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Commercial Real Estate in Manhattan Is Now Overvalued, According to Commercial Property Executives

Office Occupancy Rates Likely Won't Return to 2007 Levels This Year, and The Next Office Construction Boom Won't Happen Any Time Soon, Say New York Commercial Real Estate Executives in Marks Paneth & Shron Survey

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/11/13 -- Most New York real estate executives believe commercial property in Manhattan is overvalued compared with real estate values in other major global cities, according to a new survey by accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP (MP&S).

Further, the real estate executives say the New York commercial real estate market remains years away from recovering from the recession's impact and getting back to 2007 levels of rents and occupancy rates.

Following are the findings from MP&S's Gotham Commercial Real Estate Monitor, a survey of over 100 top commercial property owners, brokers, agents, managers and other real estate professionals:

  • 51% of commercial property executives say commercial real estate values in Manhattan are overvalued (8% say highly overvalued and 43% say moderately overvalued). Fewer than a third -- 32% -- think commercial property in Manhattan is "fairly valued."
  • 31% of executives say there's a high or moderately high risk associated with investing in commercial real estate in Manhattan. (Twenty-five percent said moderately high, and 6% said high.)
  • Nearly two-thirds of executives forecast that commercial occupancy rates in Manhattan will remain below 2007 levels well into 2014, perhaps even past 2016. In terms of leasing prices, a quarter believe prices are currently at the 2007 level, but 29% say it will take up to two years to reach that level, and another 29% think leasing prices won't recover until 2016 or later.
  • When it comes to the next office construction boom, a quarter think it won't occur until between 2014 and 2015, and 42% say it won't happen before 2016.
  • Most executives (56%) believe the global economy will need to recover before commercial real estate sales in Manhattan escalate.

"Manhattan commercial real estate may still be something of a gold standard, but property executives clearly believe it has seen better days," said William H. Jennings, Partner-in-Charge of the Real Estate Group at Marks Paneth & Shron.

Mayor Bloomberg Gets Kudos from Commercial Real Estate Executives

More than 75% of New York commercial real estate executives give Mayor Bloomberg high marks -- at least for his support of the interests of commercial property owners in Manhattan. In fact, 33% say the Mayor has done an "excellent" job, and 43% say he's done a "good" job supporting commercial property interests.

Implications of Commercial Mortgages Coming Due in 2013

Commercial mortgages on many Manhattan properties are coming due in 2013. But most real estate executives do not expect a spate of foreclosures.

  • 65% of executives believe owners of underwater commercial properties in New York will not opt foreclosure.
  • 83% believe banks will refinance the properties at current low rates.
  • But most executives (60%) believe owner refinancing will result in cost-cutting reductions in the number of people employed at commercial properties in the city.


The Gotham Commercial Real Estate Monitor survey from Marks Paneth & Shron represents the findings of a survey of over 100 top commercial real estate professionals in the New York City market. They included owners and managers of commercial property and commercial real estate brokers, agents, attorneys and accountants specializing in the sector. The research employed a dual-mode methodology of self-administered questionnaires completed either online or on paper by respondents. Interviews were completed between November 16, 2012, and January 4, 2013.

To receive a copy of the Winter 2013 Marks Paneth & Shron Gotham Real Estate Monitor and/or to speak with one of MP&S's real estate leaders who fielded the survey, please contact Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller of Sommerfield Communications, Inc. at [email protected] or 212-255-8386.

About Marks Paneth & Shron LLP

Marks Paneth & Shron LLP is an accounting firm with over 500 people, of whom approximately 65 are partners and principals. The firm provides public and private businesses with a full range of auditing, accounting, tax, consulting, bankruptcy and restructuring services as well as litigation and corporate financial advisory services to domestic and international clients. The firm also specializes in providing tax advisory and consulting for high-net-worth individuals and their families, as well as a wide range of services for international, real estate, media, entertainment, nonprofit, professional and financial services, and energy clients. The firm has a strong track record supporting emerging growth companies, entrepreneurs, business owners and investors as they navigate the business life cycle.

The firm's subsidiary, Tailored Technologies, LLC, provides information technology consulting services. In addition, its membership in Morison International, a leading international association for independent business advisers, financial consulting and accounting firms, facilitates service delivery to clients throughout the United States and around the world. Marks Paneth & Shron LLP, whose origins date back to 1907, is the 32nd largest accounting firm in the nation and the 16th largest in the New York area. In addition, readers of the New York Law Journal rank MP&S as one of the area's top forensic accounting firms for the third year in a row.

Its headquarters are in Manhattan. Additional offices are in Westchester, Long Island and the Cayman Islands. For more information, please visit www.markspaneth.com.

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