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August 20, 2015 | Bloomberg | Sarah Mulholland

Manhattan property owners are cashing out ahead of schedule.

With New York real estate values and rents surging, owners of commercial properties acquired as recently as a year ago are already seeking buyers. In the case of one Midtown site, the developer scrapped construction plans to sell an empty plot of land.

There’s so much buyer demand that in some situations it’s more opportune for landlords to sell rather than follow through on plans for redevelopment or filling buildings with new tenants. A record $29.4 billion of Manhattan property deals were completed in the first half of 2015, according to brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., part of a five-year real estate rally that’s pushed prices to new highs in big U.S. cities...

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