NEW YORK CITY – Transwestern, along with its research affiliate, Delta Associates, and their sponsors, Baker Tilly, Schindler Elevator, TPG Architecture, Fast Office and Yardi, today announced that they held their inaugural New York City TrendLines® event on December 10, 2013, at the Roosevelt Hotel.
As part of the event, Alexander (Sandy) Paul, executive vice president of Delta Associates, gave a market overview highlighting key trends and market conditions in the New York City commercial real estate market.
Following the market overview presentation, Transwestern honored two individuals that have made unique and innovative contributions to the commercial real estate industry as a whole and to the New York region in particular. Clarion Partners’ Chairman and CEO, Stephen J. Furnary and TIAA-CREF’s Managing Director of Global Real Estate, Philip J. McAndrews were named “TrendSetters of the Year” for 2013.
"We are extremely honored to host the inaugural New York City TrendLines® event," said Patrick Robinson, Transwestern's Northeast President. "TrendLines® is an excellent opportunity to showcase Transwestern and Delta Associate's research and highly relevant market forecast. It also brings clients and colleagues together for invaluable networking."
Delta’s market overview presentation addressed the national economy; six key trends and market conditions in New York City; capital markets; the New York Metro office market; the Northern New Jersey industrial market; and opportunities and strategies for investors to consider in 2013. The following is a summary of these topics and the biographies of the two TrendSetters.
The national economic recovery continues on a slow but steady pace. GDP has increased 10.2 percent since the recession ended in 2009. This compares with 14 percent to 22 percent at the similar point of the recovery for the three prior recessions.
New York MegaTrends
1. The New York metro economy has outperformed expectations.
In late 2001, concern was prevalent that New York’s economy would struggle to recover from the 9/11 attacks. However, employment growth accelerated during the 2004 to 2007 period and growth in 2013 has exceeded the previous cyclical peak. The commercial real estate market in particular has benefited from this economic rebound, with New York’s share of investment sales volume in the major U.S. markets rising from 32.6 percent in 2001 to 35.3 percent in 2013.
2. Lifestyle changes have transformed downtown Manhattan.
Downtown Manhattan’s population has increased from 24,000 residents in 2000 to 60,000 residents 2013, a 150 percent increase. This compares to a four percent increase for all of New York City during that same period. The redevelopment of the World Trade Center, and especially the co-located transportation hub, are spurring a revitalization of downtown retail that is attracting new residents and office tenants that previously would not have considered this submarket.
3. Densification has transformed the workplace.
Densification – or the reduction in square feet leased per office worker – is a national trend that is affecting New York. Tenants are seeking to reduce occupancy costs, in part by downsizing private offices and expanding teaming areas and collaborative spaces. Tenants want more flexible, modern and efficient accommodations. Delta estimates that from 1997 to 2012, the amount of usable square feet leased per office worker in the New York metro declined from 178 to 164, and it is projected to decline to 153 by 2017. That represents a 14 percent decline over 20 years, which is limiting absorption of office space.
4. The live/work/play environment of Midtown South has spurred tenant interest in this submarket.
Google’s expansion in Midtown South has served as a catalyst for that office submarket. Tenant interest in the live/work/play environment has caused office rents to spike 15.1 percent in 2012 and 8.5 percent during the first nine months of 2013. Midtown South’s office vacancy rate, at 6 percent, is the lowest of Manhattan’s three major submarkets.
5. Office tenants are disrupting geographic norms.
While tenant types used to be pigeonholed into certain submarkets, office tenants are now willing to go to any part of Manhattan to find accommodations that are cost-efficient and appealing to the demographics of their staff. Proximity to transportation is driving many leasing decisions.
6. Despite the cost-conscious nature of today’s tenants, there is a flight to quality at the top end of the market.
The vacancy rate for Manhattan’s super-premium office space is just 4.4 percent, 390 basis points below the vacancy rate for all other space. High floors in super-premium buildings in Midtown’s Plaza District are achieving $140 to $200 per square foot in rent.
