Canada’s three largest cities are among 30 global metropolises deemed well positioned to draw investment and sustain a robust real estate market for the long term. JLL’s 2018 City Momentum Index ranks Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal ninth, 19th and 26th on the list of those likely to thrive as the technological economy rapidly emerges.
“By investing in and leveraging their strengths in technology, physical and digital connectivity, quality of life and sustainability, they are positioned to maintain their performance into the future of this new competitive landscape,” the newly released report concludes.
This fifth edition of the index weighs 46 indicators of short-term market momentum and more lasting socio-economic fundamentals to chart 131 urban regions, worldwide, that meet JLL’s defining criteria for population, GDP, corporate presence, an international airport and commercial real estate stock and investment levels. Calgary is the only other Canadian city in the index.
The top 30 cities are designated in two categories. Future-proofing assesses factors such as the presence of technology firms and prestigious educational institutions, urban infrastructure, applications for international patents, environmental quality and business standards and transparency to gauge the city’s underpinning economic strengths and its ability to nurture high-calibre business and workers. Short-term momentum evaluates evidence of and capacity for population and GDP growth, real estate development, rising rents, hotel room occupancy and retail sales, presence of international retailers, real estate sales and investment volumes to identify cities currently enjoying booms.
Only Seattle and Singapore make both top-30 lists. Singapore — 26th for short-term momentum and 29th for future-proofing — is projected to record the greatest rental growth of any major international city this year. Seattle — 29th for short-term momentum and 12th for future-proofing — is home to a large number of technology firms, which now account for more than 60 per cent of space demand.
Seattle and Bucharest, which is ranked 30th, are the only cities outside Asia-Pacific or Africa to crack the top-30 for short-term momentum. There is somewhat more balanced international representation in the future-proofing top-30, which includes five cities from Asia-Pacific, 10 from Europe and 15 from North America.
Toronto’s ninth place standing for future-proofing is partly attributed to its technology sector and its standing as “a global leader in commercializing new technology”, while Vancouver is called “knowledge-intensive” and grouped with similarly sized Austin and Denver as slightly smaller centres “drawing on strong education systems, connectivity and liveability platforms to attract companies and talent”.
Ahead of Toronto on the future-proofing list are: San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, London, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris and Amsterdam. San Diego falls one place behind Toronto to complete the top 10.
The top-10 for short-term momentum are: Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ho Chi Minh City, Pune, Kolkata, Hanoi, Nanjing, Delhi, Hangzhou and Xian.