Boston, MA

CBRE’s “Pulse” Indices Shows Boston Ranks First in U.S. Office Market Recovery

30 Nov 2021

Image of the Boston skyline at dusk

Boston set the pace for the U.S. office market recovery in October thanks to a high number of tenants in the market and strong leasing activity, according to CBRE’s monthly “Pulse of U.S. Office Demand” report. Boston has consistently outperformed the top 12 U.S. office markets during the pandemic, and continues to improve, with a steady 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 continues to lead all major office markets in the country in terms of office recovery with robust leasing and increased demand,” said Nicole LaRusso, CBRE Senior Director of Research & Analysis. “The life science industry was once again a strong driver in Boston’s recovery, though we are also seeing demand pick up in other sectors, including technology and financial services, which is adding to the positive momentum.”

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 134. That’s 34% above the pre-pandemic baseline. In October, the index climbed by nine points from the previous month, demonstrating Boston’s consistent strength.

Led by the life science industry, Boston’s Leasing Activity Index was 158 in October, 58 points higher than the pre-pandemic level. However, it was 52 points lower than the figure posted in September, when the market recorded two significant office leases totaling 500,000 sq. ft. each. The Boston leasing index has consistently outperformed the 12-metro average throughout the pandemic and was 63 points ahead of the U.S. average of 95 in October.

The Sublease Availability Index for Boston climbed three points to 151, 51% above the pre-pandemic baseline. Boston ranks third overall in terms of available sublease space, 45 points below the U.S. average of 196. Despite the recent uptick in October, the trend has been largely positive, with the index falling substantially from its peak of 184 recorded January 2021.

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