New York’s investment sales volume has spiked 35 percent in the past two years as investors continue to see opportunity in the New York MegaTrends. Foreign capital in particular has been seeking opportunities in Manhattan, driving office prices up 33 percent in the past two years. However, New York’s high prices are causing some investors to consider non-core markets for higher yields.
New York Metro Office Market
Office absorption has been flat in Manhattan this year, impacted by densification and the mix of jobs being created, which is less office-intensive than in recent cycles. However, the arrival of new space downtown and at Hudson Yards over the next five years, along with employment growth, is likely to push rents higher during this period.
Northern New Jersey Industrial Market
Northern New Jersey’s industrial market has fared well in 2013, with 5.5 million square feet of absorption through the first nine months of the year. This compares with 533,000 square feet absorbed in all of 2012. Industrial rents are likely to accelerate during the 2014 to 2018 period, likely ranging from 2.5 percent to 4 percent growth per annum, as projected demand exceeds new supply.
Opportunities and Strategies
During the period ahead, investors in New York commercial real estate should consider doing the following:
1. Build or redevelop flexible office space with the modern tenant in mind.
2. Focus on value-add projects or invest in premium assets for the long-term.
3. Capitalize on demographic trends and new infrastructure that favor the continuing renewal of downtown and Hudson Yards.
4. Take advantage, through investment in industrial assets, of the local ports’ ability to handle larger ships that can traverse the expanded Panama Canal.
Furnary is the Chairman and CEO of Clarion Partners, as well as Chairman of its Executive Board. Clarion Partners, a leading real estate investment manager in the Americas, was founded in 1982 and today has $30 billion in total assets under management across the United States, as well as Mexico and Brazil. Furnary led the 2011 management buyout of Clarion Partners from ING Group after a 12-year affiliation. He joined Clarion Partners in 1984 and was a founding partner of the firm.
From 1980 to 1983, Furnary was a partner and executive vice president at Lazard Realty Inc. Prior, he was a vice president and regional head of acquisitions in Citibank’s Real Estate Investment and Management Department from 1974 to 1980.
Furnary received a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University in 1972 and an MBA from Boston College in 1974. He is a governor and former trustee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a former chairman of the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), as well as former chairman of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM). Furnary is an appointed vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a voluntary national health agency, and serves as an advisory board member to the Villanova School of Business.
McAndrews is currently responsible for TIAA-CREF’s North American real estate operations. With combined debt and equity investments of approximately $45 billion, TIAA-CREF’s North American real estate platform is one of the largest in the United States and the largest component of TIAA’s global real estate business. He manages a staff of 140 investment professionals engaged in all aspects of real estate investment and third-party asset management. Prior to this position he was head of Global Real Estate Transactions and Joint Ventures, where he supervised six teams responsible for mortgage origination, acquisitions, sales and separate account joint venture relationships.
During McAndrews’ 20-year career at TIAA-CREF he has served in several other senior real estate investment positions including the head of Global Real Estate Portfolio Management, managing a staff responsible for $25 billion in proprietary and third-party funds, as well as the portfolio manager of the TIAA Real Estate Account, a $16 billion publicly registered, non-traded real estate fund.
McAndrews received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the State University of New York and a law degree from the University of Toledo. He is currently a member of PREA, NCREIF and NAIOP and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Multi Housing Counsel.
ABOUT DELTA ASSOCIATES
Delta Associates, the research affiliate of Transwestern, is a firm of experienced professionals which has been providing consulting and subscription data services to the commercial real estate industry for more than 30 years.
Transwestern is a privately held real estate firm specializing in agency leasing, property and facilities management, tenant advisory, capital markets, development, research and sustainability. The fully integrated global enterprise leverages competencies in office, industrial, retail, multifamily and healthcare properties to add value for investors, owners and occupiers of real estate. Transwestern facilitates better decision-making for clients by combining penetrating local market intelligence and macro-market research through its affiliate, Delta Associates. Transwestern has 34 U.S. offices and assists clients through more than 180 offices in 40 countries as part of a strategic alliance with Paris-based BNP Paribas Real Estate. For more information, please visit www.transwestern.net and follow us on Twitter: @Transwestern. Follow Transwestern’s New York office on Twitter: @TranswesternNYC.
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