Skilled Workforce Fuels Growth in Raleigh

The metro's educated labor pool and burgeoning technology sector draw in employers and investors ready to take advantage of the market's potential to expand.
Office-using employment in Raleigh, click to enlarge

Raleigh-Durham’s strong economic fundamentals and growing technology sector are the foundation of a thriving office market. The Triangle area is on the shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters, and is also a top contender for Apple’s next campus.

The metro added 23,100 jobs in the 12 months ending in May, led by professional and business services (7,300 jobs). Office-using employment is one of the Triangle’s strong suits, expanding by more than 38 percent since the start of this economic cycle. Raleigh-Durham is home to a multitude of startups and several prestigious universities, such as North Carolina State University, Meredith College and Duke University. The metro’s highly educated and talented labor pool plays an important role in attracting major employers.

With strong demand for space, developers are moving forward with projects. More than 2.6 million square feet of office space is under construction, which will add 6.2% to the inventory once delivered.

Leasing activity is robust, with companies focusing on centrally located Class A assets. The Raleigh CBD was the most expensive submarket, with an average price per square foot of $31.90 as of June.

Property sales exceeded $600 million in the first half of 2018, pointing toward a solid year for investment. Demand for assets in the market has picked up, as investors see Raleigh–Durham as a market with higher yields than they can get in primary markets, along with the potential to keep expanding.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.