"This year's report shows that there are opportunities stemming from a shift in how, where, and when people work," says ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. "One of the trends leading to new opportunities is multi-purposing of commercial space. We're seeing different types of tenants using the same space for different uses at different times of the day, particularly in tight markets. Buildings with open, flexible space have a competitive advantage."  

Top Trends:

  • Niche Neighborhoods & Economic Diversity: Market characteristics such as authentic, niche neighborhoods with strong economic diversity are driving growth outside of gateway markets. The attractiveness to both workers and employers alike is supporting real estate growth.
  • Labor Shortages: Construction labor shortages are driving up construction costs and stretching out project timelines, directly impacting availability of affordable real estate across all residential sectors.
  • "Optionality" - A new driving force landlords can use to protect revenue potential by allowing multiple uses of the same space at different times, and permitting tenants to use only the space they need when they need it.  For example, an office by day and a party/event venue by night.
  • Digitization & Transparency: The digitization of real estate is revolutionizing the industry by improving accuracy, transaction speed and transparency, which in turn is fueling an "auto-correcting" real estate cycle.  Rising property prices slowing transaction volumes while new supply remains under control is holding off the traditional "boom/bust" of previous cycles.

Top 10 Cities in Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2017:

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
  3. Portland, OR
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. Los Angeles, CA
  6. Nashville, TN
  7. Raleigh/Durham, NC
  8. Orange County, CA
  9. Charlotte, NC
  10. San Francisco, CA

Dropping out of the top 10 market ranking this year are Atlanta, GA and Denver, CO due to concerns that new supply may be getting ahead of demand.  Despite the drop, both markets remain in the top 20.  

Top 5 Markets to Watch and Why:

  1. Columbus – A major university town, Columbus is seeing a surge in entrepreneurial activity.  
  2. Richmond – The "hip factor" of downtown Richmond is on the rise.  
  3. Pittsburgh – Emerging tech and other startups are flocking to Pittsburgh because of the access to talent from nearby universities and a 4% lower-than-the-national-average cost of doing business. 
  4. Charleston – The Charleston economy is hitting on all cylinders with strong demographic growth and expanding technology, manufacturing and transportation industries.  
  5. Salt Lake City – Salt Lake City is benefiting from a unique synergy between financial services and technology firms.  

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Source: Urban Land Institute