DC Office Prices About to Pass NY Falling banks, rising government shifts real estate market By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Jan 8, 2010 8:09 AM CST 0 comments Comments This Tuesday, July 3, 2007 picture shows the skyline of Washington, D.C., including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the US Capitol. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) (Newser) – Washington, DC, is on the verge of passing New York as the priciest place to rent an office in the country. Rents were down pretty much across the board in the latest figures from Reis, a New York-based research firm, but DC saw only a mild 3% decline, to an average $41.77 per square foot, compared to a whopping 20% dive in the Big Apple, to $44.69 per square foot. Reis expects DC to squeak past New York by the end of 2010. “The financial crisis hit New York hard, which is why it's down so much, whereas the government is one of the few sectors that has actually added jobs,” one economist tells the Wall Street Journal. Nationwide, the decline was about 9%, with an average per-square-foot price of $22.44, and the vacancy rate rose to 17%, the highest since 1994.