National real estate firms Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE Group both recently released their market data for Westchester County for the second quarter of this year. Much of the information released centers around White Plains’ Central Business District (CBD). While leasing activity is down 54% overall county-wide, this is in great part due to the lowest vacancy rate in the White Plains CBD in eight years, which is hovering at 18.2%. The Westchester total overall vacancy rate is 25.7%, and is predicted to go down in the next 12 months, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
White Plains CBD’s average asking rent is $33.18, 19.1% higher than the county’s average. This area is predicted to have the majority share of occupancy growth for the rest of the year, while overall leasing activity is projected by Cushman & Wakefield to increase by the end of the year, despite the low rate in the first half of the year. Jim Fagan, Managing Principal, Connecticut and Westchester Market Leader of Cushman & Wakefield says, “We expect leasing activity to increase by year end, particularly in downtown White Plains, where the live-work-play trend continues to transform the market and drive potential occupancy growth.”
William V. Cuddy Jr., an executive vice president at CBRE explained the findings of the second quarter as a “continued geographic mismatch of supply and demand.” Demand for property exists in markets that are already particularly saturated where supply is limited, but demand is low in the markets where more supply is available, like Somers.
Cushman & Wakefield’s largest lease of the quarter was in the East I-287 market where The Standard Life Insurance of New York leased a 21,793 square-foot space in White Plains. Their largest office property sale was in the Northern Westchester submarket, where a $12 million transaction took place in Valhalla.