RALEIGH – A new report from commercial real estate firm JLL ranks the Raleigh-Durham market among global leaders for talent concentration and innovation, as the region is ranked 20th and 25th globally, respectively.

“Cities with robust innovation ecosystems will be best placed to respond to these changes and propel the next phase of urban regeneration,” the report’s executive summary reads.  An analysis of a decade of real estate data found that cities that are “talent-rich” outperform the market when it comes to office rental growth among the decade between 2010 and 2020.

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Triangle talent

Raleigh-Durham ranked 20th globally for its talent concentration, outpacing Seoul, Denver, Calgary, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam, according to the report.

In the life sciences and biotechnology industry, for example, more than 4,800 new jobs were announced in 2021.  The ecosystem in the Triangle, including the region’s community colleges and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, continue to bolster and strengthen the workforce development programs and pipelines in these in-demand industries.

The region was included in a recent report from BioSpace as a “hotbed” for the life sciences, as well.

“Our research shows that existing innovation districts have recovered quicker than surrounding areas in demand and pricing as the pandemic has progressed, and this is expected to continue as demand for these locations intensifies,” the report reads.

An April 2021 JLL report ranked Charlotte first and Raleigh-Durham seventh among emerging life science markets.

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Innovation driving increased demand

When it comes to innovation, Raleigh-Durham is ranked 25th, behind Helsinki, Chicago, Osaka, and Munich.  Austin, Texas ranks 19th.

“Smaller cities in the U.S. like Austin and Raleigh-Durham are quickly gaining traction in specialisms such as advanced manufacturing and life sciences,” the report reads.

Demand for life science space is at an all-time high, and that includes demand in the Triangle, as developers are adding new facilities in Holly Springs, Morrisville, Garner, Raleigh, and more.

“Investors are increasingly drawing on innovation and talent metrics when making strategic decisions on which cities to invest in. This approach is verified by our findings – not only does capital target cities with stronger innovation and talent credentials, but those same cities also outperform over the longer term,” the report reads.

The full report can be read here.