Real estate company finds Charleston a ‘millennial magnet’

Charleston is one of a handful of cities dubbed a "millennial magnet" by TH Real Estate for its tech hub status and lower cost of living.

Tech jobseekers in their 20s and 30s will migrate in larger numbers to metro suburbs, tech super hubs and "millennial magnets" — cities including Charleston with lower costs of living and well-paying jobs.

The results stem from a study by TH Real Estate, an affiliate of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America investment manager Nuveen.

"Millennials have had considerable influence on commercial real estate during this economic cycle," TH Real Estate notes. The company cites a handful of cities with livable communities and fewer expenses for millennials engaged in technology, healthcare and retail sectors.

So-called "millennial magnet" metro areas, considered affordable tech hubs, include Chicago, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Phoenix, Austin, Orlando, Charleston and Raleigh, the researcher says. They stand to benefit moving forward "as millennials continue to follow tech job growth." Cities such as Charleston would be among the next millennial magnets, TH Real Estate points out, noting that its research shows Charleston will witness an influx of millennials looking for high quality jobs and a lower cost of living. At the same time, some millennials will migrate to the suburbs, "re-imagining the office and retail spaces in these areas."

Other hot areas for millennials include "flight to suburb metros" such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in which more youthful tech professionals will look for areas in short commutes to the cities, urban amenities and centralized shopping centers.

A third sector to attract the age 19-29 younger millennials and age 30-36 older millennials would be "tech super hubs" such as Washington, D.C., Boston, Denver, Seattle and Portland. They offer tech-related job growth, as well as high costs of living causing millennials "to gravitate towards city center multi-family properties.

“Our research indicates that both older and younger millennials will eventually migrate to the suburbs of either the metros they currently live in, or to the suburbs of more affordable metro areas with favorable job growth. However, the impact of these lifestyle choices on U.S.cities will present varying investment opportunities, depending on each community’s job growth prospects, affordability and commercial property landscape,” says Melissa Reagen, head of TH Real Estate Research US.

Meanwhile, early research on Generation Z aged 18 and younger shows emerging signs of "divergent lifestyle preferences" from millennials. That will further impact commercial real estate chances "as the children of Generation X (aged 37-53) enter the workforce," Reagen says. "Watch this space,” she says.

TH Real Estate describes itself as "of the largest real estate investment managers in the world" with $109 billion in assets under management, touting more than 520 real estate professionals in 22 cities throughout the U.S, Europe and Asia Pacific.


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