Boston Submarkets Are a Tenant ‘Merry-Go-Round’
May 13, 2015

Thanks to the strongest economic and job growth since the late 1990s, a Savills Studley executive says that some submarkets in Boston are like riding a popular merry-go-round, once one company leaves space, another firm hops on the rise...

Mark Stewart, senior vice president with Savills Studley’s Boston office, tells, “I think the market has been very strong. There are a lot of tenants that are mostly looking for more space—some would like to be more efficient if they could relocate, but I think the strength is really across the board which I think is very unusual.”

He said that he expects asking rents to increase in most markets in the Boston region. He says office properties in the Back Bay are seeing some stabilization since rates have increased there recently.

Stewart says that while he believes the Boston commercial market will remain strong, he does sense a slight slowdown in activity of late. He senses this slight downturn could be due to the limited inventory on the market, although there is considerable amount of space under construction at the Seaport and in Cambridge. Another possible reason is due to the extremely harsh winter Boston suffered through this year.

The Savills Studley report notes that submarkets such as Cambridge, Back Bay and the Innovation District present tenants with limited property options. “Tremendous growth by both startups and established life science and technology companies has pushed vacancy in Kendall Square to the 2.0% range and rents to the $80-per-square-foot range,” the report states. “Vacancy is every bit as low and rents are nearly as high as Silicon Valley’s Menlo Park and Cupertino (CA). Companies have a sense of urgency in their leasing—the minute someone hops off, there’s someone there to fill the seat.”

For that reason, Stewart believes that despite the strong development pipeline, available inventory will be getting tighter in Boston as the year progresses.

Boston Submarkets Are a Tenant ‘Merry-Go-Round’

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