The city of Austin has long been a favorite destination for work, play and education. This dynamic city offers an enterprise-friendly environment, entrepreneurial focus and a unique culture that combines tradition with creative possibility and innovation. Over time, this blend has transformed a local economy once dominated by government into a diversified, $115bn economy with strong ties to the technology sector. Employment in government has shrunk from 29% in 1990 to 18% in 2015.
Today, with patents, venture capital and leading edge ideas driving innovation, 5,485 high-tech employers representing nearly 132,300 jobs have put down roots in Austin. These companies range from tech titans, including Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, Cisco Systems, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, to seed-stage and start-up ventures. The impending launch of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin will strengthen the city’s position as a national destination for life sciences and biotech innovation.
VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT IN AUSTIN AREA COMPANIES
Over the last ten years, employment growth has averaged 3.2% annually, compared with 0.6% at the national level. This rapid economic expansion has convinced many graduates from the University of Texas and other nearby schools to stay put, while attracting enough in-migration to increase the overall population by 150 people a day.
Consequently, many corporations, particularly those in high-tech industries, are eyeing Austin for access to a young and educated workforce. Nearly 75% of the 2015 and year-to-date 2016 corporate relocations and expansions involve technology companies. Since 2005, Austin has received nearly half of all venture capital dollars invested in the state of Texas, eclipsing the much larger Dallas and Houston areas. These successes have earned Austin the title of Silicon Hills, the Silicon Valley of the South.
Austin’s creative workforce, advanced manufacturing capabilities and fast-growing population are influencing the design and construction of local real estate. This means the development of more workspaces and co-working environments as well as more high-density multihousing. Currently, there are 44 multihousing projects underway, representing more than 11,000 units. The industrial and office sectors have a combined 4.4 million sq ft in the construction pipeline, with the delivery of most of that space expected in 2017 and 2018. Across all real estate sectors, demand is high, vacancies are low and rents are at or near record highs.