The Realest Estate Update (
A message from Ben Blumenthal) -
As talk of a looming (or current) recession grows louder, many have aptly wondered about the impact that an economic decline would have on the office market.
Given our experience representing small-medium sized businesses, here are 4 points I believe are worth highlighting:
1. Volatility supports transactions.
When the market shoots up, tenants seek more affordable alternatives. When the market drops down, tenants seek a “better deal”. While businesses that opted for a fully-remote working environment have already made that transition, the businesses still maintaining a physical presence continue to occupy space and sign leases.
2. Pick the right battles.
Face rents are usually the last line item to drop when Landlords position themselves competitively. The best battle fronts for tenants?
Concessions, work allowances, free rent, and set-up costs - ie. anything that landlords can offer to protect their taking rent numbers.
3. Beware of the "Media's Market".
The market doom and gloom depicted by the media doesn’t always translate to the market that you see as a tenant. Instead, “the market” for you as a tenant consists of your next best available alternatives. Simply put: the market = your options.
4. WFH for Manhattan businesses.
The executives we speak with, most of whom are talking to us because they are occupying space in Midtown, not only stress the importance of in-person attendance at the office but also bemoan the challenge of bringing employees back to the office.
Against the backdrop of a recession (where layoffs and unemployment numbers are expected to rise), it's very likely that the labor market coming back into balance minimizes the employee leverage. In turn, we expect that in the coming months, the most competitive and compelling offers will be from the companies requiring a physical presence.
Wishing you all happy 4th and nice start to summer!
Until next month,
Noah & Co.
For the rest of our June 2022 Newsletter, click here.