At the end of 2019 our Raleigh-Durham office celebrated a big win with the hiring of a prominent office leasing team.
Hillman Duncan, Dennis Hurley, Patti Autry and Taylor McCuiston are now part of our JLL Raleigh team, adding decades of local market knowledge and experience representing institutional owners of office and flex properties across the Triangle.
We recently talked with Hillman and Dennis, each of whom has been in the business for more than 20 years, to discuss their move, how the Triangle office market has evolved and trends they’re seeing.
Q: What went into your decision to make the move to JLL?
Dennis: What we saw happening with JLL’s acquisition of HFF and the leadership in Raleigh. The investment in technology was also very compelling.
Q: When did you all start working together?
Hillman: We started incubating our agency team in 2000, when Raleigh-Durham was becoming more of a household name to people outside of this market. So as the Triangle became a more institutional market, our agency team grew with that, and we now have institutional clients all over the country.
Q: Office asking rents increased by 4.4% year over year, according to JLL’s fourth quarter research report. Is there still room for additional rent growth in the Triangle?
Dennis: The cost of construction continues to rise, and specifically in our market, trade labor is extremely difficult to find, which is being passed through to rental rates.
Hillman: Year over year, rents have grown by over 6% on average for the last three years. Is that sustainable? We think it’s sustainable because of continued demand factors, the rising cost of new construction and the investment required to reposition older, existing buildings. Most of that product has changed hands over the last 36 months.
Q: Compared to gateway markets, Raleigh-Durham’s asking rates are still appealing for major employers. Does that factor into future rental growth?
Hillman: We’re one of the more inexpensive markets in the Southeast. The Southeast sees a healthy diet of inbound growth from the Northeast and the West Coast, and capital is searching for acquisition opportunities in the Southeast. This market remains one of the cheaper office markets as far as rent comparison goes, and it also ranks highly for return on investment for office product.