The influx of high-tech jobs and industry – over 80,000 tech jobs have recently been created here in the Valley – is turning the ‘Old West’ into the ‘Silicon Desert.’ And as you might expect, it’s changing the Phoenix real estate market right along with it.
More Stability in Phoenix Real Estate Market
The Arizona real estate market used to be dominated by investor-owned homes. This put a lot of pressure on the market. This also gave us – rightly or wrongly – the reputation as a land scam area. We’re finally starting to see this change with these high-tech jobs. These jobs also drive a healthy economic forecast for 2018 in Phoenix, and real estate tends to track those indicators.
Demand for both residential and commercial properties is expected to remain healthy. So, while the real estate market might eventually see a downturn, it’s not likely to burst like the bubble of 2008.
Arizona used to be known for tourists, snowbirds and retirement villages. Yes, we still have those. But the median age for workers is now 34 years young, is much more diverse, and the tech industry in Phoenix is driving that. These are people just starting families, looking to settle down and build a community around them. They are looking for a home in which to raise their kids.
Community and Culture
When high-tech companies look to relocate or expand, they look for places that are economically friendly — more affordable labor force, lower taxes, and more reasonable real estate values. Additionally, they want a culture that supports both the employees and the company’s need for skilled employees. Phoenix offers both.
For employees, the Phoenix area offers:
- All four major sports leagues, with the Diamondbacks (MLB), Coyotes (NHL), Cardinals (NFL), and Suns (NBA).
- World-class museums and fine arts, including the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Art Museum, Musical Instruments Museum, The Phoenix Zoo, The Botanical Garden, and more
- Outdoors activities (you know, like the Grand Canyon!)
- Nationally recognized universities and charter schools
For the high-tech companies, Phoenix offers:
- Arizona State University, two years in a row, has beaten out Stanford and MIT for ‘Most Innovative University’ and continues to supply the Phoenix tech industry with skilled, highly educated employees
- Tech workspaces, incubators, and communities, such as ASU’s Skysong, Gangplank, Galvenize, and more
- Municipalities such as Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Glendale that work with companies to make setting up shop financially attractive
High-Tech Industry Comin’ to Phoenix
Phoenix is starting to gain a reputation as being the perfect location for the technology industry. With areas like San Francisco becoming almost unaffordable, tech companies are looking to places like Phoenix that are rich in talent, have a reasonable cost of living, are lower in taxes, and have a decent culture. Time Magazine notes that Phoenix tech jobs had grown by 188% in 2017 over 2016 alone. These jobs bring a mid-career salary of nearly six figures. In 2017, nearly two-thirds of the jobs added in Phoenix were ‘advanced fields,’ i.e. tech focused jobs. Additionally, wages in Phoenix grew faster (7.6%) than any place in the US (Cronkite), including San Francisco.
A few examples of the tech industry companies coming to Phoenix:
- Apple recently opened its Data and Global Command Center in Mesa
- AQST is moving its headquarters to Mesa
- Deloitte is bringing 2,500 tech jobs to Gilbert
- Education technology (EdTech) companies are thriving here, too, including Blackboard, a learning management system, and Parchment, an online digital credential service.
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