Report: Boston Area is Top-5 High-Tech Market in America

By David Bloch | 09/24/2014

In a report released earlier this month by real estate firm JLL, Boston’s high-tech office market was rated as one of the top in the country.

The study ranked 34 regions across the country in terms high-tech industry growth. They measured each region’s success in seven categories: job growth, wage growth, concentration, venture capital funding, intellectual capital, innovation, and market dynamism. Cumulative scores determined their rankings.

The metro Boston area ranked behind only four other regions – the Bay Area, Seattle, New York City, and Austin. It will come as no surprise to those familiar with the technology industry that the Bay Area’s behemoth of a tech sector is so big that it was subdivided into four smaller regions, three of which ranked ahead of Boston – San Francisco, East Bay, and Silicon Valley.

Awash in venture capital money, San Francisco had far-and-away the highest score. Seattle finished a distant second, followed closely by Silicon Valley. Boston came just behind New York, Austin, and the East Bay – all separated by only two points – and placed well in several individual categories, including total high-tech employment, venture capital funding, and number of patents.

Statistics Boston high-tech market by the numbers | Create Infographics

Though long relegated to second-tier status among the tech elite in California, the booming Boston-area tech industry can no longer be looked over. It benefits from its proximity to world-class universities, the well-established suburban cluster of companies along the 128/Mass Pike corridor, and the thriving biotech/healthcare and financial services industries. With its developed mass transit system, walkable neighborhoods, and vibrant cultural scene, Boston is an inviting atmosphere for young professionals and entrepreneurs who prefer urban life.

Cambridge, Downtown, the Seaport, and other surrounding neighborhoods and towns have undergone significant changes (read: gentrification) in the past few years with the influx of tech companies, startups, and their employees. One indication of the local tech industry’s growth is the skyrocketing demand for office space in Cambridge. Rents in the city have experienced a 13.6 percent year-over-year growth rate – the highest in the nation.

According to the report, the tech industry has been a major driver of the office real estate market’s success – especially in the Greater Boston area, which has over 145,000 employees in the sector.

And the region is still poised for more growth: the report categorized metropolitan Boston as a “growing early stage” high-tech market.

For the full report, click here.