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Cushman & Wakefield Report Highlights Tech’s Critical Impact on CRE

Existing and emerging tech centers are increasingly driving the North American economy, and that’s being felt across the commercial real estate sector. New research by Cushman & Wakefield found that in the first of half of last year, 42% of the square footage in the top 100 leases in North America were signed by tech companies.

The brokerage firm’s Tech Cities 2.0 report also noted the fastest-growing tech employment market since 2010 has been Provo, UT. Though a smaller market than the others on the list, the number of people employed by tech companies increased 64.9%, surpassing the 62.7% increase in San Francisco.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Ken McCarthy notes the profound impact the tech sector has had on commercial real estate hasn’t arrived in one fell swoop, but has been building since the financial crisis of 2008. “Although we expect established markets like Silicon Valley to see continued investment, new tech hubs are emerging across North America, from Provo to Philadelphia, sustaining a period of tech-driven, economic growth unseen since the dot-com boom of the late 1990s,” says McCarthy.

Average asking rents in cities like Atlanta, Austin, Seattle, and San Francisco have increased more than 50% since 2010. Meanwhile, the report revealed property prices are skyrocketing. Among the Top 25, property prices have increased on average by 59%, with the greatest increases happening in Austin, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco.

Cities that are targets for venture capital funding are the most important tech cities in North America, notes the Tech Cities 2.0 report. Among the Top 25, VC funding grew by an average of $2 billion compared to $457 million for the top 101 markets.

The top four cities for new construction are all cities where tech is a critical factor in the local real estate market, including: Austin, Raleigh/Durham, Seattle, and San Francisco.

Tech Cities 2.0 ranks cities in three major categories:

Tech is a critical component of the local economy and CRE market:

  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Provo
  • Raleigh/Durham
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Silicon Valley
  • Seattle
  • Washington, DC Metro

Tech is a key driver of the local economy and CRE market:

  • Atlanta
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Denver
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Montreal
  • Portland, OR
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver

Tech is important to the local economy and CRE market, but there are other important sectors as well:

  • Baltimore
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Greater Los Angeles
  • South Florida
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia

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For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser


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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.