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Houston Talent on the Move

Sherra Gilbert • 5/26/2021
Pandemic discussions have largely circulated around shifts in where people live and work and how that would translate into post-pandemic behavior. With many observations being overstated and premature, we will dive into the real trends that happened in 2020 and what to expect in 2021 and beyond.

Houston was a top demand market with positive net absorption of 12,000+ multifamily units. The top five markets for multifamily demand — Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Denver — accounted for 77% of positive net absorption in urban markets. Among top demand markets, the majority of Houston’s net absorption occurred in core counties, whereas net absorption in counties outside urban cores effectively held steady. Investors are willing to look past small effective rent growth declines in these markets because of this strong long-term outlook.

Additionally, in the past decade Fortune 1000 firms’ headquarters shifted towards the Sunbelt and Mountain regions, and corporations continued to maintain a strong presence in California, Texas, New York and Illinois, where over a third are headquartered. Between 2019 and Q1 2021, 78 large corporates announced HQ moves, of which 68 are interstate. More than half of these announcements are leaving California, with 55% relocating to Texas.

Looking ahead, the national index has improved 18% since the beginning of the year, and many states have been trending up since February. However, the improvement has been uneven with the South (Texas and Florida, specifically) recovering more quickly. For more, check out the Talent on the Move: Where People Live & Work After COVID-19 report.

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