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Hard to believe a year has passed since Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York. Lower Manhattan has recovered quite nicely. According to the Downtown Alliance – a local advocacy group – the scene appears to be even better than before the super storm hit.

Office, residential and retail sectors of the real estate market have been improving steadily over the past year and have shown impressive gains in the last quarter especially.

The office leasing market appears to have emerged stronger post-Sandy. Average asking rent is up 16% year-over-year. Deals totalling more than one million square feet have been signed to the ‘hood. That includes 179,435 sq ft taken at 195 Broadway by HarperCollins Publishing and 166,395 sq ft at 17 Battery Place North by Nyack College.

Residential sales volume is up 58% over last year and 10% over the previous quarter. Properties in Lower Manhattan are selling twice as fast as last year, spending 87 days on the market on average.

Average rental prices remained stable at just under $4000 per month.

Hotels’ average daily room rate was $280 in Lower Manhattan, representing a 3% increase over last year while the occupancy rate was down 2%, now resting at 83%.

While 66 retail businesses remain closed by the storm, 73 new retailers have opened for business since the last quarter of 2012, some of them having taken over the leases of the previous tenants.

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