Office rents in Manhattan's Midtown North neighborhood fell 33% in 2009, to $59.31 a square foot, as New York's financial industry struggled to recover, FirstService Williams said.

Asking rents in the nation's most expensive office district are down close to 50% when concession packages, including free rent and installation allowances, are figured in, the New York commercial real estate services firm said Tuesday.

Financial services, New York's biggest private user of offices, may restrict hiring as the industry contends with federal regulatory reform and potential capital-gains tax increases, Robert Freedman, executive chairman at FirstService Williams, said in a press release Tuesday.

"With the financial sector still a major driving force in the downtown market, recovery in lower Manhattan may be slower than expected," he said.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.