Office Sales Plummet in 2008

A new report shows that office sales activity in Manhattan dropped off a cliff in 2008, and most of the sales that did take place, were forced sales. That is, owners sold their office buildings because they couldn't pay back their lenders. WNYC's Lisa Chow reports.

REPORTER: Not only were most of last year's office sales forced, most of those sales were made by one man: Harry Macklowe, the big commercial real estate developer. Under pressure from lenders, Macklowe sold 10 office buildings in 2008, including the GM building on Fifth Avenue and 1301 Avenue of the Americas. His forced sales made up nearly 60 percent of all sales last year, in total dollars, according to a report put out by brokerage firm CB Richard Ellis. While a lot of office buildings changed hands in 2007, volume dropped 70 percent in 2008. And foreign buyers were big players in the market. For WNYC, I'm Lisa Chow.