“It’s Getting Better all the Time”, The Beatles

At the well-attended NAIOP Developing Leaders breakfast this morning, a panel presented “Booming In Beantown: Why Boston Remains One of CRE’s Hottest Markets.”

I was particularly interested in three slides that certainly left me and the other attendees sighing with relief about our future.  The first two slides were from Yanni Tsipis, Senior Vice President of Development & Consulting Services, at Colliers International.  The Market Forecast shows the historic run-up of the vacancy in Boston to a 10 year high of 16.6%.  However, they are forecasting positive absorption over the next four years, dropping the vacancy rate to 12.4%.  That might not be the low single digits, but it is in the range to start pushing up the rental rates.

The next slide should not come as a great surprise regarding the relative health of the commercial real estate investment market.  It does, though, show how bad off are the other regions of the country.  The delinquent or special service loans are under 5% for the Boston market.  However, take a look at some of the other metro markets like Phoenix, Riverside-Ontario, and Seattle.  New York and Washington, the other “stars” are a bit worse off than Boston.  It has been many a recession ago since we were not the poster child for being the worst affected region.

Finally, Peter Merrigan, President & CEO of Taurus Investment Holdings provided a chart showing Boston’s advantage in terms of employment gains.  This may be the first time Boston has ever been in any top grouping regarding employment (other than loss of.)  Not only is Boston ranked third with over 1.3% twelve month gains, but the Commonwealth is ranked fourth in actual raw employment numbers!

Bring out your old records and enjoy the refrain: “It’s getting better all the time.”  And hopefully for the foreseeable future too.

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