Boston, LA office landlords to benefit from “flight to quality” amid economic slowdown

Secondary cities like Austin more susceptible in downturn
March 19, 2019 10:00AM

Boston and L.A. skylines (Credit: Wikipedia)

As the U.S. economy slows, cities with more diversified economic bases stand to gain as investors move away from riskier bets.

Such cities include Los Angeles, which is seeing a tech and media boom, and Boston, where a strong biotechnology sector is supporting the city’s traditional financial-services base, Bloomberg reported.

“The focus should be on quality of market and quality of real estate,” JPMorgan Asset Management co-portfolio manager of real estate Ann Cole told Bloomberg. “As you get later in the cycle, that’s not the time to be taking additional risk.”

Secondary cities like Austin, Texas may offer higher yields, but they are often more susceptible in a downturn due to reliance on one industry or one company.

Economic growth in the U.S. is expected to slow down over the next few years, hitting a low of 1.8 percent in 2021 according to Bloomberg data, and this will correlate strongly with office-building performance.

“In every recessionary environment, there’s always a flight to quality,” Cole said. [Bloomberg] — Kevin Sun