Greater Boston Laboratory Market Remains Tight Despite Slight Increase in Availability

Chase Bourdelaise

BOSTON – Greater Boston’s laboratory market remains very tight, despite a recent increase in the availability rate, according to “bioSTATus – Mid-Year 2017,” a research report from Transwestern Consulting Group (TCG).

The report highlights biotechnology-related real estate trends in the region. Only 7.4 percent of the 21-million-square-foot inventory is available, which is higher than the 5.9 percent rate at the end of 2016 but still much lower than the five-year running average of 9.3 percent.

“Even with a relatively slow reporting period, Greater Boston’s laboratory market is still very strong,” said Chase Bourdelaise, Managing Director of Research and Analytics. “The balance between a strong market with low availability and a market with enough space for new companies to enter and existing companies to expand is difficult to maintain. Right now, we’re at a good point between the two conditions.”

Chase Bourdelaise

Highlights from the report include:

  • There is 1.5 million square feet available in Greater Boston’s 21-million-square-foot laboratory market.
  • Cambridge’s 11-million-square-foot lab market is at 7.1 percent availability.
  • Average asking lease rates in East and Mid Cambridge are in the $70 range.
  • Cambridge is fast approaching the point at which it will have more laboratory than office space. It is projected that in 2018, there will be 12.1 million square feet of laboratory space compared to 11 million square feet of office space.
  • Boston’s 4.1-million-square-foot laboratory market is extremely tight, with 84,000 square feet of space available and vacant.
  • Boston’s laboratory vacancy and availability rates continue to drop, with both at 2 percent at the end of the second quarter.
  • The suburban laboratory market totals 5.7 million square feet and continues to grow, particularly as Cambridge becomes tighter and more expensive.
  • During the past two years, the suburban market’s availability rate has dropped from 15.2 to 11.8 percent and the vacancy rate from 9.6 to 7.2 percent.
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