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2020 Q3 Market Viewpoint Report Boston Colliers

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Conditions continue to soften in the Boston market. After a record-setting decline in Q2, absorption struggled again in Q3, when overall negative net absorption of 1.3 million SF sent the vacancy rate up to 12.6%, its highest rate since Q1 2013. Sublease space has flooded the market, adding a net 630,000 SF in the quarter. This marks the most sublease space ever added to the market in a two-quarter period of time, topping the figure in the early 2000s recession. Meanwhile, rents have begun to weaken, though only slightly, with Class B declining less than 1% in Q3.

Vacancies barely budged in the third quarter, up to 4.5%, and rents softened slightly. However, given the low vacancy rates, any change in direct vacancy can have an outsized impact on rent levels. As Boston and the suburbs held flat, that is the likely outcome in Cambridge as well. New development, which is highly preleased, has yet to come on the market, and new projects have recently been announced. Tenants continue to look to Cambridge for expansion, as seen by Bristol-Myers Squibb’s recent deal at Cambridge Crossing.

Suburban absorption took a sharp turn down in the third quarter, by negative 1.5 million SF, the first quarter with such losses since the first quarter of 2009. These losses were widespread in markets, except 128 South, supported by the completion of two build-to-suit projects for Meketa and Citizens Bank, and Tufts’ purchase of the former Reebok campus, dubbed The Block. Both direct and sublease space increased, after holding steady at midyear. Vacancies are back to 17.2%, reminiscent of early 2018 levels.


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2020 Q3 Market Viewpoint Report Boston Colliers

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Aaron Jodka

National Director of Capital Markets Research


As Director of Research | U.S. Capital Markets, Aaron is responsible for all aspects of research within the Capital Markets platform. He synthesizes and interprets a variety of data and information to stay ahead of trends that put our clients in an optimal position to make informed decisions. Aaron promotes the Colliers brand via best-in-class research reports, weekly insight posts, thought leadership, and contributions to numerous panels, media outlets, and industry events.

Aaron collaborates with every team at the firm and wears many hats: in-house economist, advisor, consultant, thought leader, strategic business analyst, presenter, and, of course, researcher. He connects with various industry experts within the Colliers organization to provide a customized solution for each client.

With a deep understanding of markets throughout the country, he provides a unique perspective on market dynamics across asset types and investment strategies, providing clients with tailored data and analytics to ultimately guide decision-making solutions.

Before joining Colliers, he spent 11 years with Property & Portfolio Research (PPR), now CoStar Portfolio Strategy. There, he advised institutional clients on their commercial real estate investment strategies across property sectors and also spoke at industry events, quarterly CoStar webinars, and in front of client audiences. Aaron also led and directed a team of economists who monitored property markets across the United States. Near the end of his tenure, he helped establish a new business unit at CoStar, leading in the hiring, training, and coaching of a team of 50 market analysts. 

Outside of the office, Aaron can be found cheering on his children at their extracurricular activities. He also enjoys hiking, travel, relaxing at home or at the lake, or plugging away at one home project or another. Last but not least, he's an avid fan of Boston sports teams.

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