By Aaron Jodka | July 2020
Real Capital Analytics, in recently released June data, reported that over the first half of the year Boston ranked #4 in the country for total investment volumes (#1 in office volume), up two spots from last year.
Boston’s top ranking in office volume was supported by strong lab sales, 28% of all volume. While Boston trailed Dallas, Manhattan, and Los Angeles in terms of transaction volumes, its $7 billion in sales is just 8% below last year’s total. Nationally, sales volumes were off 68%. Most of Boston’s sales took place through April, and total volume in May and June was less than $700 million. In fact, during that time, the $130 million Widett Circle land play was the largest deal; a second piece of that transaction is still pending.
Pending and closed transactions for July indicate another slow month. May volumes were down 89% year-over-year, while June was off 63%. Investment flows were more than $110 million higher in June than in May, but this is off of a very low May figure ($289 million). However, investors are showing their long-term commitment to the market, as seen by recent covered land plays, particularly for lab space for the growing life science market. Alexandria Real Estate Equities and National Development acquired the Mount Auburn Club in Watertown for $32 million, and IQHQ has a deal in place for GCP Applied Technologies’ campus in Alewife for $125 million. Combining these two deals with Widett adds up to $332 million in future development land acquisitions, showing that investors have confidence in Greater Boston for the long term.