Manhattan, NY Economic Overview
Manhattan, one of the five boroughs of New York City, is usually the first place people think of when they picture New York. Central Park, the Empire State Building, Lower Manhattan, the Garment District, Wall Street, Fifth Avenue, the United Nations Headquarters, Times Square and Broadway are all part of Manhattan and its skyline. Although it is the smallest borough measured by land area, it is one of the largest by population. With 1.6 million people, Manhattan more than doubles in population size during the work week, when an additional 2.3 million commuters come into Manhattan to work. Described as the financial, media, entertainment and cultural center of the world, commercial real estate in Manhattan attracts investment from all over the world.
Manhattan real estate is the largest economic driver in the borough, with both foreign and domestic capital creating a demand that exceeds the supply and causing the combined total value of real property in Manhattan to push well past the $3 trillion mark. Manhattan accounts for over 66% of the total jobs in New York City, most of them being white collar professions in the financial sector, corporate and technology sectors. Tourism also plays a major role in the Manhattan’s economy, drawing over 61 million visitors each year to the 'Big Apple'.
Manhattan, NY Commercial Real Estate Market
With over 550 million square feet of commercial office space in Manhattan it is the largest office market in the U.S. Midtown Manhattan is home to the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, while Lower Manhattan is the heart of the U.S. financial and banking markets with Wall Street and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York being headquartered there. 2017 kicked off with asking rents at their highest ever, vacancy rates moving lower and absorption relatively flat for all submarkets of Manhattan.
Millions of monthly tourists, combined with a relatively wealthy resident base, has caused Manhattan to become one of the largest retail markets in not only the U.S., but the world. Almost all buildings have some type of street-level retail, lending to one of the most diverse tenant mixes anywhere.
The Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue corridors, where asking rents are nearly $3,500 per square foot, are home to the most sought-after retail space in Manhattan. Brand name tenants include Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton and Hermes.
While elsewhere in the nation retail has slowed down and is slowly recovering, according to the Real Estate Board of New York, Manhattan is different:
"This activity throughout Manhattan—among amenable landlords, the borough’s strong retail market fundamentals, more diversity among food tenants, trends among e-commerce retailers opening brick and mortar stores, and continued international retailer interest—have shown that the Manhattan retail environment is too dynamic and should not be included with the pessimistic conjectures about e-commerce’s effect on the future of brick and mortar retailing and struggling suburban shopping centers."
Manhattan, NY Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 525,463,594 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 27,590,799 SF / 5.25% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 157,532,207 SF / 29.98% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 119,707,069 SF / 22.78% of total office
- > 1M SF: 220,633,519 SF / 41.99% of total office
- Class A+: 142,023,349 SF / 27.03% of total office
- Class A: 208,013,771 SF / 39.59% of total office
- Class B: 147,318,857 SF / 28.04% of total office
- Class C: 7,557,874 SF / 1.44% of total office
Employment in Manhattan, NY
Manhattan has the highest per capita income of any market in the U.S., with the average weekly wage coming close to $3,000. Called the 'employment engine' of New York, nearly 2.3 million people commute to the borough each work day, most of them for white collar jobs in the financial services industry.
Wall Street, the financial services sector, and securities and investment banking industries, account for over 5% of the City's private sector jobs and generate 22% of the city's total wages. The New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the New York Board of Trade and the New York Mercantile Exchange are all located in Manhattan.
Drawn by its abundance of more than 500 million square feet of office space, more corporate headquarters are located in Manhattan than anywhere else in the country. Manhattan is the largest office market in the United States and has the largest central business district in the world. Manhattan's Silicon Alley is another major center of employment, with over 300,000 workers in the high-tech sector. Industries in Silicon Alley include Internet companies, digital media, telecommunications, software development, biotech, financial and info technology and game design. Over the past couple of years more than $7.3 billion in venture capital has been invested in this area of Manhattan, alone.
With an employment base of over 900,000, a median household income of over $75,000 per year, and highly educated, diverse and motivated workforce, combined with the trophy real estate of Manhattan, it's no wonder that job growth and wages in the borough remain extremely strong.
Education in Manhattan, NY
Within its vast array of public education and private preparatory schools, Manhattan is home to some of the most prestigious schools in New York City. Among the best known public high schools in Manhattan are Beacon High School, Stuyvesant High School, NYC Lab School and Hunter College High School. Preparatory schools in Manhattan include Dalton School, Browning School, Convent of the Sacred Heart and Loyola School.
