The year 2021 that started out on a gradual note, soon picked up pace with increased leasing quantum marking the third and fourth quarter. Given that the office space absorption in 2021 has surpassed the quantum witnessed in 2020 by a wide margin, bodes wells for the Manhattan office market, signifying a strong recovery on the cards. The increase in office space absorption in spite of rising COVID-19 cases can be attributed to occupier demand for quality space and signifies confidence in the maintaining substantial office workplace in order to attract and retain skilled manpower.
Despite the significant setbacks owing to the advent of the pandemic in 2020, New York City office market has been one of the resilient markets and we expect it to observe fair recovery, albeit on an uneven scale across the various sub-markets, determined by the products on offer in these markets. A major factor playing in favor of the office market reviving in Manhattan is its status of being a global technology and financial center. It enjoys benefits of a strong business eco-system and synergy between diverse work environments, thereby continuing to attract occupiers into its fold.
Factors such as sustainability, health and wellbeing of employees, optimal workforce distribution, increased usage of tech-enabled solutions as well as evaluation of flexible space would play key roles in defining the office market of the City in the upcoming period. However, it remains to be seen how the impact of the new variant Omicron pans out in the first quarter of 2022.