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21Q2 Boston Industrial Market Report

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Key Takeaways

  • Industrial continues to attract attention from investors as a proven stable asset class.
  • Both build-to-suit and speculative construction are underway across the state, expanding market boundaries.
  • Industrial fundamentals have held strong, with consistently low vacancies and mid-$10/square-foot aggregate rental rates.
  • Life science users and developers are active, making cGMP a best-use option alongside high-bay logistics plays.

Market Summary

Industrial has become a juggernaut in Greater Boston real estate, posting consistently strong performances quarter after quarter and carrying that momentum through the first half of 2021. Abundant leasing throughout the region led to another quarter of positive absorption, of 1.2 million square feet in Q2. Vacancy rates have yet to find their floor, hitting a new low of 7.4% in Q2 for the market aggregate. Average rental rates moved into the mid-$10-per-square-foot range in the second quarter, an increase over Q1. Most leasing is in new construction or newly renovated product. High-bay and cGMP spaces continue to dominate the market, with the highest asking rents, fast lease-up, and stiff competition for space.

The ever-dropping vacancy rate speaks to the high demand in the Boston industrial market. Existing space is scarce, and new construction has attracted strong demand, even as developers push market boundaries by seeking new land sites in the western reaches of Worcester County. The usual suspects of logistics and e-commerce remain demand drivers, joined by the manufacturing component of the life science industry within the 495 belt. Both land sites and conversion plays are intensely sought-after, as industrial has become a best-use option in recent quarters.


21Q2 Boston Industrial Market Report

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Aaron Jodka

National Director of Capital Markets Research


As Research Director | 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. Additionally, he ensures that Colliers professionals are providing superior service and deliverables to existing and potential clients. At the same time, he 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.

As the Managing Director, Research & Client Services, Aaron oversees all aspects of Client Service offerings in Boston, including Research, Marketing, Graphics, Financial Analysis, Lease Administration, and Client Service Coordination. He ensures that our brokers are providing superior service and deliverables to existing and potential clients. At the same time, he assists brokers with pitch preparation and delivery, while continuing to push the Colliers brand via best-in-class research reports, thought leadership, and offers market insight as a monthly guest on Bloomberg Radio’s Baystate Business, and is a frequent resource for Bisnow, Banker & Tradesman, The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, The Real Reporter, and other publications.

Aaron's team manages the information and intelligence in our proprietary database, which, dating from the late 1980s, includes detailed property statistics on nearly 220 million SF of office space as well as on lab properties in the Greater Boston area. We also track more than 150 million SF of industrial properties in our market.

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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