Silicon Prairie could be the Silicon Valley of the 2020s

Cities in the Midwest and South could be the future of tech, Zillow says

TRD NATIONAL /
Jan.January 12, 2020 12:00 PM
Kansas City (Credit: iStock)
Kansas City (Credit: iStock)

Denizens of the Midwest and the South, take heed: tech bros in zip-up hoodies may be at their standing desks, searching for their perfect startup office in your city right now.

Affordability, less competitive markets for talent, and liveability all make metros like Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and St. Louis ripe for tech industry growth, a new study from Zillow suggests. The study measured those and other factors that could appeal to startups and growing tech companies in 42 metro areas around the country.

Traditional tech markets like San Francisco and Seattle, as well as large cities that have experienced rapid growth recently in the sector, including Los Angeles and New York, were at the bottom of the list.

“Rapid housing cost growth in these areas and a saturation of firms competing over limited pools of tech talent may instead push tech companies to shift their gazes elsewhere,” the report said.

By comparison, the cities that landed on the top of the list tend to have a healthy stock of lower-priced homes, growing economies, and less drastic shortages of college-educated workers.

The study also measured how “hot” each city was by comparing the number of locals searching for homes outside that metro area with the number of outsiders searching for homes within it. By that definition, Las Vegas, Jacksonville, and Tampa ranked the “hottest” markets in the country.

Generally, more people are looking to get out of traditional tech hubs than they’re trying to get in — the Bay Area, New York, and Washington, D. C. all have between four and five people looking for homes outside those areas for everyone one person looking for a home in those areas.

Commute times and internet speeds also factored into the ranking. Kansas City, Zillow’s top pick for growth, has some of the best internet infrastructure in the country and relatively short commutes. Raleigh and Salt Lake City also ranked high in those respects. [Zillow]Dennis Lynch


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