At first glance, it may not seem that Raleigh-Durham has much in common with Salt Lake City or New Orleans, but there is one thing they share: they're all among the fastest growing metro areas in the US.
A recent study from the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise examined a variety of factors across the top 50 EMA's (Extended Metropolitan Areas) in the US, including population growth, employment rate, housing costs and economic output. The results showcase just where people in the workforce are moving to most
The results support much of what we've been looking for while examining multifamily deals - a strong local economy that's attractive to young job seekers and tech workers will create a strong tenant base that should be less impacted by an economic downturn.
Even with recent news of layoffs at companies like Meta and Twitter, having a core of top talent in a market will (ideally) help support the overall job base and keep local economies strong, especially compared to some of the lower ranking metros in the report.
One other thing that's clear from the report is that the shift to remote work has helped balance the scales for traditionally mid-sized metros. In fact, Dallas & the San Francisco Bay Area are the only metro areas in the top 10 that are also in the top 10 most populous cities in the US.
This has created tremendous opportunities outside of major cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Overall, the results of the report highlight the U.S. population's shift toward the South and the West, the power of tech hubs, and the continuing recovery of leisure and hospitality sectors.
North Carolina boasts 2 EMA's on the list with Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte cracking the top 10. We've been bullish on the Research Triangle area for some time. That area checks all the boxes for what we're looking for in the multifamily market; a strong job base in tech and healthcare jobs, close proximity to top notch educational resources (leading to a highly educated tenant base), a relatively affordable cost of living, and a great quality of life.
As the Kenan Institute highlights, "even amid possible cuts in the industry nationwide, more than $1 billion worth of biotech laboratory construction is underway in the greater Raleigh area." With an equally strong base of tech companies like Cisco, Epic Games, IBM and Red Hat. plus the upcoming Apple East Coast HQ, and it's clear that the future is very bright for the region.
It's worth noting that the potential growth of these cities could help create a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts for the local economies. These areas will need to invest in infrastructure (including housing), education and job training to fuel their growth potential. This will only create more job opportunities, more need for housing and fuel even more growth in the future, assuming local leaders can capitalize on their momentum.
Top 10 Fastest Growing US Cities in 2022
San Francisco Bay Area, California
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Salt Lake City, Utah
Charlotte, North Carolina
New Orleans, Louisiana
Keeping tabs on demographic trends can help shape your strategy for targeting real estate investments.
There's a clear shift in trends towards the South and West. (There were 0 Northeast Metros listed in the Top 25.)
With the costs of single family residences still running high, the need for multifamily housing should continue to be strong and should continue if the influx of younger workers into these markets continues.
Even with a recent pullback in the tech industry, having a diverse tenant base with a strong tech and healthcare focus will ultimately help local economies and attract even more interest from young job seekers in the future.
While there's still a lot of uncertainty in the overall economy, we feel that things will begin to stabilize by mid to late 2023. The momentum some of these metro areas have created should continue to pay dividends for some time, especially for metros that are investing in infrastructure now and will be able to support growth once the economy starts expanding again.
Be well, be strong, and keep pushing forward!
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About Ellie Perlman
Ellie is the founder of Blue Lake Capital, a commercial real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily investing throughout the United States. At Blue Lake Capital, Ellie partners with both institutional and individual investors to grow their wealth by achieving double-digit returns by investing alongside her in exclusive multifamily deals they usually don't have access to.
A defining factor of Blue Lake Capital’s strategy is founded in utilizing machine learning/artificial intelligence throughout the course of all acquisitions and asset management. This advanced technology enables the company to produce accurate and data-driven forecasting for all assets on a market, property, and even tenant basis. In doing so, Blue Lake is able to lead commercial investments with the full capabilities of today’s technology.
Ellie is the host of REady2Scale, a podcast that highlights the assets, processes, and strategies for the multiple approaches to successful real estate investing.
She started her career as a commercial real estate lawyer, leading real estate transactions for one of Israel’s leading development companies. Later, as a property manager for Israel’s largest energy company, she oversaw properties worth over $100MM. Additionally, Ellie is an experienced entrepreneur who helped build and scale companies by improving their business operations.
Ellie holds a Masters in Law from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
You can read more about Blue Lake Capital and Ellie Perlman at www.bluelake-capital.com.