Many cities have been left in shambles in the aftermath of the pandemic. Austin is not one of those cities. While Austin is affected by the pandemic, when looking to other major metro areas Austin has been more resilient. While certain sectors of the economy of Austin like food & entertainment got hit harder than others, Austin has fared better than the United States as a whole. During the peak of COVID-19, April’s unemployment numbers nationally stood at 14.7%, an increase of 10.3% from the month prior of 4.4%. During this same period Austin saw an increase in unemployment of 8.9% however not as significant as the US as a whole. At the end of September, the US unemployment rate stood at 7.9% while Austin’s unemployment rate fell to 6.5%.
One sector that stood up well to the recession was real estate when compared nationwide. PricewaterhouseCoopers has Austin ranked No. 2 for real estate investments going into 2021.
This bodes well for people looking to move here and for current residents of Austin. This, along with the influx of new businesses to Austin even during the pandemic, is proving that Austin is the place to be. The number of companies moving their headquarters or opening offices in Austin is always growing, as a result, we also are seeing a large influx to industrial and warehouse spaces, especially among large corporations. Some of the largest warehouse and industrial space deals were done this year in Austin even with the pandemic at its worst. One example of this was Tesla’s recent acquisition in East Austin of approximately 2,100 acres to build its Gigafactory for the Tesla Cybertruck along with other vehicles in its lineup. This is not the only large company to announce a large industrial deal. Amazon in July announced an 820,000 square foot distribution center in Pflugerville. City officials have stated it could eventually top 3.8 million square feet.
Even with the United States reeling from COVID-19’s impact, Austin’s friendly business environment along with its attraction as a city sets an example for other cities to follow suit. It shows that even during a world-altering event that you can attract the best and brightest to your city. Austin’s growth is only continuing an upward trajectory and commercial real estate is reaping the benefits. Look for many more companies to move to Austin in the future and deals like Tesla’s and Amazon’s are just the beginning.
2021 will likely prove a bright year especially for a market as robust and diverse as Austin.