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22Q4 Boston Office Market Report

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Key Takeaways

  • Metrowide office vacancies increased for the third consecutive quarter, to 17.2%.
  • Two million square feet of sublease space came to market in 2022.
  • Top-end buildings and new construction are benefitting from a continued flight to quality.
  • Availabilities in the city of Boston have reached an all-time high.

Whether due to reduced space needs stemming from weakened macroeconomic conditions (e.g. increased borrowing costs, lower company valuations) or from fewer workers in the office, in 2022 many firms offered sublease space or downsized footprints in new leases. These actions contributed to a Boston metro office vacancy rate above 17% — a cyclical high that is four percentage points worse than its pre-COVID benchmark. Across the metro more than 32 million square feet was available at the end of 2022.

There are also positives in the Boston metro market. Some companies are actively hiring and expanding footprints, particularly in ground-up construction and other high-quality assets. Job growth remained positive in 2022 in a variety of office-using sectors, and venture capital flows are healthy and plentiful. In fact, the $14.5 billion in (non-biotech) venture capital/pre-IPO funding for Massachusetts companies in 2022 was the second-highest on record.

 

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22Q4 Boston Office Market Report

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Related Experts

Jeffrey Myers

Research Director

Boston

As Research Director, Jeff Myers leads the research operation of the Boston office of Colliers. A 20-year industry veteran, Jeff brings an extensive commercial real estate background that includes expertise in city planning, market research, landlord representation and more.

Since joining Colliers in September 2021, he has focused on synthesizing real estate, demographic, and economic variables to support brokers and provide clients with strategic and actionable insights. In addition to tracking and analyzing pertinent trends, Jeff leads the production of quarterly reports highlighting activity in the market.

Prior to joining Colliers, Jeff held the position of Deputy Director of Portfolio & Asset Management at Massport, the port authority in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During his time with the organization, he and his team managed 9+ million square feet of commercial real estate across 500 acres. Jeff was heavily involved in lease negotiations, leasing strategies, tenant relations and market research to aid stakeholders by providing critical information needed for their decision-making processes.

Before joining Massport, Jeff spent more than 11 years as a consultant and real estate economist at CoStar Portfolio Strategy. While there he developed extensive knowledge of the commercial real estate business as well as strong skills in client engagement and industry analysis. During his tenure with CoStar, Jeff provided strategic advice to institutional real estate investors across multiple sectors and geographies. Jeff also has municipal city planning experience in Indiana and Georgia.

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Kelly Doonan

Research Analyst

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I joined Colliers' Boston office as a Research Analyst in 2021. In this position, I contribute to the creation of the firm's quarterly Market Viewpoints, as well as the distribution of Week in Review, Colliers' weekly newsletter. I also collaborate across various brokerage and advisory teams on client work and presentations, including labor analytics and market trend analyses.

I assist in managing and upkeeping Colliers' Boston proprietary research database, which contains data on over 360 million square feet of commercial space in approximately 4,000 buildings in the Greater Boston area and the insights it delivers. I work with the rest of the research team to provide reliable data that proves critical when making well-informed market decisions.

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