Boston beat Manhattan for commercial property sales activity in 2021

Boston beat Manhattan for commercial property sales activity in 2021

Boston beat Manhattan for commercial property sales activity in 2021

by Greg Ryan | via Boston Business Journal

Commercial property sales hit a record high in the Boston market last year, making the Hub the top-performing real estate market on the East Coast second only to Atlanta, according to a new report from Real Capital Analytics.

The region saw $25 billion in sales in 2021, a 59% jump from the year prior, the report said. Transaction volume nationwide totaled $809 billion, also a record.

Boston was the only region among the top 25 markets to have achieved record transaction volume across all classes of commercial property featured in the report, including offices, apartments and industrial. Unsurprisingly, the region’s booming biotech sector played a key role in the record sales: More than a quarter of the market’s 2021 sales were properties tied to life sciences and research-and-development, according to the report.

Boston came in No. 6 on RCA’s list of most active markets for the year. Notably, it ranked ahead of Manhattan, whose $18.7 billion in commercial-property sales came in at No. 9, its worst-ever ranking. Manhattan ranked ahead of Boston prior to the pandemic. Compared with other U.S. markets, both rely heavily on office space when it comes to transaction volume.

The top five markets are Dallas ($46.9 billion), Atlanta ($37.1 billion), Los Angeles ($31.7 billion), Phoenix ($29.3 billion) and Houston ($27.4 billion), the report said. Boston ranked No. 3 in 2020, but Atlanta, Phoenix and Houston surged ahead of it in 2021.

The Boston region’s biggest commercial-property sales last year included One Memorial Drive in Kendall Square, home to Microsoft Corp. and InterSystems Corp., for $825.1 million, as well as the sale of a stake in Kendall’s 50 and 60 Binney St., lab space home to bluebird bio, for $798.6 million.

A joint venture between MetLife Investment Management and Norges Bank Investment Management purchased both of those properties. Oxford Properties Group and J.P. Morgan were the sellers behind One Memorial, while Alexandria Real Estate Equities sold a 66% stake in the Binney complex.

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