Austin heads list of top global cities

By: Jan Buchholz at Austin Business Journal

austin riverAustin figures prominently in a global real estate and economics report, even to the point of it being the only U.S. metro area mentioned in the “10 Cities to Watch.”

The report cropped up last week on the Philadelphia Real Estate Council website and then was referenced Oct. 20 on theRound Rock Chamber of Commerce site.

The ranking is part of a much larger — and fascinating report — that was penned by JLL, the global real estate brokerage firm. The only downside about this is that the report is nearly a year old. It first published in November 2013. Still, it provides interesting insights based on 150 city indexes and benchmarking reports.

Ostensibly, Austin still is a city to watch along with Brisbane, Australia; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Nairobi, Kenya; Nanjing, China; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Santiago, Chile; Shenzhen, China; and Tel Aviv, Israel. The 10 cities are cited as representing a new wave of global connectedness.

“Austin is perhaps the most successful post-financial crisis North American metro,” the JLL report states.

The 10 cities list is only a small part of the total report, and Austin is mentioned repeatedly for its depth of human capital, support for entrepreneurs and small business, job growth, overall economic strength and lifestyle options. View the 224-page report here.

An interesting assessment is based on the Travel and Leisure magazine’s “Quality of Life and Visitor Experience” survey, which measures 12 categories. Austin ranks in the top 10 for positive feedback from visitors and residents alike. It’s a top 3 location for singles, music and barbecue — but those accolades are tempered with a flip side.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly fine dining and luxury retail suffer as a consequence,” the report states.

Austin earns kudos in the Urban Land Institute’s “Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report.” Though the JLL report refers to last year’s performance in the annual ULI survey — Austin ranked 4th for market strength in the U.S. — it will be interesting to see how Austin shapes up this year. The latest ULI report will be released this week at the annual fall meeting, which is being held in New York City.

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