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More bad news for the Boston commercial real estate market

Boston Real Estate for Sale


More bad news for the Boston commercial real estate market

Big Tech’s big retreat from U.S. office market 

Amazon, Google, Meta among those reevaluating leases

Tech Firms Retreating From Office Market
(Getty, Wikimedia Commons)

Big tech firms have been solid business for office landlords across the country, but the end of a growth spurt in the sector means that’s no longer the case. 

Many of the top technology companies are downsizing or reevaluating their office needs across the country, the Wall Street Journal reported. Those firms’ reluctance to keep vast amounts of space is another hit to commercial owners. 

Amazon, one of the largest office tenants in the entire country, is looking to reduce its office vacancies by passing on lease renewals, terminating some deals early and dropping underutilized floors. 

Alphabet’s Google and Meta are also reconsidering their office needs. The former has listed office space in tech mecca Silicon Valley for sublease, while Mark Zuckerberg’s company is leasing less space than it did at the onset of the pandemic, an acknowledgement that remote work is here to stay, as well as a cost-cutting measure being deployed by tech firms everywhere.

Meanwhile, in 30 cities with a high volume of technology tenants, office space up for sublease is at its highest levels in a decade, according to CBRE. The volume of new office space leased by tech companies in the fourth quarter was roughly half of the space leased in the same quarter in 2019. 

The loss of tech tenants isn’t only damaging to office landlords. It can also spell a dip in business for retail landlords in central business districts who rely on steady foot traffic to draw in business.

The vacancy rate of offices across the country rose to 19.8 percent in the first quarter, according to preliminary data from Moody’s Analytics, representing a record for its tracker.

— Holden Walter-Warner

Peace be with you.

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More bad news for the Boston commercial real estate market’s survey’s survey also found that, as employers attempt to convince workers to return to the office, 48% of respondents said they’d try to arrange more flexible schedules that would allow for them to work remotely some of the time, and in the office only on occasion. Moreover, a quarter said they would look for a new job if forced to return to the office, while 30% said they would willingly return full time.

Another 8% said they would even sell their home and move closer to work again if they are required to work full time at the office.

The survey acknowledges as trend that has seen many people move further away from their workplaces since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Almost one in 10 respondents said they would now have to commute for at least 30 minutes if they had to go to work at the office, while 18% said their commute would be more than 60 minutes each way.

“Throughout the last year we have seen home buyers across the country, empowered by the newfound ability to work remotely, moving farther and farther from crowded urban downtowns in search of more space, higher quality of life, and a lower cost of living,” George Ratiu, senior economist at said. “Our survey data shows that people are really enjoying their new communities and larger homes, and aren’t willing to give them up anytime soon.”

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