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Savills Tech Cities: Where to find top tech talent

The US city ranked number one for quality of life out of the 12 locations examined in Savills’ Tech Cities research (, thanks to its affordable real estate costs, vibrant communities and hosting of SXSW festival, a key date in the tech and creative calendar. Austin has also seen recent population growth, GDP growth, and house price growth its stand out economic growth rivals the bigger cities and the median average age is only 31 years.

Austin is not the only smaller city to perform strongly in the Tech Cities quality of life rankings. In many occasions, these smaller centres outstrip mega cities such as London and Hong Kong, thanks to lower levels of crime, pollution, vibrant nightlife and a short hop to work. Savills finds the average commute for employees in the tech cities is 31 minutes, with workers in Austin’s key tech districts enjoying an average commute of just ten minutes.

San Francisco claimed second spot on the list as tech companies are drawn south from Silicon Valley. In the last industry cycle, the dotcom boom was led by senior web developers and others that had been in the business. This boom is about the cloud, apps and gaming, and the 20-somethings are leading the way.

In a labour marketplace where millennials matter and access to the coding creative classes is essential, your city matters much more than your office space. It is the city that has become the attractor to talent, not the corporate entity. Even access to financial capital is of less importance than access to this human capital.

Berlin, which takes third spot in the rankings, leads in the cafe culture that is so vital to a successful tech city attracting talent. The city tops the Flat White Index for its quality and quantity of cafes and informal meeting places. Kreuzberg, Berlin’s epicentre of kaffeekultur, fashion and subculture, is also one of its centres of tech. A flat white here costs $3.36 and only comes cheaper in Tel Aviv and Mumbai.

Quality of Life rankings (calculated by quality of life, cost of living, city buzz)


San Francisco




New York


Tel Aviv

Hong Kong




The features of all these cities are explored in more depth in the interactive Tech Cities experience

Jon Hutt of Savills worldwide occupier services says: “Location decisions are predicated on far more than simply the cost of property and in today’s world it is fundamental that companies look closely at how they retain their existing talent pool, attract new talent and keep themselves ahead, in what is an increasingly competitive employment market.

“The nature of their space, the areas in which they locate, the quality of life that they can offer their teams and the access they have to talent, as they grow, significantly outweigh saving a few dollars on rent. This applies to all companies but for the tech community in particular it is crucial.”

Explore the Tech Cities interactive experience here


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