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city guide: matthews real estate magazine


co/ kt auleta

co/ kt auleta

Austin is establishing itself as one of the best cities to live and work. As the country’s 11th largest city, its expanding business and overall growth has validated Austin as a world leader in a variety of industries. From technology to innovation, energy, workforce development, music, food and culture, it’s easy to see why this city continues to make national headlines. With unique programs to create a sustainable cultural and economic environment, Austin’s vitality continues to flourish. Economic data suggests that there is no slowdown in sight for future growth, positioning this city to leverage its strong educational base and talented workforce. According the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Austin is set to be the fastest growing large U.S. metro economy through 2020.

The biggest economic development engine is Austin’s high quality of life; attracting a variety of smart, creative and successful individuals. It’s no wonder that its competitive advantage attracts major corporations such as Apple, AT&T, Dell and many others. The city offers something for everyone, including affordable housing, a safe environment, exceptional schools, as well as healthy and attractive neighborhoods. Austin provides big city amenities at a small town pace. These lifestyle and cultural assets will only continue to grow as Austin takes its place among the world’s leading cities.

Multifamily properties thrive in markets with job growth and Austin’s unceasing surge secures a strong multifamily market. Austin remains in the top 5 multifamily investment markets and the future looks bright. The positive outlook on employment and favorable demographic trends will not only increase the demand, but also attract investors to the Austin apartment market. In the last 12 months, Austin has created 38,000 jobs which creates a demand for 28,0000 single and multifamily units. Its multifamily pipeline looks positive and just experienced another vibrant quarter. There are now over 40,000 upstream units headed toward a maturing market with little indication of this giant wave cresting. A projected 14,200 new multifamily units will be available in the next two years, an almost 7% increase in the number of units already in the market. Austin will outpace supply in 2016, keeping vacancy rates below the historical average.

Considering its unique economic and cultural attributes, the influx of people and businesses gravitating towards Austin is no surprise. Its exceptional growth, demand in the real estate market, cultural influence, art and innovations will have no problem “Keeping Austin Weird.”


Dallas is a city where big ideas meet big opportunity. As with any other city in the Lone Star State, Dallas offers a hearty portion of world famous art, innovative eateries and bigger than life personality. The city revolves around a bustling downtown area that expands through an assortment of neighborhoods and commercial centers that is supported by a network of freeways that exceeds almost any other city. It boasts the largest urban arts district in the nation; where you’d be more likely to come across a world class exhibit than a broken in pair of chaps. Its past and present is rich in culture, an All-American city that was built on legends.

The central core of Dallas has experienced a steady and significant growth that speaks to its highly diversified economy. It has become a hubspot for real estate and business, establishing itself as one of the largest concentrations of corporate headquarters for publicly traded companies such as American Airlines, Neiman Marcus, Kimberly-Clark, JCPenny, ExxonMobil and many others. In 2015, Forbes reported that Dallas is “the best place for business and careers” in Texas. It’s the perfect blend of big city living and rustic southern charm; the aroma of barbecue authenticating the Texas cowboy vibe.

The Dallas economy is expected to grow over the next couple of decades making it the perfect time to not only invest in Dallas real estate, but also relocate. Currently the Dallas metropolitan statistical area is one of the most prominent multifamily markets in the country. People are relocating to the city in droves, increasing the demand for multifamily and residential real estate. At the end of 2015, there were 34,000+ units under construction.

The growing population adds to the already extremely tight residential housing market, resulting in a high percentage of new residents who will inevitably become renters. Dallas rents are at an all-time high with a roughly 7% increase, however occupancy rates are still hovering around 95%. While Dallas consistently provides a wonderful quality of life, demand for apartments will continue to rise.

Surprisingly, Dallas has more malls per capita than any other city in the country. With the local economy booming and attracting new business, Dallas is forging through as one of the most desirable locations for retail development. It is predicted that by the end of 2016, developers will add an additional 2.5 million square feet of retail space. With the combination of low interest rates, retailer demand, consumer confidence and ample capital, the new climate for retail development looks brighter than ever.     

As the 9th largest city in the country, Dallas has something for everyone. It’s combines clashing images of city skyline and cowboy vibes. But the city of Dallas describes itself best with its motto: “Big Things Happen Here”.


Denver is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, exactly 5,280 feet above sea level, which perfectly denotes its nickname, “The Mile High City.” Founded in the mid-1800’s during the Gold Rush, Denver has come a long way from its Wild West days. It has progressed into an urban center with a growing arts and culinary scene that rivals conventional cosmopolitans. Sure, you can find a Stetson walking around here or there, but the crowd around town has shifted to ambitious, nature-loving individuals who want to change the status quo on everything from outdoor activities, legalizing recreational marijuana to civil rights. The U.S. News & World Report was onto something when it named Denver the best place to live in the United States.

