Boston Top Performing U.S. Office Market in Pandemic Era According to Report from CBRE

FIGURE: Indexed Average Performance of Sublease Availability, TIM, and Leasing for the Top 12 U.S. Markets (Source: CBRE Research, July 2021) (Photo/CBRE)

Boston Ranks First in the Recovery of Tenants Active in the Market, 40 Points Above the U.S. Average, Owing to Strong Life Science Demand

BOSTON- Boston was the U.S leader in pandemic-era office market performance, ranking first in the recovery of companies looking for office space and showing the city is well on its way to a return to pre-pandemic levels, according to a new report from CBRE.

CBRE’s new monthly “Pulse of U.S. Office Demand” report tracks three major indices to gauge the office market’s recovery from the COVID-19 downturn, both nationally and for each of the 12 largest U.S. markets. The report examines Tenants-in-the-Market (TIM) activity, which entails companies actively seeking office space; leasing activity in the form of finalized lease agreements; and sublease availability.

Overall, CBRE classifies Boston as the leading market in the country, showing significant progress in recovery as of July.

“Boston has shown great reliance in withstanding the market downturn due to the pandemic,” said Nicole LaRusso, Senior Director of Research and Analysis, CBRE. “In fact, Boston was the top-performing market as it maintained a strong roster of tenants looking for space due to its large and growing life sciences sector that continued to expand throughout 2020 and 2021.”

  • The July edition of the report, published today, found that Boston has fared well in all categories. For each index, a reading of 100 equates to the average pre-pandemic statistics in 2018 and 2019.
  • Boston’s TIM score of 125 is ranks first in the recovery of tenant requirements, 40 points above the U.S. average of 85. The index increased by 8 points from June 2021 and has consistently performed at or above pre-pandemic levels throughout 2020 and 2021.
  • The Boston leasing index has consistently outperformed the U.S. average as well as the other U.S. markets throughout the pandemic, averaging 104 throughout 2021. With an 87 in July, Boston ranked fourth, 15 points ahead of the U.S. average of 72. Despite a 13-point month-over-month decline, demand remains strong, and leasing is expected to be robust through 2021.
  • At 164, the volume of available sublease space in Boston is 64% greater than the pre-pandemic baseline. Boston ranks fifth in terms of available sublease space, 30 points below the U.S. average of 194. The July index decreased 4 points from June 2021 and has been on a steady decline from its peak of 184 in January 2021.

To read the full report, visit CBRE’s website.