The market hit a soft patch earlier in the year due to uncertainty from abroad and the November election but 2016 ended strong. The market as a whole added over 3.3 million square feet of new construction in 2016. At the same time, direct vacancy continued to decline slipping under 11 percent in the fourth quarter for the first time since the dot-com boom. Direct average asking rents ticked up slowly over the last quarter and the year.
Meanwhile, leasing activity regained momentum at the end of the year. Nearly 3 million square feet of large leasing deals (over 20,000 square feet) closed in the last three months, one of the largest quarterly volumes on record. Notably in the fourth quarter, five leases over 200,000 square feet were signed across Greater Boston. Two-thirds of these large leases were from growing companies and 40 percent were technology companies. As we head into 2017, leasing activity remains healthy across a variety of sectors and should keep this momentum going.