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City Momentum Index Identifies the World's 20 Most Dynamic Cities

San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Wuhan lead Jones Lang LaSalle's list of dynamic cities

CHICAGO and LONDON, Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing that commercial real estate is no longer just a consequence of a city's success but a driver of it, Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL) has identified San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Wuhan at the forefront of cities that demonstrate the combination of strong short term socio-economic and commercial real estate momentum and longer term foundations for success. In its new, proprietary City Momentum Index (CMI), Jones Lang LaSalle goes beyond traditional, static economic rankings to delve into the underlying drivers that are the hallmark of highly dynamic cities. 

According to Jeremy Kelly, Director, Global Research for Jones Lang LaSalle: "City momentum is about far more than just raw GDP growth.  The true foundation of highly dynamic cities emerges from such factors as speed of innovation and creation of cutting-edge businesses along with new building construction, property price movement and investment in real estate from cross-border investors and corporations. 

"The new City Momentum Index offers a fresh and uniquely comprehensive perspective that identifies the signals of change and characteristics of city momentum. By focusing on the features of a city that are likely to underpin future performance, the CMI stands apart from the standard historic performance upon which most indices are based. It is such measures of dynamism in infrastructure, connectivity and innovation that we believe will be steering many investment and location decisions in the future, though investors and corporates should note that high momentum can pose both risk and opportunity."         



San Francisco










New York




Hong Kong


San Jose












Los Angeles











The cities that top the CMI are characterized by these dynamics:

  • Elite cities that wield clear economic might on the global stage, accounting for one-quarter of the world's direct commercial real estate investment activity from 2012-2013.
    • San Francisco (1), London (2), Dubai (3), New York (6), Hong Kong (8), Singapore (10), Los Angeles (15) and Tokyo (19)
  • Technology-rich cities that took early advantage of technology trends and provide fertile environments for innovation
    • San Francisco (1), Austin (7), San Jose (9), Boston (17) and Seattle (18)
  • Smaller, innovation-friendly cities that gained rapid momentum to achieve global position
    • Austin (7)
  • Rapidly urbanizing cities in China that continue to grow with massive city-building programs despite a slowing economy
    • Shanghai (4), Wuhan (5), Shenzhen (11), Beijing (13), Chengdu (14) and Tianjin (16)
  • Growth hotspots beyond the BRICs driven by urban consumerism
    • Jakarta (12) and Lima (20)
  • Resurgent cities gearing up for events in 2020 with renewed vigor
    • Tokyo (19) – 2020 Summer Olympics and Dubai (3) – Expo 2020

While Continental European cities are under-represented at the very top of the list and show lower momentum in comparison with emerging cities, several powerful and successful European cities possess the attributes for longer term success as validated by the ongoing high levels of real estate capital inflows.  Demonstrating success factors relating to education, innovation, sustainability and transparency, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam, for example, are distinguished by their strengths in talent and new technologies, while Copenhagen has among the world's strongest 'green' credentials.

The City Momentum Index assesses 111 cities world-wide with a weighted overall score based on 34 short-term and longer term variables.

Short-term socio-economic momentum variables (40 percent of the model) include recent and projected changes in GDP and population, air passenger traffic, corporate headquarter presence and recent levels of foreign direct investment as a proportion of a city's economy.

Short-term commercial real estate momentum variables (30 percent of the model) include recent and projected percentage changes in office net absorption, office construction, office rents, shopping mall construction and retail rents, direct commercial real estate investment volumes and real estate transparency.

Longer term variables (30 percent of the model) that are likely to determine future economic strength and real estate momentum include high-value incubator indicators such as university presence and educational infrastructure, innovation capability and presence of technology and venture capital firms.

Kelly comments further: "While most indices provide only a static picture of city competitiveness, by taking a unique look at the combination of short-term variables and sustainable long-term characteristics the CMI provides a look into underlying city dynamics, adaptability and real estate market characteristics."

About Jones Lang LaSalle

Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual revenue of $3.9 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle operates in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services to a property portfolio of 2.6 billion square feet and completed $63 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2012. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $46.7 billion of real estate assets under management. For further information, visit www.jll.com.

SOURCE Jones Lang LaSalle

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