Greater Boston Office Market Finishes 2016 With More Than 1 Million SF of Positive Absorption


BOSTON – Greater Boston’s office market closed 2016 on a positive note, with 789,000 square feet of positive absorption pushing vacancy down to 12.7 percent from 13.1 percent the previous quarter. The results were released in “officeSTATus – Q4 2016,” a research report from Transwestern.

Chase Bourdelaise

“The Greater Boston market is on a prolonged period of positive results, with 14 of the past 15 quarters delivering positive absorption,” said Chase Bourdelaise, Northeast director of research. “Additionally, the market is very well positioned heading into 2017, with a number of high-profile moves on the horizon and more than 2 million square feet expected to deliver during the year. Additionally, we expect Boston’s commercial office market to remain a top destination for investment dollars.”

  • Vacancy in Boston’s Central Business District dropped 0.1 percentage points to 9.6 percent with 59,000 square feet of positive absorption, while average asking lease rates rose to $55.09 per square foot.
  • Availability for Class B space in Boston reached its lowest rate since 2008 at 13.1 percent, with asking lease rates increasing 10.5 percent during the past year to $41.31 per square foot.
  • In Cambridge, negative absorption of 104,000 square feet bumped vacancy up 0.9 percentage points to 3.8 percent, while average asking lease rates reached $65.62 per square foot, up $1.11 per square foot over last quarter and 10.1 percent from two years ago.
  • The Route 128 submarkets had 433,000 square feet of absorption, dropping the vacancy rate 0.5 percentage points to 12.9 percent.
  • Route 128 North led the charge with 331,000 square feet of positive absorption, snapping a three-quarter negative streak.
  • The Interstate 495 submarkets rebounded after a negative third quarter with 115,000 square feet of positive absorption, pushing vacancy down 0.7 percentage points to 21.7 percent.