Colliers International: Local commercial real estate market posted a ‘solid first quarter’

The vacancy rate for the Greater Boston office and R&D real estate market declined from 17 percent to 16.9 percent during the first quarter, and select properties are beginning to see rent increases, according to a new report from Colliers International.

In “red-hot” Cambridge, though, the vacancy rate fell from 10.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 8.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013, said Colliers International, a real estate services firm with a big local presence.

“Unlike 2012, when the lab market accounted for the entirety of the absorption (in Cambridge), the first quarter results were nearly evenly split between the office and lab sectors,” the firm said in its First Quarter 2013 Greater Boston Market Viewpoint report.

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The report also examined the downtown Boston market.

“The first quarter represents the eighth consecutive quarter of positive absorption in the (City of) Boston market, dropping the vacancy rate to 12.7 percent,” the Colliers International report said. “The strength of the recovery in the Financial District that began in 2012 carried into the quarter, as an additional 278,000 square feet was absorbed.”