Silicon Valley has high hopes for 2014

Technology has undeniably been one of the main drivers of the U.S. economy for the past few years, as app designers, device makers and social networking innovators have flourished. As many of those ventures set up shop in California's Silicon Valley, commercial real estate companies in the area can expect to have a strong 2014.

"The economy in Silicon Valley is hot and will actually get hotter in the short run," Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, said to the San Jose Mercury News. "But in the long term, we have risks to the expansion. One of those is income inequality. This could become a land of protests and social unrest if we don't address this issue."

'The expansion continues'
Area company Cornish & Carey Commercial recently released its annual forecast about Silicon Valley's office, industrial, and research and development real estate sectors, and the numbers show that they are expected to keep the momentum going from a strong 2013.

The company expects that activity will be strongest in the northern part of Santa Clara County – including Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto – rather than southern cities of Santa Clara and San Jose. The county has a big advantage over cities like San Francisco – home of Twitter – where rent is about $4.50 per square foot, compared to $3.30 in Santa Clara County.

"This year should be as good as last year, if not better," Phil Mahoney, a Cornish & Carey executive vice president, said to the Mercury News. "The expansion continues."

The company found that last year, 12.7 million square feet of space was occupied by R&D efforts, up 1.3 percent from 2012, the Mercury News reported. Much of that growth is due to cellphones and tablets, as the PC market has essentially reached its capacity of about 300 million units shipped a year, according to Tim Bajarin, principal analyst of a market research and consulting firm. He said about 2.4 billion cellphones and up to 300 million will be shipped this year, according to the Mercury News.

The industry shows no signs of slowing down, either, as many things people use every day – cars, TVs and appliances – are now commonly equipped with Internet capability to improve performance and increase seamlessness.

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