This edition of Compass Points continues to cover the themes of: urbanism; the rise of secondary property, alternative asset classes and second-tier cities; continued US growth; and recovery prospects in key locations.
The new creative tech sector is emerging as the fastest-growing real estate class (see Special Report). The disruption caused by the digital age will extend to cities, especially those that are unable to provide the environments that are needed in order for creative industries to thrive. Not only are we seeing multi-speed cities and slower urbanisation in some cases, but also the potential for accelerated growth in new, small, perhaps unexpected, cities.
Some of the fastest-growing cities may be hitherto overlooked (who would have foreseen the rise of Austin, Texas 20 years ago?), but characteristics such as skills, lifestyle, people, environmental quality, low costs and favourable business environments will enable them to compete in the digital age in ways that would have once been impossible in the industrial age.
We have already seen the emergence of new employment and residential areas in tech cities, where new neighbourhoods and property-owning classes have sprung up. We now expect to see the start of a re-ranking of city investability and growth over the coming decades that will see some places relegated, while others emerge from obscurity behind the red line of investing institutions.