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New York City Leapfrogs San Francisco As The World's Top Tech City

NYC skyline
New York City skyline

Champions of New York have long claimed the city is seriously threatening the Bay Area as a global tech hub. Now they have a top ranking to prove it.

New York came in first in Savills Tech Cities ranking, the real estate brokerage announced this week. San Francisco came in second, according to the report, and London was in third place. It is the first time New York has come out on top in the three times the brokerage has compiled its list, which ranks 30 tech-heavy global cities based on things like cost of living and doing business, real estate prices, talent and transport.

“So much of it is talent,” Savills World Research team Associate Director Paul Tostevin, the lead researcher for the report, told Bloomberg. “New York can keep generating its own talent and, I think more importantly, recruiting it from around the world.”

New York took the crown from San Francisco because of its deep talent pool, its status as a major finance hub and big tech expansions that have been announced in recent months.

San Francisco fell back into second place because of coworking costs, which rank as the highest in the world at over $1K for a desk in a private office. The average cost for a desk is $590. 

London, in third place, is Europe’s top tech hub thanks to a high level of venture capital investment (three times that of Paris last year) and because it was the top-ranked city for mobility.

Amsterdam and Boston followed the top three cities in the ranking, and the report researchers note that China’s tech cities are rising, with increasing levels of VC investment. Beijing received $34B in VC funding annually for the past three years, ahead of both New York and San Francisco.

Amazon’s decision to pick Long Island City for its new second headquarters has been largely attributed to the high level of talent in the city. Landlords and developers expect the impact of the tech giant — along with other major expansions from companies such as Google and Facebook — will be felt across the city for decades to come.

Not everyone has been thrilled by Amazon’s decision to come to the city, and many are riled by the $3B incentive package it received. Executives from Amazon have been attempting to reshape its image in recent weeks and made subtle reminders at a recent City Council hearing that the deal is not yet done.

Related Topics: Tech Hub, Amazon HQ2, NYC Tech, Google NYC