Boston, MA

Boston is U.S. Leader in Pandemic Era Office Market Performance: CBRE “Pulse” Indices

Finalized Leases in Boston More Than Double the Pre-Pandemic Amount

22 Dec 2021

Image of the Boston skyline at dusk

Boston led the national office demand recovery in November, demonstrating consistent strength as it remained the pace-setter among U.S. office markets according to CBRE’s monthly “Pulse of U.S. Office Demand” report. Boston has outperformed the top 12 U.S. office markets throughout the pandemic and continues to improve with steady increases in leasing demand and activity and decline in the amount of available sublease space.

To gauge the pace of recovery, CBRE’s monthly report tracks the three leading indicators of office market activity: tenants-in-the-market (TIM), which quantifies the amount of office space that companies are actively seeking; leasing activity in the form of finalized lease agreements; and the availability of sublease space.

“Boston had another stellar month with improvements in all three demand indicators, staying atop the major office markets across the country for office recovery,” said Nicole LaRusso, CBRE Senior Director of Research & Analysis. “The positive momentum in the Boston market appears to be fueling itself toward greater improvements.”

For each index, a reading of 100 equates to the pre-pandemic levels of 2018 and 2019.

Boston had the highest Tenants-in-the-Market (TIM) Index level among the major metros at 123. That’s 23% above the pre-pandemic baseline. Although the index dropped by 11 points from the previous month, Boston is 38 points above the U.S. average of 85.

Boston again topped the Leasing Activity Index at 209, improving by 38 points to more than double the amount of leasing it witnessed prior to the pandemic. On the strength of a thriving life sciences industry, Boston ranked first among U.S. markets, 109 points ahead of the U.S. average of 100.

The Sublease Availability Index for Boston dropped three points to 148, 48% above the pre-pandemic baseline. Boston is 49 points below the U.S. average of 197 for available sublease space, its index having fallen substantially from a peak of 184 in January 2021. The positive downward trend in sublease availability is attributable to an increasing volume of subleasing along with withdrawals of sublease space from the market by tenants planning to re-occupy their space.

To read the full report, click here.

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2021 revenue). The company has more than 105,000 employees (excluding Turner & Townsend employees) serving clients in more than 100 countries. CBRE serves a diverse range of clients with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.