News release

City Momentum Index 2018: Agility, Talent and Technology

Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi continuously stay in the global top 10 of JLL’s Short-Term Momentum Index, coming in at third and sixth place respectively.

April 21, 2019

​​​​​VIETNAM, 13 March 2018 – The pace and scale of change in today's globalised, digitised economy is leading to an unprecedented transformation of our cities. As technology-enabled platforms lower barriers to entry and ensure that demand for talent and innovation becomes increasingly global, cities are needing to adapt and build environments that foster innovation ecosystems, talent and connectivity in order to maintain their competitiveness and gain the benefits of this rapid shift. ​​

JLL's City Momentum Index (CMI), now in its fifth year, tracks a broad range of factors to identify those cities which possess the attributes for success over the short and long term.

The CMI Short-Term Momentum rankings identify the urb​an economies and real estate markets which are currently undergoing the most rapid growth. They highlight the continued rise of Asia Pacific's cities as destinations for global capital, commerce and innovation, with markets from the region accounting for 25 of the Global Top 30

Highlights of the CMI Short-Term Momentum Top 30 include


The Vietnamese cities of Ho Chi Minh City (3rd) and Hanoi (6th) are attracting sizeable volumes of foreign direct investment (FDI) as they integrate into regional and global supply chains for high-technology manufacturing. This is helping to spur rapid economic and income growth, leading to among the w​​orld's highest rates of increase in retail sales and air passenger numbers.

Stephen Wyatt, Regional Director of JLL Vietnam commented "It is not surprising to see Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi ranked in the Top 10.  The pace of development within both cities is very evident and the Government is making significant investment in infrastructure, which will help continue this momentum into the future".

"There is an energy and buzz within the cities, with high levels of confidence and positive market sentiment.  In the past few years there has been significant interest from foreign investors looking to participate in this highly attractive market and we expect this to continue for the foreseeable future".

India maintains its pre-eminence in the Short-Term Momentum rankings with four of the top five markets, as its cities register among the highest rates of demographic and economic growth globally, while also benefitting from government efforts to boost business attractiveness and invest in infrastructure. The country's leading tech hubs Hyderabad (1st) and Bangalore (2nd) take the two top positions, while Pune (4th) and Kolkata (5th) round out the top 5. India's Tier 1 cities Delhi (8th), Chennai (14th) and Mumbai (20th) also feature in the Global Top 30, with continued strong demand from technology, finance and pharmaceutical companies keeping take-up volumes buoyant and investor activity on an upward path.

While economic energy is propelling India's cities forward, they also exemplify some of the challenges facing markets with strong momentum, including strains on infrastructure and local amenities; high levels of inequality and affordability issues; and environmental degradation, which can all be compounded by a lack of planning oversight and transparency. In order to maintain their growth over the longer term, these cities will need to focus on future-proofing their markets through improved live ability and affordability, regulatory transparency and physical and technological infrastructure.

Chinese cities show no sign of diminishing momentum, accounting for 11 of the Global Top 30. China's  'Powerhouses', which are firmly integrated into global production networks and engines of the national  economy – Nanjing (7th) andHangzhou (9th) – are the top performers, boosted by their shift up the  value chain. They are joined by markets with a strong talent base which are becoming global leaders  in technology and advanced manufacturing such as Guangzhou(16th) and Shenzhen (19th), while  China's 'Established World Cities' Shanghai (15th) and Beijing (22nd) remain among the world's most  dynamic markets, supported by a raft of innovative, 'next generation' corporations, rapidly-developing  infrastructure and educated workforces.

Asian 'Megahubs' which act as regional gateways and have the scale to compete for talent, visitors  and innovation – including Manila (18th), Jakarta (23rd), Kuala Lumpur (24th) and Bangkok (28th) – are continuing to drive forward on the back of significant economic momentum. Offering substantial growth potential, these cities are key expansion markets for many corporates and are drawing particular interest from Chinese companies as they internationalise. They also have some of the highest levels of real estate completions across the globe as they build out the infrastructure to service this demand.

The 131 cities covered by the City Momentum Index have been shortlisted on the basis of a combination of a weighted index of population, GDP, corporate presence, air connectivity, real estate investment activity and commercial real estate stock. Each city is defined as its metropolitan region as delineated by national statistical offices or by international organisations (e.g., United Nations).