in New York City; Still below pre-pandemic levels by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of the New York City skyline in Manhattan and the Hudson River during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in New York City, as seen from Weehawken, New Jersey, US, April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Gina Moon

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by Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York City office market rebounded in the third quarter from a year earlier, although rentals remained below levels seen before the rise of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and higher interest rates and a stronger dollar triggered a fresh dip. Investment in the sector.

Office rental volume rose 27.6% to 9.23 million square feet, the strongest quarterly gain since the end of 2019 — a huge year for renting in New York, according to Colliers International (NASDAQ:) Inc.

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Leasing volume this year so far has reached 24.17 million square feet, or nearly 50% more than the same period in 2021 and less than 4% of last year’s total. Volume remained below the quarterly average of about 9.1 million square feet in the five years through 2019.

“We keep hearing about big pending deals,” said Frank Wallach, executive director of New York Research at Colliers, adding that leases in the business for months are typically approaching by the end of the year.

“Not all but a large number of them are coming to an end as we head into the post-Thanksgiving rush, New Year’s Eve because there is usually a desire to finish everything and take care of it,” Wallach said.

In another positive sign, office space availability fell 0.8 percentage points to 16.4% in the third quarter, the largest quarterly decline in eight years, Colliers said.

Wallach said the decline has pushed availability to its narrowest level since March 2021, but is still well above the 10.2% level in the first quarter of 2020, at the start of the pandemic.

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The lease increase was driven by several large leases in Hudson (NYSE: Yards District) on the Hudson River, including the largest deal so far this year, a 456,000-square-foot deal from KPMG in August.

The accounting firm’s lease on 2 Manhattan West, a 58-story, 2 million-square-foot tower due to open next year, signals a journey into quality during the pandemic.

But the deal also represents a 40% reduction in KPMG’s New York office footprint as it consolidates multiple office locations into a single location, an efficiency drive, and embraces the hybrid office, a model that can allow businesses to reduce their space needs.

The latest data on potential future rentals for office space in New York from View The Space Inc, a multidimensional commercial real estate platform, last week showed a 22.8% drop in August new rental demand in New York.

VTS expects leasing activity to be “very good” for the coming months, but if no more new demand is seen by the end of the year, leasing is expected to slow in 2023, according to VTS.

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“The next quarter or two will be a real indication because we will see the people who have been in the market, are they going to end up dealing or not?” said Nick Romito, CEO of VTS.

Office building sales fell 71% in the third quarter to $1.2 billion, an amount that often accounts for the sale of individual assets during 2015 and 2016.

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.