The month of March has seen the global economy reacting to the current COVID-19 pandemic leading to uncertain economic times both locally and abroad. The shock to markets as well as the near halt in retail activity has resulted in a dramatic shift in day-to-day life as businesses and schools close, while governmental restrictions on public spaces have impacted life locally and abroad. The U.S. markets and Boston are currently in a holding pattern waiting to see the full impact of the current situation. A recession appears imminent though largely a result of planned and deliberate closures and lay-offs, time will tell how quickly we recoup losses and regain business as usual when the storm passes.
Despite the drop off in activity for the month of March, the Greater Boston industrial market posted strong numbers for Q1 seeing over 1 million SF of positive absorption, vacancy to a new five year low of 8.8%, and healthy rent growth. The primarily suburban development pipeline has continued to progress as Governor Baker promotes a continuation of construction in the state. Boston’s well diversified industry make up, the uptick in e-commerce volume, and the market’s strong fundamentals all bode well for the Greater Boston industrial market on the back end of this downturn.