Manhattan has one of the country's densest populations of highly education residents, with 60% holding a four-year degree and 25% holding advanced degrees. With more than 225,000 students, and even more adult professional continuing education students, the City University of New York (CUNY) is the largest urban municipal college system in the U.S. Well known universities and colleges in Manhattan include Columbia University, Marymount Manhattan College, New York University, The Julliard School and St. John's University.
Commuting Time in Manhattan, NY
Because of the high population density in Manhattan, more residents use public transportation than in almost any other major metropolitan city in the world. Upwards of 72% of Manhattanites use public transportation to commute to and from work, and almost 80% do not even own a car.
For residents of the borough, using public mass transit in Manhattan is the main form of their commute:
- The New York City Subway system is the largest in the world and is the main means of traveling within the City.;
- Commuter rail service operates to and from Manhattan via the Long Island Rail Road, the Metro-North Railroad, and the NJ Transit system.;
- An extensive, integrated network of buses operate within Manhattan. Operated by the MTA, the New York City Transit system serves nearly 800 million passengers a year, more than double the ridership of Los Angeles.;
- Public heliports in Manhattan are the East 34th Street Heliport, the Port Authority Downtown Manhattan/Wall Street Heliport and the West 30th Street Heliport.;
- John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark International Airport and LaGuardia Airport are the three major airports in the New York metropolitan area and serve both the City of New York and New Jersey.
- Total Population1,619,886
- Male Population(47.3 %) 766,241
- Female Population(52.7 %) 853,645
- Median Age36.40
- Average Household Income$124,909
- Median Household Income$106,056
- Median Income Under 25$48,990
- Median Income 25-44$132,284
- Median Income 45-64$102,656
- Median Income Over 65$44,277
- Central Midtown Demographics
- Central Park South Demographics
- Chelsea Demographics
- Chinatown Demographics
- Clinton - Hell's Kitchen Demographics
- East Harlem Demographics
- East Village Demographics
- Financial District Demographics
- Flatiron District Demographics
- Garment District Demographics
- Gramercy Park Demographics
- Greenwich Village Demographics
- Harlem Demographics
- Hudson Square Demographics
- Kips Bay Demographics
- Koreatown Demographics
- Lenox Hill Demographics
- Lincoln Square Demographics
- Meatpacking District Demographics
- Murray Hill Demographics
- NoHo Demographics
- NoMad Demographics
- SoHo Demographics
- Theatre District - Times Square Demographics
- TriBeCa Demographics
- Turtle Bay Demographics
- Washington Heights Demographics
- West Village Demographics
Residential Rents in Manhattan, NY
Just as with its commercial real estate, Manhattan has some of the most glamorous, trendy residential real estate to be found anywhere in the world, and with a price tag to match. From townhomes, to condos, to apartments and cooperatives, there's something for everybody. While residential rentals in Manhattan can vary widely based on location and amenities, plan on spending at least $2,000 per month for a tiny studio apartment in a walk-up building to over $12,000 per month for a three-bedroom unit in a posh high rise building.
Manhattan, NY Average Rental Price, July 2019
- $ 4,091/mo
- Studio: $ 2,947
- 1 Bedroom: $ 3,774
- 2 Bedrooms: $ 5,524
Manhattan, NY Rent Trends
Office Building Prices in the Top CBDs
July 10, 2019
There are many variables to consider when looking for commercial assets. You may be looking to lease space for your company or to purchase a building outright as an investment. Every market across the country has its own pros and cons, but historically the central business district is where the ...
Facebook in Advanced Talks for 1M SF at Hudson Yards
July 01, 2019
Facebook is reportedly in advanced talks to take over 1 million square feet of Manhattan office space at 50 Hudson Yards. If completed, it will be one of the company’s largest locations in the world, second only to its headquarters in Menlo Park. It will also establish West Side as one of NYC’s ...
Google Fetches Meatpacking District Office for $600M
May 27, 2019
Google expanded its office footprint in New York City with the acquisition of the 325,000-square foot Milk Building from Jamestown. Built in 1936 and located at 450 West 15th Street, the Meatpacking District office space sold for $600 million, or $1,846 per square foot. The transaction was media...
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