Over the past few years, Denver has experienced an epic surge in population that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The city currently ranks as the 19th most populated in the United States, making it one fastest growing cities in the country. Denver haseverything to foster entrepreneurism from an excellent mix of capital, a highly skilled workforce, awealth of savvy startup CEOs and not to mention an appealing lifestyle. Companies either starting or expanding their operations to Denver are contributing to the increase of an already exceptionally talented workforce. Denver holds the title as the nation’s most highly educated city with the highest percentage of high school and college graduates.The cost of living has dramatically increased with average home prices now significantly higher than the national average. As employment flourishes in high-paying industries such as tech, finance and healthcare, the demand for multi and single-family homes is rapidly increasing. Vacancies remain low and rents continue to rise in most markets. All in all, Denver is experiencing a gold rush of other sorts.

Private investors are actively seeking opportunities where job growth and substantial demographic trends are creating unique opportunities in real estate. One of the more prominent factors in driving this demand is the phenomenal job growth that has outpaced the national population, resulting in 800,000 new jobs. Providing housing options for the ever growing workforce in Denver continues to drive a need for multifamily assets. The increase in apartment occupancy and rent has significantly increased the value of multifamily properties. As single-family buying is taking a backseat, the multifamily property values continue to rise specifically in or near the urban areas where Denver residents prefer to live.     

Denver is a city with 300 days of sunshine, a place where outdoor adventures and worldly endeavors meets a culturally fascinating urban city center. With that many days of sunshine, it’s no wonder that this world-class city’s future looks so bright.


Houston has recently been accorded the esteemed title of, “City With No Limits.” As home to NASA, the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions, as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies, it’s no wonder that America’s fourth largest city personifies this namesake. Houston’s climate is a laid-back Southern atmosphere that brings you in and keeps you there. However, don’t be mistaken by its Southern drawl. It’s unique persona blends high-rise pickup trucks with high-powered industry.

A dynamic and talented workforce is drawn to Houston by prominent companies in energy, healthcare, nanotechnology and science. It has a strong infrastructure and transportation system, but cars undoubtedly reign. With wealthy undercurrents from Texas gas and oil, there is an explicit pro-business environment that encourages economic growth and commerce. However, you’d never know it by the lack of pretension that is instilled in its easygoing vibe. Houston’s multicultural populace contributes to an intriguing arts, theatre and dining scene that rivals big city offerings. Yet again, Houston is intrinsically Southern; a place where barbecue and rodeos prevail.

Any kind of upward trend of economic growth will inevitably attract a talented workforce that coincides with the need for housing. The Houston market is dynamic, especially in the multifamily market. Homeownership rates have been slipping, but correspondingly has increased the demand for quality apartments in areas most convenient for this new working class. In 2015, the occupancy levels were above 90% and developers have already delivered 5,034 new apartment units during the first quarter of 2016. In addition to housing, Houston’s exceptional demographic brings in a growing need for retail opportunities ranging from upscale dining to tattoo parlors. This city’s diverse cultural design offers something for everyone.

Houston’s revolutionary surge in industry, really proves that this city has no limits. You’ll come to Houston looking for black gold and Texas tea, but you’ll end up leaving with much, much more.


The Inland Empire is tucked away just southeast of Los Angeles, an enclave of gentle rolling hills and mountainous alpine terrain. This quintessential California region is home to 4 million residents and continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in the state. It embodies Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, renowned for lush vineyards in Temecula wine country, year-round recreational sporting at Big Bear Mountain and soothing mineral waters from the Glen Ivy Hot Springs. The Inland Empire is one of the most overlooked regions in the state.

Like much of California, the Inland Empire experienced a hard hit during the recession, but unexpectedly bounced back at a tremendous rate of growth. The surge in economic growth can be associated with its close proximity to two of the nation’s largest ports, reaching more than 23 million consumers. With the rise of e-commerce, industrial spaces have become a factor in developing real estate strategies, with cargo being handled by strong networks of distribution centers throughout the area. Companies such as Amazon and Macy’s are relocating their fulfillment warehouses to the Inland Empire because of its inexpensive land and location. It is no surprise that the majority of new jobs have fallen within the logistics sector.

Of course, the growing population of the Inland Empire creates a demand for affordable housing. Homebuyers and renters are being outpriced by expensive real estate found along the coast, effectively drawing people out east. Investors are finding that multifamily rents are steadily increasing, giving property owners reason to put money into new developments with more lavish amenities.


Las Vegas, baby. It’s a surreal technicolor fantasy that’s straight out of the movies. Walk the casino floor at three in the morning and you’ll find yourself among a cast of eclectic characters; a silvery maned granny drinking vodka collins and pushing slots, an Elvis impersonator ending his evening shift and out-of-town newlyweds rolling the dice. No matter what time of day, Las Vegas is alive and kicking. The “Strip” lures people from all over the world with the promise of the ultimate escape. Yet, Las Vegas offers another promise to its patrons and residents: economic growth.

Step away from the roulette table and you’ll find that Las Vegas has much more to offer than showgirls and gambling. The economy is becoming more and more diversified, bringing in new industry and opportunities for commerce. Las Vegas has traditionally been linked to tourism, but the dynamics are slowly shifting. Not completely unrelated is the convention industry, bringing in over 21,000 conventions annually. With this changeover comes more entertainment, convention space and hotel accommodations, influencing real estate demands.

When it comes to Sin City, you never have to roll the dice. Because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.