ATLANTA — Nearly half of global corporate real estate professionals polled in a recent survey conducted by CoreNet Global and Cushman & Wakefield said that their company had recently moved a business operation from a suburban or rural area to an urban environment. The rate of migration toward urban areas was highest in the telecommunications industry.
The trend toward urbanization was strongest among larger companies (those with 100,000 or more total workers), with 60 percent saying that they had moved an operation to a city. The overall rates of moving to cities was highest in the Americas (46 percent), followed by Europe/Middle East/Africa (42 percent) and Asia Pacific (30 percent).
Among the larger companies, many avoided paying a rent "premium" either through public-sector incentives, or – more often – through a strategy of "densification" to make the business case for the move.
One of the main factors driving urban location decisions is the search for creative, tech-savvy talent. The workforce is increasingly made up of millennials, who respondents believe strongly prefer living in an urban environment, according to the survey. Other factors include the availability of innovative spaces, customer relationships, flexibility of occupation, image/branding and employee satisfaction.
However, companies still prefer suburban locations for certain types of operations where cost is a bigger concern. "Office space usually is less expensive in the suburbs," said Tim Venable, Senior Vice President at CoreNet Global.
The study was conducted in Spring 2016, and yielded more than 320 responses from corporate real estate professionals primarily in the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia Pacific.
About CoreNet Global
CoreNet Global is the world's leading professional association for corporate real estate (CRE) and workplace executives, service providers and economic developers. CoreNet Global's 10,000 members, who include 70% of the top 100 U.S. companies and nearly half of the Global 2000, meet locally, globally and virtually to develop networks, share knowledge, learn and thrive professionally. For more information, please visit www.corenetglobal.org.
About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that helps clients transform the way people work, shop, and live. Our 45,000 employees in more than 70 countries help occupiers and investors optimize the value of their real estate by combining our global perspective and deep local knowledge with an impressive platform of real estate solutions. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest commercial real estate services firms with revenue of $6 billion across core services of agency leasing, asset services, capital markets, facility services (C&W Services), global occupier services, investment & asset management (DTZ Investors), project & development services, tenant representation, and valuation & advisory. 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Cushman & Wakefield brand. To learn more, visit www.cushwakecentennial.com, www.cushmanwakefield.com or follow @CushWake on Twitter.