The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has brought new life to the conversation about reopening offices.  While months away from a real return to the next new normal, there are now glimmers of hope that the tables will begin to turn in 2021. 

The Boston office market recorded the fourth consecutive quarter of negative growth with 1.5 million sq. ft. of negative absorption in the fourth quarter.  The city recorded negative 3.8 million sq. ft. of negative absorption for the year, the most negative absorption recorded in a year historically. Availability increased 150 basis points (bps) to 18.6% while vacancy increased by 200 bps to 12.0%, as companies continued to shed space throughout the city.

The Boston life science industry was an undeniable bright spot of innovation and hope throughout 2020.  Overall absorption for the year was positive 615,000 sq. ft. with the Seaport paving the way in activity. Asking rents increased significantly quarter-over-quarter to $89.51 NNN, with rents projected to continue a strong upward trajectory.