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Real Estate

NJ Life Sciences Vacancy Rate Poised for Decline

Fourth Largest Life Sciences Market Sees VC Funding Increase Significantly Over Past Year

Demand for New Jersey lab/R&D space is strong and the current vacancy rate of 8.1% at the close of Q3 2022 is poised for a decline after a year of surging venture capital funding for the sector, according to CBRE’s Life Science Market Report.

The country’s fourth largest life sciences market continues to be a magnet for the life sciences sector with current demand for space exceeding 1 million square feet. Only 400,000 square feet of suburban Class A lab/R&D space is currently available with no significant new construction underway. As a result, average asking rents in New Jersey’s metro area reached $28.00 per square foot, while the suburbs posted an average asking rent of $36.00 per square foot.

“New Jersey boasts some of the most modern lab space in the country and many of the top pharmaceutical and R&D companies in the world,” said Thomas Sullivan, Senior Vice President, CBRE. “As a result, venture capital funding jumped considerably over the past year to $350 million from under $50 million, and demand for space continues to be robust.”

Nationally, U.S. life sciences employment increased by 5.4% in the third quarter from a year earlier. Venture capital funding declined by 29% in the third quarter from the second, though funding volume remains on course for the third-highest annual total on record after 2021 and 2020.

Average lease rates across the 12 markets increased by 6.8% to $60.28 in the third quarter from the second.

Top Life Sciences Markets: Select Q3 Stats

Market Market Size* Vacancy Sq. Ft. Under Construction Sq. Ft. of Current Tenant Demand
Boston/Cambridge 52.8M 2% 15.5M 3.6M
Chicago 2M 29.6% 281,000 1M
Denver/Boulder 3M 2% 780,822 1M
Los Angeles 6M 10.9% 50,199 850,000
New Jersey 15.8M 8.1% 1M
New York City 2.7M 7.2% 866,013 2.1M
Philadelphia 9.5M 8.1% 2.4M 2.3M
Raleigh-Durham 9.8M 7% 895.263 1.1M
San Diego 23.9M 3.4% 4.8M 900,000
San Francisco Bay Area 33.8M 7.4% 9.1M 5.3M
Seattle 9.3M 8% 1.4M 400,000
Washington, DC 12.6M 1.7% 1.4M 658,500

*In square footage of existing lab space.

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