RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The Triangle comes in No. 2 and Charlotte No. 4 among the nation’s hottest real estate markets, says a major new study.

The 41st annual report from the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers cites a wide variety of factors, from tech jobs to real estate investment, in calculating the ratings.

And real estate will continue to be a hot investment, the study’s authors say.

“Even though we are late in the expansion cycle, volatility in global financial markets, coupled with global geopolitical instability continues to drive investors towards U.S. real estate. The asset class remains desirable as investors seek predictable cash flows from tangible investments,” writes. Mitch Roschelle, a PwC Partner.

Austin – a rival with Triangle for economic development projects and tech recruitment – tops the list.

“Austin is back in the top spot in 2020, a ranking it most recently held in 2017,” the report says.

Who’s No. 1? Raleigh beats Austin in this new ranking of state capitals

“It emerged as a favorite among survey respondents thanks to its deep talent pool, unique and popular lifestyle, and its ambitious commitment to business and real estate expansion.”

But both Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte received their share of kind words.

What report says about Triangle market

Raleigh/Durham, ranked number two overall, has been seeing impressive investment in its suburban office and multifamily sectors.

Moreover, this metro market topped the rankings for homebuilding prospects.

Raleigh rises to 12th place on ‘best state capitals’ list but trails Austin – again

This market’s concentration of educational institutions— Duke University, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and several smaller colleges—coupled with the Research Triangle Park, has branded the area as a technology mecca, and it now has more than 89,000 tech jobs, which, at 10.9 percent of the employment base, ranks third behind Silicon Valley and San Francisco in tech industry share, according to a recent Tech Cities report.

Our national “buy/hold/sell” (BHS) survey ratifies the optimism, particularly for offices and multifamily assets.

What report says about Charlotte

Charlotte also has moved up in our survey rankings, placing fourth overall (up from last year’s ninth place) and second in homebuilding prospects (up
from fourth).

It is no surprise that one real estate investment trust (REIT) executive interviewed listed Charlotte as one of five cities to be in “if you were starting a
company with a clean slate.”

Charlotte is attracting technology and manufacturing firms, as it continues to diversify its economy beyond the banking sector that dominated over the past 20 years.

Charlotte has focused on infrastructure, with its airport expansion and light-rail growth emblematic of its commitment in this crucial field.

Like other prospering markets, however, Charlotte is coping with the residue of success: higher housing costs, lower yields on incomeproducing assets, the inadequacy of its stormwater systems to accommodate growth, and the potential disruption of multifamily rent regulation.

All things considered, Charlotte (with just 0.8 percent of the U.S. population) attracted 1.2 percent of the nation’s real estate investment in the three-year period from 2016 through 2018 and stepped up to a 1.5 percent share during the first half of 2019.

Study criteria

The study “includes interviews and survey responses from more than 2,200 leading real estate experts, including investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisers and consultants,” the authors say.

Read the full report online.