Optimistic outlooks

2 new reports toot Dallas-Fort Worth's economic horn amid COVID-19 recession

2 new reports toot DFW’s economic horn amid COVID-19 recession

Dallas skyline
Dallas is poised for growth, post-pandemic. TREC Dallas/Facebook

The pandemic recession is definitely a downer. But Dallas-Fort Worth has recently received some much-welcomed economic praise.

A new report from commercial real estate services provider CBRE ranks DFW fifth among the seven tech markets that are best poised for growth. Silicon Valley ranks first. The report also places DFW at No. 7 for tech job growth in 2018 and 2019 (16.4 percent). Vancouver, British Columbia, comes in at No. 1 in the job category (29.2 percent).

Meanwhile, a new report from professional services firm PwC and the nonprofit Urban Land Institute places DFW among six “boomtowns” that are “attracting far more than their share of smart young workers.” The report also ranks DFW fourth among the top 10 U.S. real estate investment markets for 2021. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, ranks first, with Austin at No. 2 and Nashville at No. 3.

While the pandemic recession has pummeled DFW, the region has fared better than some of its Texas metro counterparts in many respects.

For instance, the September unemployment rate in DFW was 7.5 percent. By comparison, the rate was 6.4 percent in the Austin area, 7.8 percent in the San Antonio area, and 9.6 percent in the Houston area. Additionally, DFW ranks third among markets nationally for commercial property investment activity through the third quarter of 2020, with an estimated $13.5 billion in sales, according to CoStar Group.

“I think the DFW area will continue to be a center for growth once the pandemic is under control. The area offers a good mix of what companies are looking for, from workforce and infrastructure to a business-friendly climate,” Waco economist Ray Perryman said recently. “Clearly, the current uncertainty will place some plans on hold, but once the economy can return to more normal operations, the pattern of growth should resume.”

DFW’s business-friendly climate helped drive CBRE’s decision to relocate its headquarters from Los Angeles to North Texas.

Jeff Ellerman, the Dallas-based vice chairman of CBRE, recently told the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Dallas Innovates magazine that he’s optimistic about DFW’s growth heading into 2021.

“I believe that the pandemic will accelerate market trends that have already been in place. Companies and people will continue to gravitate to DFW, as it is a great place to run a business, has a very favorable cost structure relative to other large metropolitan areas, and is a great place to live and raise a family,” Ellerman said.