The REBNY Manhattan Retail Advisory Group expressed cautious optimism regarding the direction of the New York City economy and real estate market in the first half of 2021. Conditions remain far from normal, but they are improving.
The biggest turnaround from six months ago is that vaccination rates in New York City are approaching the critical 70% threshold. In turn, restrictions are shifting from mandated to optional. Tourist sightings are rising. In turn, hotel occupancy rates are increasing. According to the Hotel Association of New York City, Manhattan hotel occupancy rose to 45.9% in April, an increase from 28.4% in April of 2020.* Additionally, the slow return of more workers to offices is boosting average daily subway ridership above 2.3 million.** The trickle of tourists and office workers is injecting much needed life into day time commuter/transit oriented retail corridors. Small businesses that were hit particularly hard by the pandemic can take heart in these positive trends.