“It’s the economy, stupid”. The US has suffered a steady stream of bad economic news
since the fall of 2007. The 2nd Quarter GDP rate rose slightly but this was due to the
economic-stimulus checks, a temporary fix. The GDP rate will soon continue it’s downward
trend as evidenced by rising inflation and unemployment reaching 6.1%. As a result, the
national office market has reversed the course of the last two years. Vacancy rates have
risen to 11.2% and the average rental rates have dropped to $24.48.
Long Island has not been immune to these economic woes. LI’s unemployment rate has
risen to 4.7% from a low of 3.6%, spearheaded by the slumping financial industry. Thus
the Long Island office market has also has reversed it’s recent course of spiking rental
rates as the vacancy rate has reached 10.2% and the average rent has dropped to $27.57.
The bad news is that economists have no clear answers other than the worst is far from
over. The good news is that the declining office market is a problem for landlords and an
opportunity for tenants. Rising vacancy rates will drive landlords to become more
aggressive to retain old tenants and attract new ones. Rents will continue to recede and
concessions will increase. Companies can take advantage of this situation by utilizing the
services of a tenant representative who will be positioned to drive deals and recognize
that “it’s the economy, stupid”.
– Ross Selinger