By August, no more than an estimated 8 to 10 percent of New York’s office workers had returned to their urban towers, 20 percent fewer than analysts had projected in May. Just 25 percent of companies leasing Big Apple office space planned to bring their workers back to town this year, according to a recent survey noted in the New York Times.
Only 54 percent of companies surveyed said they planned to recall their staffs to their offices before July 2021.
Leases signed during the first eight months of the year covered 13.7 million square feet, about half of the number of the same period in 2019, putting the office market on track for its worst performance in 20 years.
By the end of 2019, a record 43 million square feet had been leased during the year.
Share prices of publicly traded apartment owners have fallen by 40 percent or more this year.
Many tenants are signing short-term contracts covering a year or two, something landlords would not have considered before the shutdown. The shorter term gives lessees the option to jump to cheaper digs if the market remains weak.
Thousands of small businesses that had depended on New York’s daily tide of commuters remain closed, many permanently. The city derives 10 percent of its budget from property taxes that landlords may be unable to pay if tenants lack and rents remain at present lows.
However, it is reported that Facebook recently leased all 730,000 square feet in an old post office building next to Penn Station; this summer Amazon bought the former Fifth Avenue home of the Lord & Taylor department store.
TREND FORECAST: From Wall Street to Main Street, from Presstitutes to politicians, the great hope of economic revival will be born only when a vaccine is injected into the COVID Panicked society.
Until that time, the commercial, office, and rental markets in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and other large cities that have been hard hit with population exodus will not begin to revive for a few years.