North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2016

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45 North Carolina Economic Development Guide The Triangle's eclectic and growing housing market is a plus for arriving technology professionals. Landy lives in a sprawling home, complete with a big yard and deck, in a leafy north Raleigh suburb. His quiet neighborhood is convenient to interstates, shopping and his gym. Younger IT workers increasingly choose downtown living, says David Worters, a broker with Raleigh-based Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby's International Realty, whose clients include IT workers new to the Triangle. "As a group, younger buyers are searching for walkability and a connection with their community." With strong incomes and secure career prospects, these buyers focus on larger lifestyle amenities. "It's not just about the house. The question they ask is, 'What will my life look like if I live in this house?'" The trend has fueled downtown resurgences in Durham and Raleigh, as well as Apex, Clayton and other towns in the region. Worters has lived in Raleigh since 1999 and worked in residential real estate since 2011. His buyers come from just about everywhere, including Canada, China, Iran and the United Kingdom. "They're also coming in huge droves from the Northeast," says the Massachusetts native. A good number are from California. For them, it seems like a whole new world. While longtime Raleigh residents might grouse at a 10- or 15-minute delay while going to the airport, many of its newer residents would dif er. "Folks from Chicago or L.A. think it's nothing," he says. Outsiders see the Triangle's housing costs as reasonable compared to many competing destinations. "You get all this at a price that is still incredible attractive." Short commute times and af ordable real estate catch the attention of companies considering location options. Kent Holliday is a principal at Cresa Consulting Services Group in New York City, which provides real-estate expertise to companies, including those in technology, energy and life sciences. He calls the Research Triangle Region's benefi ts a slam dunk. "It's astonishing to me when walking around New York how many people I meet who want to move to North Carolina." Some of them have parents already retired in the Carolinas. "So they already have that bridge in place. That's a much more powerful link than we usually imagine." Rarely do two cities in such close proximity have more divergent urban characters than Durham and Raleigh. While the Bull City retains vestiges of its past life as a cigarette manufacturing center, today it's the backdrop for knowledge industries spanning research and development, health care and media. Raleigh, no longer a buttoned-down government town, is where Old South meets New South. Its neighborhoods,

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