HIGH POINT — The pandemic motivated people to prioritize quality of life and cost of living conditions, initiating a migration from larger urban areas. The shift boosted many cities in the south and west regions of the U.S. into top-ranking commercial real estate markets.
Ben Haverty from Colliers Furniture Real Estate Group compiled a list of the top five emerging furniture markets, factoring in populations and job market growth:
Austin is considered one of the nation’s fastest growing cities as it boasts several tech hubs including Dell, 3M, Tesla and satellite offices for Apple. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Austin has added more than 80,000 jobs within the past two years, increasing the need for office space with 59% of office space occupied as of this month. The influx of workers has also driven a 38% rent gain for housing and increased demand for prime retail real estate.
Charlotte is ranked as the 14th best city to live in the U.S., with companies located here such as the electric vehicle manufacturer, Arrival, and the home improvement retailer, Lowe’s. Lowe’s chose the South End, a neighborhood south of the central business district in uptown Charlotte, as the home base for its new Global Technology Center.
“The development commitment in Charlotte has brought substantial residential and office site projects with ground floor retail opportunities,” said Steve Rich, senior director, retail services, Charlotte. “As a result, we have seen an influx of new businesses – bars, breweries, restaurants and entertainment venues – reinvigorating the local economy.”
Ranked as the 12th largest city in the U.S., Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida with 911,507 residents. The city’s demographic skews young with more than 95,000 Millennials and a five-year growth rate of 4%. Additionally, the metropolitan area boasts one of the highest median income levels in the state, particularly around St. Johns County region in the southeast portion of the region.
Raleigh has experienced drastic migration growth over the past few years as it’s fast becoming a “center of the country’s emerging clean energy economy.” One example of this development is the Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer, VinFast, that is committed to investing $5 billion into the Triangle Innovation Point right outside of Raleigh for its first North American Assembly plant, which at completion will employ 13,000 workers.
According to the downtown Raleigh Q1 2022 market report, workforce growth has attracted interest in the Triangle from commercial developers with 144,419 square feet of new office space under construction and approximately 1.7 million square feet of additional office space planned in the market.
Tampa has one of the hottest housing markets in the U.S. right now. Job growth driven by technology, cyber security and finance brings a diverse, affluent demographic to the city. The weather, low taxes and affordability continue to attract residents from the Northeast and more expensive cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago. Large scale developments are adding millions of square feet of luxury apartments, office space and new-to-market retail and dining options.
Erica Hawbaker, associate editor for Furniture Today, is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa, with a degree in English and a writing certificate in publishing. In addition to bringing her writing talent to the editorial team, Erica will add her late-Millennial perspective.