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U.S. life sciences real estate showed signs of normalizing in this year’s third quarter after setting records in 2021, CBRE says in a new report. Nonetheless, market fundamentals surpass those from before the pandemic.

The average lab vacancy rate across the top 12 U.S. life sciences hubs increased to 5.3% in Q3, up 30 basis points from Q2. In comparison, vacancy in Q1 2020 before the pandemic was 5.2%.

Vacancies rose partly because developers completed 2.1 million square feet of space last quarter in the 12 markets, outpacing absorption of 363,047 square feet.

“We’re seeing a normalization of the market after multiple quarters of breakneck growth,” said Matt Gardner, CBRE Americas life sciences leader. “It’s important to keep in mind that the pandemic set a new floor for the life sciences industry. Funding remains at high levels, and job growth continues. Life sciences real estate is a valuable asset.”

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