Greater Boston Real Estate: From Best in 2019 to Worst in 2020 and an Expected Recovery in 2021 Because of Life Sciences Boom

BOSTON– Greater Boston commercial real estate market went from best in 2019 to worst in 2020, but is expected to see a recovery in 2021 because of growing demand for life sciences facilities, according to a report from Boston Massachusetts commercial real estate firm Hunneman. “A year marked by uncertainty, negative absorption and limited leasing activity has come to an end for the Greater Boston office market, but not without optimism heading into the new year,” Hunneman report said.

“With the promise of a new vaccine hitting the market throughout 2021, companies and landlords alike are expecting employees to return back to the office in varying capacities.” Tucker White Tucker White, director of research at Hunneman, said that market will show recovery in second half of this year. “2019 was one of the best years the market has had on record while 2020 market one of the worse,” said Mr. White. “Although it will be a long road to recovery, I think we will see the market take its first steps in that direct later this year once there is a mass distribution of the vaccine.”

The Hunneman report said that for some companies, the pandemic has proven that operating remotely is seemingly just as effective as working from the office. While for others, it has had a clear negative effect.

“Either way, most companies have agreed on one thing – there is an intangible and unmeasurable value to working in the office that is incapable of being fully realized in the short-term,” the report said. “This means the market will not transition back to pre-pandemic levels over night and not all companies will come to make decisions regarding office operations in 2021. In other words, despite the news of a vaccine on the horizon, market conditions could get worse before they get better.”

Here are some other highlights from Hunneman report: Mass distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is not expected to fully take place until the second half of 2021. If this quarter’s performance is any indication of what to expect during the first half of 2021, the market is expected to further soften.

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