The state gained a net 7,400 jobs in December, enough to bring down the unemployment rate to 5.8 percent. That still trails the 5 percent jobless rate nationally.
For the year, Arizona added 65,700 jobs, a 2.5 percent growth rate that was the best since the Great Recession began eight years ago. By comparison, the U.S. grew 1.9 percent in 2015.
Multifamily vacancy rates are their lowest since 1999 and the demographics for those seeking apartments — fueled by Millennials who will stay in apartments longer — have never been stronger. Elliott D. Pollack, chief executive officer of Scottsdale-based economic consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack and Company, says the multifamily market is one of the strongest sectors in Arizona.
Want proof? More than 20 apartment and condominium developments — which will bring 2,000 new housing units to downtown Phoenix — are currently under construction; they range from high-end projects like Portland on the Park and Deco Communities’ Edison Midtown, to Lennar Multifamily Communities’ 367-unit The Muse, to Metrowest Development’s Union @ Roosevelt (a mixed use residential and retail development). All these projects are strategically placed on the light-rail line.
U.S. commercial real estate continued to enjoy a banner year in November as 2015, with market fundamentals reflecting healthy levels of absorption and continued rental gains during the month supported broad price gains, even as construction levels for office, retail and warehouse space have begun to slowly increase.
Scottsdale has been named as one of the best cities to launch a startup, outside of Silicon Valley and New York. “Scottsdale fosters deep connections between entrepreneurs, students and community members: for example, SkySong, the live-work center for resources and capital for entrepreneurs, is the result of a collaboration between the city and university,” DataFox said in its ranking explanation. “And according to Hoovers, the city boasts over 13,000 companies founded since 2010 that had at least $5 million in annual revenue.”
Forbes Magazine has named Arizona the best state for future job growth, but one local economic expert said the distinction does come with some caveats.
The magazine in October used forecasts from Moody’s Analytics to call Arizona one of the “brighter spots in a slumbering U.S. economy thanks in part to renewed migration.”
The Moody’s report projected a job growth rate of 3.1 percent through 2019.
Operating fundamentals across the various commercial property types are improving and interest rates have yet to tick higher. In addition, new development projects are underway, which could provide added fuel to the investment market in the coming years as these buildings lease up and are ultimately marketed for sale, according to a recent Colliers Phoenix report.
What Kennada was saying was welcome news to Christine Mackay, the city of Phoenix’s director of the Community and Economic Development Department, who has been targeting tech companies to fill in space in downtown and midtown Phoenix.
“I’m just really excited about what’s going on,” she said. “I am constantly talking to technology companies that are looking in this area. They want to be at the center. We’re seeing a lot of rebuilding and reinvestment in the area.”
“That’s true,” said Kennada. “We believe (downtown Phoenix) is the start of a network to re-innovate the area. It looks to us like an innovation center.”
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