Raleigh and the surrounding areas of the Triangle have been steadily and consistently attracting top talent and big names in tech for the last few decades. While it’s no surprise that some of the world’s biggest corporations – Apple and Google, among others — have announced plans to develop campuses in Research Triangle Park, the news is still incredibly exciting and indicative of the area’s future economic success. So what’s the attraction for these huge corporations with such deep pockets? Why the Triangle over other tech-driven markets? More and more, here are the factors that are proving irresistible to Big Tech.
Why are Tech Companies Moving to Raleigh, NC?
Top talent is here. Since the 1960s, Research Triangle Park’s growth and success has been primarily driven by a cluster of top tier research universities that produce 9,000 graduates a year: Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, and NC State are nationally ranked for research programs in medicine, new technologies, biomedical sciences, the environment, data science, and engineering, among others. Raleigh and the surrounding cities have focused heavily on creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship to entice and retain these recent college graduates.
Low cost of living: Compared to the “other” tech mecca of San Francisco, Raleigh is about 163% less expensive. From food and transportation to housing and healthcare, the dollar stretches much further in the Triangle, meaning residents have a higher disposable income, which in turn helps fuel the local economy. In 2020, Raleigh saw the most out-of-state relocations from New York, Washington DC, and Miami, which are all more expensive metros.
Attractive housing market: Even with housing costs increasing in Raleigh, it’s still a great time to buy a home. Home prices have increased by about 17% from June 2020 to June 2021 (Zillow), and have increased over 40% from five years ago. The market shows no sign of slowing, presenting a great investment opportunity for homebuyers to build equity quickly. With so many prospects moving to the area, and with home builders and developers buying land to help meet demand, new home starts are predicted to grow 7% or more in 2021 (Builder Online). Additionally, salaries in Raleigh continue to climb while interest rates remain at historic lows, which translates to greater buying power.
Work hard, play harder: Central North Carolina has some of the best weather and most beautiful natural landscapes in the country. Residents enjoy a myriad of outdoor activities throughout all four seasons, including hiking, mountain biking, rafting, paddling, horseback riding, and more. The Triangle offers world-class dining, shopping, and entertainment, while many of the smaller commuter towns have charming historic districts and plenty of local personality.
These are just a few of the reasons why Apple is investing $1 billion over 10 years to establish a campus at Research Triangle Park, bringing with it an estimated 3,000 jobs with an average salary of $187,000, and Google is coming to Durham to create a new engineering hub and 1,000 new jobs. These are just the more recognizable names. Companies like IPM Chirana — a ventilator maker, and Grail, Inc. — a research company focused on multi-cancer early detection, are investing in the Triangle, bringing thousands of jobs and continuing to stimulate an already booming economy. They say Raleigh is an emerging market, but we say it has already broken through.