Report: Northern Virginia and Portland, OR, Are World’s Top 2 Data Center Markets; 8 of Top 10 Are in U.S.

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CHICAGO, January 18, 2023 – Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK), a global real estate services firm, released its 2023 Global Data Center Market Comparison, the fourth edition of this annual study which identifies and ranks the top data center markets globally and covers key emerging trends in the sector. For 2023, this report has been expanded to 63 global markets, including more than 1,600 data centers.

Cushman & Wakefield assessed data center markets across the globe within 13 different categories, including fiber connectivity, market size, cloud availability, and more to determine the top overall markets as well as the top performers in each of the 13 categories. According to the firm’s research, the top 10 data center markets are:

  1. Northern Virginia (tie)
  2. Portland (tie)
  3. Singapore
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Atlanta (tie)
  6. Chicago (tie)
  7. Silicon Valley (tie)
  8. Dallas
  9. Phoenix
  10. Seattle

For the first time Northern Virginia, which received the top spot in the three previous reports, now shares the highest rank with the Portland market. While remaining the largest market at over 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of capacity and vacancy at below 1%, Northern Virginia still saw several challenges this year. Portland rocketed, from sharing 10th place last year, to the top of the overall standings. This is due to the rapid expansion of hyperscale activity in the Hillsboro submarket, as well as relatively favorable pricing, sustainability options, low environmental risk and more available land.

“Portland’s rise is indicative of a number of smaller markets growing to be of key interest for the data center industry,” Albers said. “Going forward, expect other secondary markets to see substantial jumps in rankings.”

“The rush of post-pandemic activity in the data center space seen throughout 2021 continued in 2022, despite headwinds in the overall economy and resource challenges in some of the largest markets worldwide,” said Jacob Albers, Research Manager at Cushman & Wakefield.

Hyperscale tenants continued their relentless expansion across regions, with renewed vigor toward secondary and emerging markets. Co-location providers and developers have followed suit, driven by higher availability and lower prices for both power and land.

Atlanta, Chicago and Silicon Valley are tied for fifth in our 2023 ranking. Atlanta and Chicago offer sizable incentives, lower costs of land relative to market size, plenty of development in the pipeline and lower power costs than most large data center markets. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley has been a longstanding market with higher land costs, but proximity to the high concentration of tech sector players continues to maintain demand around the Bay Area.

Rounding out the top 10 markets are dependable stalwarts Dallas, Phoenix and Seattle—all with solid performance metrics that are tried and true, yet that still retain some a number options for expansion and new entrants.