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Wells Fargo Economist Affirms Atlanta Job Growth Trend

Speculation that 2015 job growth may reach levels last seen in the mid-to-late 90’s was further supported this month by Wells Fargo Securities senior economist Mark Vitner, speaking about the local economy to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Vitner noted that much of the gain is coming in professional and business sectors including some of the more creative fields in the tech sector.

The outlook is great news for Atlanta commercial real estate developers and building owners. Vitner noted that specific tech and professional job growth trends are likely to drive demand for office space in Buckhead and Midtown, as many tech sector fields lure young professionals who prefer an urban environment. The growth of this demographic is also likely to drive demand for mixed use spaces and revitalized urban centers, a trend that may also be tied to the city’s car culture fatigue. Even Atlanta’s suburbs will be seeing more markers of urbanization and emphasis on walkability.

Vitner also spoke on the outlook for multifamily real estate sector, saying that demand for apartments remains strong, but that “I feel we are very close to the top of the cycle.” He notes that millennials continue to favor apartments, but that the demographic is also reaching the point that home buying and family formation is on the table. Vitner predicts that millennial home buyers will stay close to the city and favor proximity to urban lifestyle centers.

Despite the spike in job growth, Vitner feels that office development will remain modest by Atlanta standards. Instead, the trend is likely to focus more on urban development where land is more scarce and costly than in the suburbs. “Development is now moving back to the city,” Vitner says.

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